Unite Students opens new accommodation in Leeds city centre
- Former casino and pub site now provides homes for students in Leeds city centre
- Construction completed on schedule for students to move in for new academic year
- Unite Students invests in the city and partnership with University of Leeds by signing 30-year agreement
Unite Students, the UK’s largest provider of student accommodation, has completed construction of its latest property in the heart of Leeds city centre.
Built on the site of a former casino and pub, White Rose View is near the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University.
The £114million development in Merrion Way, Leeds, consists of two towers, one 16-storeys and the other 27-storeys high. Construction continued throughout lockdown, while maintaining strict social distancing regulations on site. The project was delivered on schedule, in time for the start of the new academic year. Students have already begun moving in.
The construction site operated as one of the few Ultra Considerate Construction sites in UK, which includes enhanced welfare standards being maintained on site and throughout the supply chain.
The design of White Rose View, which has 976 beds, was influenced by students, for students. Extensive research using state-of-art camera technology was used during the design phase to record how students move around their homes and how much time is spent in communal areas.
The result is a building which has increased individual and group study spaces, larger communal kitchens, as well as an in-house well-equipped gym, cinema room and sound-proofed karaoke room – the first of its kind in a Unite Students’ property.
The quality of the building’s design, with its large open communal spaces and emphasis on increased studying areas, make its layout Covid-19 secure.
Matthew Loughlin, Unite’s Group Development Director, said:
“The quality of White Rose View makes it one of the best student accommodation buildings Unite has delivered to date. Despite challenges, what was achieved during lockdown was remarkable. The fact we completed the construction on time is a credit to everyone involved. We did so while maintaining strict Government guidelines, which meant reduced numbers of trades on site at any one time, and there was also a knock-on effect on the supply of some materials which we had to find technical solutions for, often at short notice.”
Accommodation in the property consists of households of between four and seven en-suite rooms grouped around shared kitchens and living areas. There are also some individual studio flats.
Almost three-fifths of White Rose View’s beds have been secured in 30-year lease deal by the University of Leeds. Unite Students’ partnership with University of Leeds dates back more than 15 years. The remaining rooms are available to all students on a direct-let basis.
Moray Notman, Unite Student’s University Engagement Director, said:
“This 30-year agreement with the University of Leeds is the latest step in our national strategy. Our property activity is focused on further improving our alignment to high- and mid-ranked universities and being in the best locations. We are delighted that White Rose View has been completed in time for the start of the new academic year and have been busy welcoming students to their new homes. This building has been influenced in design by students themselves. It is a safe and secure and fully complaint with Covid-19 restrictions for all students to make a home for success.”
Ian Robertson, Director of Residential and Catering Services at University of Leeds, said:
“White Rose View is magnificent. It is perfectly located for our students as it’s very close to both the University campus and the city centre. The building and the locale boast excellent levels of amenity and I am certain that our students will love living there. We’ve worked very closely with Unite for many years, and they are a trusted partner. I’m confident that Unite understand the needs of our students and that they are fully committed to meeting their expectations and bettering them whenever possible.”
Unite Students is the only student accommodation provider in the UK to hold a five-star rating from the British Safety Council. To help support students, University of Leeds’ wardens have a base in the building, alongside student resident life assistants who live in the property.
One of them, Hannah Tobin, age 22, a third-year student studying Chinese at University of Leeds, said:
“Unite has thought of everything. It’s a great place to live, particularly this year with the Covid restrictions - the larger communal kitchens and private study rooms will definitely be well used. It’s reassuring that Unite has a 24-hour call centre and security guards in the property to keep students safe and secure.”
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