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Linkcity will Help Revitalise Burnt Oak Town Centre in Barnet

Developer Linkcity is delighted to announce that it has signed an agreement for lease to bring forward a mixed tenure Build to Rent scheme in the heart of Burnt Oak Town Centre.

Linkcity will be working with the London Borough of Barnet to bring about the revitalisation of the area with the provision of over 350 new homes together with complimentary commercial uses and a new library facility. Proposals will see the under-utilised station car park accommodate private and affordable housing while retaining a significant number of car parking spaces at the ground floor.

Tom Jackson, Development Director at Linkcity said,

I’m delighted to formalise the partnership with the London Borough of Barnet and looking forward to working closely with the council and key local stakeholders as we work up a planning application in the coming months. This is a great opportunity to make a positive difference to the regeneration of Burnt Oak town centre and to provide affordable new homes by developing an under-utilised site.

Deputy Leader of Barnet Council and Chair of the Housing & Growth Committee, Cllr Ross Houston said:

“This is an exciting new partnership to deliver more quality housing, including affordable homes, as well as new facilities in Burnt Oak. Further revitalisation of the town centre will be delivered through the council’s £3.6 million investment to enhance the area. We look forward to engaging with residents, businesses and Linkcity going forward, and to seeing the plans as they emerge.”

Linkcity is looking forward to engaging with the local community on its plans in the coming months.

The Church Street Community Leisure Centre is officially open!

In February, Linkcity returned to our Fisherton Street development with our client, Westminster City Council, to celebrate the official opening of the leisure centre for the scheme. We were joined by other partners, members of the public and four members of our Olympic GB Team, with Cllr Roca, Cabinet Member for Young People, Learning and Leisure leading the official opening.

The event was a fantastic opportunity to showcase this excellent centre that offers a range of facilities to help everyone lead active, healthy lives. During the afternoon local schools received a dedicated opening where anyone from the community was able to join in free activities, or just drop in to check out the facilities.

“The Church Street Community Leisure Centre is looking fantastic. It was great to attend the opening and really see the scheme coming together as a whole and fitting perfectly into the wider community post completion. I hope those living in and around Fisherton Street can benefit from these facilities for decades to come.”

Alexandre Panov, Development Director at Linkcity

The Church Street Community Leisure Centre has everything a community needs for a healthy, happy, active environment. Full of all the best and latest facilities, the centre is designed to appeal to everyone, regardless of age, gender or fitness level. Within the building, locals can find a fantastic three-court sports hall in which a variety of sports and activities can be enjoyed. There’s also a group exercise studio, where members can take part in any one of the many group exercise classes. The centre also has a changing places accessible toilet and changing facility, helping to ensure the facilities are accessible to everyone.

Click here to find out more about the wider scheme.

Linkcity has sold two purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) properties in a joint venture with Harrison Street, one of the leading investment management firms exclusively focused on alternative real assets, to City Developments Limited (CDL).

The transaction comprises two PBSA assets: Canterbury Riverside and Altura in Birmingham with a total number of 926 beds. The assets were packaged in a portfolio sale with two additional PBSA properties owned by Harrison Street. The portfolio received a gross purchase price of £185 million, which represents 33% more than cost basis. This sale demonstrates the continued demand for demographic-driven real estate, and the strengths of the assets, despite market slowdown. 

Linkcity led the development of the two schemes, working to raise the senior debt to finance the scheme through the construction phase for which its sister company, Bouygues UK, were appointed as main contractor. In addition, Linkcity were actively involved in the asset management of the schemes and brought in partner, CA Ventures, to operate each scheme under their Novel brand.  

The student accommodation at Canterbury Riverside was Bouygues UK’s first self-delivered modular scheme, delivered during the pandemic.  It has 491-bedrooms and 430 modules built in a dedicated factory in Morocco and transported to the UK. It features a range of rooms from studios, ‘twodios’, premium rooms and cluster rooms with an en-suite, while all rooms have access to the fitness studio, games area, roof terrace and courtyard as well as a study area and laundry. 

Altura is an exciting development on the site of the 1970’s Bath Court office building dedicated to Birmingham’s growing student population and well located with the city centre. The 435-bed scheme is a mixture of en-suite clusters and individual studios, built over 12 storeys. The student accommodation comprises 360 en-suite bedrooms within 6- and 8-bedroom apartments as well as 75 studio bedrooms. 

This successful sale demonstrates the strength of these assets and the appetite for student accommodation in the UK. Linkcity is proud to have been involved at every stage from development, build and operation through to the sale of this portfolio. It’s been a pleasure to partner with Harrison Street on this joint venture.

Oliver Campbell, Development Director

The seller was represented by JLL, DLA and Deloitte on the transaction. 

Construction has now been completed at the landmark mixed-tenure development on Luton Street near Edgware Road, delivered by Westminster Builds and Linkcity.

This pioneering project is the first step in Westminster City Council’s long-term regeneration of the established Church Street neighbourhood; it is revitalising the area with 171 modern new homes, state-of-the-art community facilities, over £5m of community contributions and transformative public realm enhancements.  

The Luton Street regeneration has been delivered by joint venture partners Westminster Builds – Westminster City Council’s wholly owned development arm – and Linkcity, a division of Bouygues UK and a trusted partner that has delivered many projects with the Council. The partners have jointly funded the project and are jointly responsible for delivery, finances, marketing and sales; Linkcity is leading the construction with Bouygues UK as the main contractor.  

Providing huge economic benefit, income generated by the sale of homes will unlock funding to deliver new and refurbished homes, amenities and public space across Westminster’s ten development sites in and around Church Street. Of the 171 modern new homes at Luton Street, 109 are for sale and 62 designated affordable, including 12 townhouses; with three additional affordable townhouses that were completed further up Fisherton Street, by the delivery partners earlier in 2022. These popular homes are now occupied by local families. Local people have been prioritised as part of the sales strategy, giving those living in the city first call on purchasing a home here. 

With recent changes to the Council’s Administration, the project team have reviewed the number of affordable social rent homes that are part of this scheme and are now making further changes to maximise the number of social rent by a further 15 homes, which includes 3 x 3 bedrooms and 12 x 2 bedrooms, with the remainder 4 x 1-bedroom homes offered as intermediate rent.  

The scheme has community at its heart; the partners have also delivered a 490m2, triple-height, three-court new sports hall and community space for the wider neighbourhood to benefit from. The new centre, run by Everyone Active in partnership with Westminster City Council, will feature a three-court sports hall suitable for football 5 a-side, basketball, futsal, netball, volleyball, badminton, and table tennis.  

The new Church Street Community Sports Centre will offer affordable access for community groups and residents, and there is a community studio which can be used for group exercise classes ranging from yoga to events, community meetings, children’s parties and soft play.  

A £3m contribution is being used to improve local infrastructure and public realm, while a further £2.4m contribution is being used to improve surrounding residential buildings.  

Development also includes the first section of a new green spine, a landscaped pedestrian route that will better link Church Street with Marylebone and re-establish connectivity within the neighbourhood. Designed with pedestrian and cycle paths, gardens and play areas, this is a space predominantly for people away from cars. It will encourage healthy living through opportunities for walking, cycling, play and exercise, while biodiverse green spaces will be wonderful places to relax and will attract birds and wildlife.  

Many local people have been employed to the project as part of the partners’ commitment to social impact. By March 2022, the partners had exceeded their percentage contractual targets for local employment by 140% for work experience placements, 267% for local support activities, 103% for new apprentices and local jobs and an impressive 576% for volunteering hours. 

Cllr Matt Noble, Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Regeneration and Renters at Westminster City Council, said: “Building genuinely affordable and social homes for local people is at the top of the list of priorities for the council and so I’m delighted to be able to offer more social homes than originally planned as part of this development.  

The Luton Street development, and the wider Church Street regeneration programme, is delivering changes that will revitalise the area and provide numerous benefits to local people and communities.” 

Phillipa Prongué, Managing Director, Linkcity, comments: “This partnership between council and private developer has resulted in a ‘best of both’ project; Linkcity’s placemaking, construction and development credentials are creating a development that can compete internationally in a crowded marketplace while Westminster’s involvement as a partner means that the delivery of the scheme is always underpinned by a community-first approach.   

“This is a scheme that is not only bringing new homes, community facilities and green space within its own red line but also unlocking the transformational regeneration of an entire neighbourhood as a result. This would not have been possible without the equal contribution of either partner.” 

Rob Bradley, CEO, Bouygues UK, said “We’re proud to have delivered this exemplar project to the residents of Westminster. The quality of this landmark mixed-tenure development is testament to the strength of the Bouygues UK, Linkcity and Westminster Builds partnership. As one of the first contractors to work with the council’s newly launched development arm, Westminster Builds, the relationship has been a huge success and we look forward to seeing where it will take us in the future. Congratulations to all those who played a part in this incredible scheme.”  

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Castle Park View – one of Bristol city’s newest residential schemes – has reached full occupancy in a record 12 weeks following completion of its development, demonstrating the strength of appetite for rental homes in Bristol. On 9 December representatives from the partnership which brought the development to life, including M&G, Linkcity and Bouygues UK, gathered at Castle Park View for a tour of the building and to meet residents in their new homes.

The 180,000 sq ft brownfield site, previously occupied by Bristol Ambulance Service, is now home to more than 700 residents in 75 affordable and 300 private low carbon rental apartments and is a strong example of how public and private sector partnerships can fulfil important social needs – in this case the regeneration of derelict land to provide high quality, sustainable rental accommodation.

Initiated by Homes England and Bristol City Council as part of the Council’s wider drive to build centrally located low-carbon homes, the £90 million project was delivered by property developers, Linkcity and main contractors Bouygues UK, both part of the Bouygues Construction group. M&G Real Estate financed the construction of the 300 private rented sector apartments, which it owns and manages as part of M&G’s £1.3 billion UK Residential Property Fund. Housing provider, Abri, has taken ownership and operational oversight for the 75 affordable homes.

Occupying a prime location in central Bristol, the building is the first to take heat from the city’s new water source heat pump, served by its historic docks, which will contribute to Bristol’s 2030 Net Zero carbon aspirations. Built with brown roofs and allotment areas to encourage biodiversity, solar panels will reduce carbon emissions by 20% and the contents of two permanent food and clothes banks which residents can donate to will be distributed to those most in need locally.

Head of UK & European Living at M&G Real Estate, Alex Greaves, says: “Imagine what could be achieved in terms of sustainable housing delivery if we could encourage more partnerships in the UK with progressive councils like Bristol to work with business to maximise the potential of disused areas. Castle Park View is proof that effective public and private partnerships can unlock challenging sites to create additional housing supply. People want to live in high quality homes, near to public transport, with great amenities and this is what we continue to provide, alongside long-term growth potential and diversification benefits for our investors.”

The project has brought social value to the local community with the creation of nine full time jobs and 2,175 apprenticeship weeks, with 65% of the workforce employed from the Bristol area, as John Boughton, regional managing director of Bouygues UK explains:

“We are immensely proud of this truly collaborative project, which has also had a very positive economic effect on the community, raising £13,000 of charity support. Our team worked brilliantly to get this project finished to the highest standard in challenging conditions, resulting in some of the most energy efficient apartments in the area and a Level 4 Code for Sustainable Homes award.

“Alongside our sister company Linkcity, the developers of this ambitious scheme, it was great to meet with our delivery partners at Castle Park View, chat to residents and see the families and young professionals settling into their homes and enjoying all the development has to offer.”

Investment Principal for private markets at Brunel Pension Partnership, Vanessa Jacka, is delighted with the scheme’s efficiency, the construction pace and fast occupational uptake: “The majority of Brunel Pension Partnership’s clients have invested in this project via their holdings in the M&G UK Residential Property Fund.

“Twelve weeks is an astonishingly short period in which to fully let the entire building and emphasises the strong demand for quality rental accommodation in Bristol and, indeed, across the whole of the UK. Castle Park View is an iconic example of how M&G is addressing local need and it focuses investors’ minds on what can be achieved when all stakeholders’ aspirations are aligned.”

Linkcity has reached financial close on the first phase of the Tustin Estate scheme, a significant housing project for Southwark Council. Overall, the project will feature nearly 700 new homes. It’s the first large-scale project procured through Pagabo’s Developer Led Framework. 

The scheme includes 250 replacement council homes and shared equity properties, 220 additional council homes including keyworker homes, and 220 homes for sale. In addition, it will feature a central park, refurbishment of existing council homes and at least 1,800 sqm of commercial floorspace. Works commenced in autumn 2022 and the whole project is planned to complete in 2030. Bouygues UK will be the main contractor. 

Southwark Council has been working for several years on the preparation of the redevelopment and put together the outline planning application, granted this October. Linkcity, part of the Bouygues Construction group, were selected by the Council in 2021 at the start of RIBA stage 2 design to work closely with the authority to advise on buildability in the development of phase 1 and the masterplan.  

The mandate for the project was established through a community ballot, and Linkcity has communicated with residents from the start of its involvement to keep them updated on its plans. Residents have been able to feed back on and influence the various aspects of the project, including design, construction strategy and social value.  

The project is expected to achieve a 97% reduction on carbon emissions when in use. A large part of this is due to the clean energy being supplied by the local waste-to-energy district heating network. Additional measures such as high-insulation building fabric, solar panels, SUDs, and air-source heat pumps for individual houses will also contribute to this. Most of the demolition materials will be reused, demolition will be limited through refurbishing a section of the estate and Linkcity and contractor Bouygues UK will raise awareness of subjects like biodiversity through workshops with the local school and the construction of bug hotels.  

Tom Jackson, development director at Linkcity said, “It’s fantastic that a project of this size can start work on site so soon after concept design work. It’s a real credit to the officers at Southwark who have worked so hard with the residents and us on the design of the scheme. We’re delighted to have started work on Phase 1 and we can’t wait to see the plans come to fruition. Alongside our construction partner Bouygues UK, we are committed to providing social and economic value through local employment and education opportunities and achieving a significant reduction on carbon emissions.” 

Cllr Darren Merrill, Cabinet Member for Council Homes and Homelessness, said, “I’m delighted that we have reached this important milestone in our redevelopment of the Tustin Estate. We will soon start seeing tangible results from all the hard work put into this project, and I’m proud that our residents have been so involved in the designs for their estate. This major redevelopment will provide hundreds of new homes, rejuvenate the area and bring enormous benefits for the local community.” 

Jonathan Parker, head of construction at Pagabo, added: “It would be difficult to find a better large-scale scheme than that of Tustin Estate to be the first procured through our Developer Led Framework. Connecting Linkcity with the London Borough of Southwark is set to create social and economic value for the local community following a fair and competitive tender process – ensuring the best outcomes for all involved. We look forward to seeing the scheme progress and the benefits come to fruition.” 

Our Managing Director, Phillippa (Pip) Prongué recently sat down with Vanessa Vallely OBE at WeAreTheCity to discuss her two decade long career in the Real Estate sector, sharing her top tips on how to reach the top in a male dominated environment.

WeAreTheCity was started in 2008 by Vanessa Vallely to create a centralised site that housed a multitude of career development resources where women could develop new skills, grow their networks and ultimately progress in their careers. The site now offers gender-related news, a networks directory, calendar of events and conferences, internships, business schools, inspirational women profiles, HeForShe interviews, and job opportunities.

After joining us earlier this year, Phillippa is leading the change at Linkcity, growing the business even further with her expert team and finding new, innovative development opportunities for the company.

During her discussion with Vanessa, Phillippa gives invaluable insight into the importance of sponsors, why your network is your net worth and how to be that little bit bolder as a woman in property.

The Pastures, our development for the University of Essex, is going up at speed!

Uliving, our student accommodation arm, is working in consortium with Equitix on the £168 million development. We are working alongside our sister companies Bouygues UK, the main contractor on the project, and Bouygues Energies & Services who will oversee the facilities management once the development is complete.

Split across five new buildings, The Pastures will bring an additional 1,262 student bedrooms to the Colchester campus. One of these blocks will create a new hub which will include a reception, a post room, an administrative area, and a student services centre, along with staff welfare facilities.

The development has now been on site for 13 months and with a target date for completion of August 2023, the team are working hard to keep to this tight programme. In order to achieve this, Bouygues UK and its team of subcontractors now have over 250 people working on site​.

This development is the third phase of student accommodation that Uliving will deliver for the University of Essex, following the handover of Phase 1 (648 new build bedrooms and stock transfer of 772 bedrooms) and Phase 2 (643 bedrooms) in 2013 and 2018 respectively.

With the superstructure now complete and façade works well underway, the last of all six tower cranes have now been dismantled. The last 2 blocks are also expected to be weathertight by the end of October 2022. The internals trades and M&E sequencing have started in 4 of the 5 blocks, with works in the last block expected to start by the end of October 2022.

The team are being faced with many challenges as a result of the worldwide delays, increased lead times and shortage of materials, but Bouygues UK is working hard and using its international supply chain to secure and store materials to maintain the fast pace of progress on the project.

Kat Morris, Senior Project Manager at Linkcity said: “Collaboration with our partners on this development has been fundamental to its current success. If we continue to work this effectively, I have no doubt The Pastures will go from strength to strength and will complete to the exceptional standards the client expects.”

Amine Azidine, Project Director at Bouygues UK said, “The Pastures is going up at lightning speed and we could not be where we are today without our incredible team on the ground. It is a fantastic project to be part of and seeing the new scheme really taking shape is so rewarding. I am looking forward to seeing the lively community it will create once finished.”

Bouygues UK has completed its first self-delivered modular project, successfully delivering 491 bedrooms of student accommodation at The Riverside, a £115 million mixed use development in the historic City of Canterbury. Three of Bouygues Construction’s companies are part of the major urban regeneration project; Linkcity, the development partner of Canterbury City Council; Bouygues UK, contractor for the scheme; and Uliving – Linkcity’s dedicated student accommodation brand. 

The 491-bedroom student accommodation scheme has been innovatively delivered using modular construction, with the 430 modules built in a dedicated factory in Morocco and transported to the UK. A range of rooms have been delivered, from studios, ‘two-dios’, premium rooms and cluster rooms with an en-suite, while all rooms have access to the fitness studio, games area, roof terrace and courtyard as well as a study area and laundry. 

Offsite production is part of the UK Government’s roadmap for construction, and so Bouygues UK built a dedicated factory in Morocco to produce the student accommodation modules, which were then transported directly to the construction site in Canterbury for installation. This innovative process results in a shorter build time, less disturbance on site, a reduction in risk and improved quality.  

The Riverside sits at the centre of a new leisure quarter in Canterbury, with a new public square at its heart and overlooking the River Stour that runs through the city centre. This leisure-led destination is anchored by a five-screen Curzon Cinema, as well as restaurants and bars wrapping around the new public square. In addition to the student accommodation, the wider development also delivers 189 new homes, all within a pedestrian friendly neighbourhood that knits into the existing community.  

Rob Bradley, CEO of Bouygues UK, said, ”As our first self-delivered modular project, completing the student accommodation at Canterbury Riverside is a really exciting milestone for us. The completed project is of the highest standard and showcases our ability to design, build and operate student accommodation.  

“Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) is a crucial part of the future for construction, and we have learned a tremendous amount from this scheme, which stands us in great stead for future modular projects. Its successful delivery is a result of great collaboration, between Bouygues UK, Linkcity, Uliving, Canterbury City Council and our colleagues in Morocco, where we built a dedicated factory to manufacture the modules. We are looking forward to utilising these skills much more going forward.” 

Canterbury City Council Cabinet Member for Place which includes regeneration, Cllr Barbara Anne Flack, said: “For Canterbury, the epitome of a historic city, to become home to such modern buildings built in a cutting-edge and innovative way is something to be celebrated and sums up the kind of place this is. 

“The fact this is part of a scheme that will revitalise a rundown but vitally important part of the city, provide the cinema and leisure facilities residents have been demanding for such a long time, create jobs and result in much-needed affordable housing is cause for a double celebration.” 

Linkcity is pleased to welcome our first Land Manager.

Helena Powell, Senior Land and Development Manager, joins us from Countryside Partnerships with a repertoire of experience covering the acquisition of several major regeneration schemes across London, including the Clapham Park Estate for 2,500 new homes.

Working with her Linkcity colleagues, Helena’s role is to lead the search for land opportunities for Linkcity and Uliving. With a track record of building strong partnerships with our clients, Helena aims to grow Linkcity even further and find new development opportunities for the company.

We sat down with Helena to find out how her time with Linkcity has been so far and where she sees both herself and the company going in the years to come.

Helena describes herself as a ‘people person’; one of the reasons she enjoys her role as a Senior Land and Development Manager which involves constantly meeting new people and building relationships with those from across the sector. Working with a very passionate team and alongside our Managing Director, Phillippa Prongué, Helena’s role is key to Linkcity’s move into a new era. We are excited to be looking at ways to get Linkcity’s name out there, show the market what we are capable of and grow the business in partnership with Landowners, Councils, Housing Associations, funders and agents.

At Linkcity, we work closely with our clients to provide a bespoke approach to each development, unlocking maximum value and combining our global expertise with a local focus. Helena plays a key role in understanding our partners’ needs, what they require from a particular site and how Linkcity can help unlock the potential.

Having already partnered with a number of local authorities, we know what works and consistently deliver resilient, future-proof developments across London that help our clients reach their own targets effectively.

When asked what she was most looking forward to in her new role with Linkcity, Helena said, “It is really exciting to be part of a growing business. Having joined at a similar time to our new Managing Director, it is a great  time to be a part of Linkcity. Everyone is invested in growing the business and winning new projects. I hope that I can help build the momentum and excitement within the business and find us some excellent projects.

I’d like more people to know what Linkcity are about. We have a lot to offer our partners and we want people to know about our amazing projects like Carrick Yard and Tustin Estate. We are keen to get our name out there so people think of us when they have a project that needs taking forward.”

This time next year, Helena sees herself continuing to grow alongside Linkcity, stating, “I want to continue to grow and learn and  look forward to doing that here. Our land requirements are really diverse which will enable me to explore a wide range of mixed used projects. . In a years’ time, I hope we will have a larger pipeline of projects, projects that meet our partners social and commercial objectives and ones that we can all be proud of.”

To get in touch with our expert development team, click here.

In Conversation with Georgia, Hélène and Kat

Linkcity will Help Revitalise Burnt Oak Town Centre in Barnet

Official Opening of the Church Street Leisure Centre

Successful Sale of Residential Assets Shows Clear Demand for Student Accommodation  

Work Completes at Luton Street and Fisherton Street

Approval Given for Next Phase of Hallsville Quarter Masterplan

Public private partnership delivers 375 low carbon rental homes for Bristol City Centre in landmark regeneration project

Tustin Estate Reaches Financial Close

In the Lounge with Phillippa Prongué

The Pastures Progresses at Speed

The Riverside at Canterbury Completes

Linkcity Partners with Solutions for the Planet for a Third Year Running


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