Case Study

University of Dundee

Project Highlights

  • 1,098 new en-suite beds for the University’s students
  • £11.5 million Capital Receipt to the University
  • £57.7m debt raised with interest fixed for thirty five years
  • Student rents linked to inflation and capped for 35 years
  • Properties fully maintained by a £50m spending plan
  • University has no obligation to fill the rooms
  • Halls come back to the University at the end of the deal

In a 35 year deal, UKSF has successfully procured over a thousand new bedrooms for the University of Dundee in an innovative deal, as well as providing the University with a capital receipt of over £11 million.

Ten years ago, UKSF commenced work on the main campus of the University to replace a large block of existing bedrooms with brand new state-of-the-art facilities, all with en-suite bathrooms. This work was extended over the next five years to cover the majority of the University’s housing stock, until it was finally all modern and en-suite. The total building package was around £40 million and over 1,000 new en-suite bedrooms came on-line in total. Rather than saddling the University with substantial debts, however, Dundee benefitted from a series of receipts.

UKSF established a new charity called Dundee Student Villages which built and owns the bedrooms, as well as buying 1,225 existing rooms from the University in the first stage of the deal. The Charity raised nearly £60 million from the Bank of Scotland to be repaid from student rents over time. Rents are capped for the life of the deal and the charity has committed to spend a further £50 million over 35 years on their upkeep.

UKSF took a pivotal role in the development of the new buildings, co-ordinating the construction works. This complex job was spread over five building contracts, four sites and three years and included construction of a new multi-storey car park and archive space for the University.

During the 35 years, the University markets the stock, but doesn’t have an obligation to nominate students or guarantee any occupancy whatsoever. The Halls will be managed by a Housing Association with existing management staff TUPE’d to them. At the end of the deal’s life, all the halls (existing and new) will come back to the University for nothing.

The University Secretary David Duncan expressed his satisfaction at completing the transaction. “This deal is great news for the University and for its students,” he said. “We have secured excellent facilities and released substantial funds for investment in further improving our teaching and research accommodation.