Student flats specialist gets £30m RBS boost

The funding deal has been agreed with Royal Bank of Scotland. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The funding deal has been agreed with Royal Bank of Scotland. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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STUDENT accommodation provider Ziggurat has secured a finance facility of almost £30 million to help fund the construction of an Edinburgh development and support the firm’s wider growth.

The firm, which was founded by Edinburgh-based Jim Pike and colleague Matthew McAdden in 2008, has completed a number of student accommodation schemes across the UK and Ireland, including the 64-bed Wellgate House which opened in the Scottish capital in 2010.

It is now working on a massive 532-bed development which is spread across two locations in Edinburgh, one on the former site of Shrubhill House on Leith Walk and the other at nearby Murano Place.

The twin facilities are due to be completed in time for the coming academic year with the University of Edinburgh already signed up to take 95 per cent of the properties. The flats will also be used as affordable accommodation for visitors to the Edinburgh Festival.

The Shrubhill House site also includes more than 18,000 square feet of retail space, much of which has been pre-let to Sainsbury’s for a new convenience store.

The funding deal has been agreed with Royal Bank of Scotland. Debt funding of £4.4m has also been secured with RBS to assist with the development of 88 student studios adjacent to Newcastle University, also opening later this year.

Ziggurat, which runs two student accommodation sites in Reading through a sister company, and one in Dublin, said it planned to roll out further developments in Ireland next year.

The company has formed a partnership recently with Abodus Student Accommodation which is “actively progressing” a number of schemes across the UK.

Pike said: “We’re very excited about the new developments in Edinburgh for a number of reasons. They will provide much needed student housing stock in the city and will regenerate a derelict site that had become a real eyesore for over a decade on Leith Walk.

“This project is also supporting and creating jobs, with a Scottish-based contractor, Ogilvie Construction, heading the project and support from a number of locally based building services professionals”.

The firm has been supported by RBS’s real estate finance team, which over the course of the last year has concluded more than 200 deals.

Relationship director Martin McCourt said: “We’re delighted to support Ziggurat in their new development in Edinburgh, where they have an established track record, and in their wider growth aspirations within other UK university cities. These developments are also creating jobs and enhancing communities.”

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