Bond deal sealed to fund £92m student complex

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A FINANCING deal has been completed to fund the building of Edinburgh University’s £92 million post-graduate student complex.

Nearly 1,200 students will be housed in the development, which will span both sides of the city’s Holyrood Road, near the university’s education college.

Demolition work has already begun on the site, with construction now expected to start later this year. Students are scheduled to move in on a phased basis over three years from September 2014.

Construction giant Balfour Beatty was appointed as preferred bidder for the project last August and will be responsible for the design, build and maintenance of the facility over the next 50 years.

Stuart Barr, a Glasgow-based partner at international law firm Pinsent Masons, which advised the university on the financing deal, said: “This is a landmark project that will change Edinburgh’s cityscape. We are delighted to have been involved on the project during its gestation over the past two years and this is a significant step forward.”

Barr added: “The demand for bonds linked to the project – and the A2 rating applied by credit ratings agency Moody’s – serve as further evidence that Scotland is seen as a safe haven for investment, and that infrastructure projects remain popular due to the steady returns generated.

“University accommodation is an asset class that continues to perform well in a market where the pipeline for public-private partnerships has been relatively sparse.”

PETER RANSCOMBE