South Yorkshire Pension Fund provides £46m loan to fund student accommodation in Sheffield

18 March 2024

South Yorkshire Pension Authority (SYPA), advised by CBRE Capital Advisors, has provided a loan of £46 million to property developer Bricks Group to fund the development of a 494-bed Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) scheme in Sheffield.

The loan will support the development of the site, positioned across two parcels of land, totaling 35,520 sq ft, and bisected by Hollis Croft. Situated within a mile of the city centre, the site offers excellent connectivity to both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, which have a combined student population of around 60,000.

Recent CBRE data revealed the UK’s major university towns are facing a shortage of more than 350,000 beds, as demand continues to outweigh both the supply and delivery of student accommodation. In Sheffield, it is estimated around 7,000 students are unable to access this type of accommodation.

Bricks Group is a privately-owned property group, specialising in investment, development, and management across several sectors including hotels, student accommodation, and co-living. The group is known in the student accommodation sector for its brand True Student.

The South Yorkshire Pension Authority’s Place Based Impact Investment lending programme was established in 2019 to invest within South Yorkshire providing affordable homes for local residents, and now students, as well as providing industrial buildings providing jobs and a boost to the local economy.

The completion of this latest loan to Bricks Group has brought the current loan book to £120m of committed capital, closer to its target of £130m allocation. This is the tenth loan committed to date and it takes the total capital invested by the fund, since launch, to around £160m, with two loans now fully repaid, demonstrating the fund’s potential for further local investment lending in the future.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, Chair of South Yorkshire Pensions Authority, said: “As a Sheffield Councillor our investment to provide more homes for students in Sheffield is a welcome addition to our local investment portfolio. We are proud to be able to support South Yorkshire’s economy with more investment than ever before with our Place Based Impact Portfolio. The Hollis Croft development will really help to boost our area’s economy, providing new, environmentally sustainable homes for students studying at the universities, and provide quality jobs for the community whilst also freeing up housing for local families and allowing the Authority to make the returns we need to continue to pay our members pensions each month.”

Source: South Yorkshire Pensions Authority
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