Birmingham student residence secures funding from Singaporean construction group
Alumno’s £24 million project to develop purpose-built managed student accommodation on Dogpool Lane in Birmingham is to receive funding in a partnership with Woh Hup Holdings Limited, one of Singapore’s largest construction businesses.
Founded 95 years ago, Woh Hup has previously invested in a variety of UK developments. Woh Hup has ongoing PBSA developments in York, London, Bristol with more in the pipeline. In 2020, Woh Hup in partnership with Metro Holdings and Lee Kim Tah, launched Paideia Capital UK Trust to acquire completed UK-based PBSA assets. Since inception, Padeia has acquired sites in Warwick, Bristol, Glasgow, Exeter, Durham and London.
The focus of Woh Hup’s investment at Dogpool Lane is a new 24-hour managed residence designed to accommodate the growing number of students attending local universities and a dental hospital, taking pressure off private housing in the area. It will comprise a mix of cluster beds and single occupancy studio rooms for 167 residents, together with a reception and communal areas.
The scheme will also provide an improved retail space for the existing Post Office and newsagent based on the site, which will be relocated close by during construction. In line with Alumno’s philosophy of adding value to the local community adjacent to its developments and working with local art-ists, there will also be an enhanced public area in front of the building, which will include landscaping, seating and cycle stands.
This space will feature public art, including a poetry garden created through an initiative led by Birmingham Poet Laureate Casey Bailey in partnership with the Ikon Gallery, Writing West Midlands and pupils of the neighbouring Selly Park Girls School. Another local creative talent, emerg-ing artist Betsey Bradley, has also been commissioned to design a sculp-ture for the courtyard of the new building.
Regular Alumno partners Glenn Howells Architects will design the building, which will comprise brickwork and terracotta detailing, referencing local ma-terials, while also providing a new identity for the building.
“I’m delighted that we have secured funding from Woh Hup for this project, which will provide an economic boost to local businesses and deliver much needed accommodation for Birmingham’s growing student population,” said Alumno Managing Director David Campbell. “As with all our develop-ments, we have worked closely with the surrounding community and local authority to ensure the scheme enhances this vibrant area.”
Commenting on financing the project, Phil Johnson at Woh Hup said: “We believe high-quality purpose-built student accommodation in the UK offers great opportunities to investors. We excited to be partnering with Alumno, an outstanding and pioneering developer specialising in this area, and look forward to growing the relationship”
Alumno plans to have the new building completed for the 2024 student in-take.
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