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Watkin Jones wins student schemes worth £90m

Student accommodation specialist Watkin Jones has secured deals for two projects worth a combined £90m.

The company has forward-sold a 354-bed student housing scheme on Little Patrick Street in Belfast to an institutional investor, and has secured a development agreement to deliver a 972-bed scheme at Hollis Croft in Sheffield.

Combined, the two schemes are worth £90m to Watkin Jones.

Both projects are set to complete in summer 2019, meaning Watkin Jones has now forward-sold 1,981 of the 3,545 beds in its development pipeline ahead of the 2019/20 academic year.

All of the firm’s schemes being delivered in 2017 and 2018 have already been forward-sold.

The group’s chief executive Mark Watkin Jones said: “Our ability to secure, fund and develop a pipeline of attractive sites provides excellent earnings visibility for our shareholders.”

In its build-to-rent business, the company is due to start a 322-unit scheme at Bath Lane in Leicester (pictured), which secured planning permission this month.

Watkin Jones now has six schemes targeted for delivery during its 2019, 2020 and 2021 financial years, in addition to its planning and site acquisition pipeline.

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