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Completion at The Pastures

Leading construction company Bouygues UK has completed The Pastures, its £168m project to deliver 1,262 new student bedrooms on the Colchester Campus for the University of Essex.

The project was developed by Uliving, the student accommodation arm of Bouygues UK’s sister company Linkcity, in partnership with leading global investor, developer and fund manager Equitix. Bouygues Energies & Services will oversee the facilities management now that the development is complete.

The Pastures will bring an additional 1,262 student bedrooms to the Colchester campus, split across five new buildings. 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.

This development is the third phase of student accommodation that Uliving and Bouygues UK have delivered for the University of Essex, following the completion of Phase 1 (648 new-build bedrooms and the refurbishment of 772 bedrooms) and Phase 2 (643 bedrooms) in 2013 and 2018 respectively.

Oliver Campbell, Development Director at Linkcity and CEO of Uliving said,

“In time for the new academic year, we are proud to have successfully delivered this new student accommodation project for The University of Essex. Despite the post-pandemic challenges to supply chains that we faced, we maintained the fast pace of progress on the project, delivering 1,262 high-quality student bedrooms in two years.

“The completed project showcases our ability to design, build, finance, and operate student accommodation, and couldn’t have been achieved without the close collaboration among all partners.”

Chris Oldham, University of Essex Deputy Registrar (Infrastructure and Environments) said:

“We are delighted to be offering this fabulous new student residential accommodation at our Colchester Campus. The new development provides a range of high-quality accommodation choices, which is key to students enjoying a positive living and learning experience on our campus.

Growing our accommodation on campus enables us to align this to our growth in student numbers and satisfy the needs of our students. We are proud of our excellent relationship with our partners in delivering this new accommodation.”

The University of Chichester has confirmed Uliving in consortium with Equitix, as preferred bidder to deliver and enhance the student accommodation facilities across their two campuses.  

The University’s primary objective is to create new accommodation and refurbish the existing accommodation to meet demand but also provide an affordable, high-quality student and living experience.  

Uliving, the student accommodation brand of Linkcity UK, working in consortium with Equitix, propose to deliver a total of 1,032 units across the two campuses in Bognor Regis and Chichester. This will include: a stock transfer of, and extensive refurbishment to, the existing 507 beds across the two campuses; delivery of the enhanced consented 176-bed new build scheme at Bognor Regis and delivery of 349 new beds at the Bishop Otter campus in Chichester. 

The consortium is already a multi-award winner in student accommodation projects, over several years and their experience means they are well placed to provide the services required for meeting the university’s exacting standards. The project would add to their already large portfolio of student accommodation across England. 

Professor Jane Longmore, Vice-Chancellor, at the University of Chichester, said: “We are delighted to be working with Uliving and Equitix. Both companies listened and responded carefully to our brief to deliver high-quality student accommodation for both our campuses. This will include an extensive building programme, as well as refurbishment of many of our existing bedrooms. The building designs, sustainability plans and attention to social spaces impressed both University and Student Union colleagues alike. Within the Chichester region this new accommodation will help us meet increased demand as our student numbers grow and provide an affordable student living experience, as they move away from home for their new lives at university.” 

Oliver Campbell, CEO of Uliving said, “We are thrilled to have reached this stage and are looking forward to progressing our plans with Equitix to deliver high quality, affordable living spaces which meets the needs of the University of Chichester and its students. We will work collaboratively with our sister companies Bouygues UK and Bouygues Energies & Services to deliver sustainable buildings that provide the highest level of facilities management services.” 

Hugh Crossley, Chief Executive for Equitix, said: “We are delighted to be named as Preferred Bidder on this exciting project with one of the UK’s fastest growing institutions. As the UK’s leading investor and developer in social infrastructure, Equitix are well placed to successfully deliver an enhanced student living experience with our valued partners”

The consortium propose to refurbish, develop and enhance the twin sites to be delivered in stages with practical completion by September 2027. The delivery of this project will tie in with University of Chichester’s long term sustainable investment strategy. 

Southwark Council, developer Linkcity and lead contractor Bouygues UK welcomed London’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development Tom Copley to the Tustin Estate construction site to officially mark the start of the build with a ground breaking event. 

Tustin Estate is a significant Southwark Council housing project which will provide nearly 700 new homes. The scheme includes 250 replacement council homes and shared equity properties, 220 additional council homes including keyworker homes, and 220 homes for private sale. The development will feature a central park, refurbishment of existing council homes and at least 1,800 sqm of commercial floorspace. In addition, the project will improve the public realm and landscaping across the estate, including new pedestrian, cycle and vehicular routes throughout, greenways, and improvements to Tustin Common. Work commenced in autumn 2022 and the whole project is planned to complete in 2030. 

Linkcity, the development arm of Bouygues UK, was confirmed as the development partner for the entire scheme in 2022. The partners will deliver the project in four phases.  

Linkcity, the development arm of Bouygues UK, was selected by the Council in 2021 to work with the authority to advise on buildability for the development of phase 1 and the masterplan, and confirmed as the development partner for the entire scheme in 2022. It’s the first large-scale project procured through Pagabo’s Developer Led Framework. 

Community engagement has been central to the project from the offset. The mandate for the project was established through a community ballot and residents have been able to influence aspects including design, construction strategy and social value. Employing local labour is a priority with positions such as resident liaison officer and traffic marshall already given to local people.  

Giving back to the local community is always a key priority for Southwark Council and its building contractors. Linkcity and Bouygues UK have held workshops for young people in the local area, including a ‘Girls Believe’ academy at Bacons College to attract more women into construction and engineering, and educational workshops including interview skills at London South Bank University.  Linkcity have also offered a three-week pre-employment course as well as longer-term apprenticeships and training opportunities. Local family events are regularly held in the community with activities like arts and crafts and dancing. 

Phillippa Prongué, Linkcity’s Managing Director, opened the ceremony and expressed how exciting it was to get to this point: “This is a really significant moment for our team and for Southwark Council, and the culmination of many months’ hard work. This project is not really about the physical buildings; it’s about the people who will live in them, that’s something that has been really clear to us from the first moment we got involved in this project.  

“One of the things that we pride ourselves on at Linkcity is the close relationship with our construction partner, Bouygues UK, and nowhere is the strength of that relationship better demonstrated than when we move a project from the design stage to construction and start delivering on the commitments that we have made. We are so pleased how the site team has taken up the mantle of working closely with residents to make the construction process a smooth one.” 

Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, Tom Copley, said, “I was delighted to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for this important scheme, which will deliver hundreds of brand new council homes part-funded by City Hall, including homes for keyworkers.  

 “The local community have been at the heart of this project, which is also delivering green spaces and new pedestrian and cycle routes. Developments like this have contributed to the more than 23,000 new council homes started in London since 2018, and support the Mayor as we continue building a fairer and more prosperous London for everyone.” 

  Cllr Helen Dennis, Cabinet Member for New Homes and Sustainable Development, added, “Starting the first phase of our Tustin Estate Masterplan marks a huge milestone in transforming this area and meeting the needs of local people. Tustin is one our major estates in the borough and we are proud to work with residents here to provide new council homes, a school and a park for the local community. 

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with our residents as we progress with transforming and reinvigorating this estate. We know that the new homes, community spaces and facilities here will give a boost to our communities and support our residents to thrive.” 

The project is expected to achieve a 94% 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.  

Linkcity is currently working on the early design stages of Phase 2 of the estate masterplan, with construction due to start after the completion of phase one in summer 2025. 

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.

Completion at The Pastures

Best Practice in Creating Social Value Beyond London

Supporting the 10,000 Interns Foundation

University of Chichester Names Uliving Preferred Bidder for New Scheme

Construction Begins for Almost 700 New Homes in Southwark

Linkcity Backs Social Value Programme

Małgosia Topolewska Helps Judge Regional Sustainability Shortlisting

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


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