Harrison Street and Linkcity to develop Canterbury student accommodation scheme

Harrison Street, an alternative real asset investment firms dedicated to the Education, Healthcare and Storage sectors, and Linkcity, part of the global construction and services group Bouygues Construction, are to develop a 491-bed purpose-built student accommodation scheme (PBSA) in Canterbury, UK. 

The development will provide best-in-class student accommodation and will be the second development that Harrison Street has done as part of a joint venture agreement with Linkcity’s Uliving brand.  Bouygues UK has been appointed as the main contractor for the scheme.

The student accommodation will comprise two six-storey buildings with 22 studios and 469 en-suite bedrooms in cluster apartments and there will also be a gym, study rooms, roof terrace, bicycle storage and on-site car parking. It forms part of The Riverside, a broader regeneration masterplan developed by Linkcity in partnership with Canterbury City Council that includes a cinema complex, retail and restaurant offerings and new homes. Close proximity to these facilities should prove popular with students and will further help set the development apart from other PBSA properties. Located in central Canterbury, the property will provide easy access to Christ Church University, University for Creative Arts and the University of Kent. The project is expected to complete ready for the 2021/22 academic year and will be managed by Sodexo Student Living and Uliving. The development will form part of one of Harrison Street’s pan- European investment strategies.
Rob Mathias, Senior Managing Director and Head of International Business for Harrison Street, says: “This development is consistent with Harrison Street’s broader European student housing strategy and highlights the significant need for high-quality PBSA assets throughout the UK. Canterbury is a top-tier UK university city, home to more than 30,000 full-time students across three leading universities. However, less than a third of these students have access to university housing or PBSA options. At the same time, both Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent are expanding their enrolment bases. We are pleased to continue our partnership with Linkcity (Uliving) and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”
Linkcity’s Managing Director, Nicolas Guérin, says: "With 7.8 million tourist visits each year, three universities, 36,000 students and a shopping population of 227,000 who put the city in the top 2% of UK centres in terms of total retail spend, Canterbury is an attractive and thriving destination. The Riverside is a well-balanced mixed-use development, with an attractive daytime and evening offering, purpose-built student accommodation and much-needed affordable homes. We are pleased to be partnering with Harrison Street again on the student accommodation element of this exciting scheme and are confident this asset will add further value to its UK-based operations.”