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Carlyle unveils £350m students plan

Plans for the construction of student accommodation containing almost 2,000 beds in north London has been announced as part of a £350 million project by US private equity group Carlyle.

The firm has purchased a site in Islington next to Finsbury Park station and it is seeking planning permission for a further three sites, which would bring its portfolio up to 1,850 beds.

Demolition is to start in October at the Islington site and the development, which will house 400 beds, should be completed by the start of the 2012 academic year. Carlyle is hoping all four sites will become operational by September 2013.

Delivery of the project will be carried out in a joint venture by student accommodation specialist Generation Estates, with Carlyle providing the funding. It is part of the private equity firm’s plans to build a portfolio of at least 4,000 beds in London.

There are more than 260,000 full-time students in the capital, 90,000 of them from overseas, but enough purpose-built accommodation for only 16 per cent of these. Private equity firms see the market as offering secure, long-term revenue.