FreshStart Living complete on Bradford student accommodation deal - Affordable accommodation for over 200 students worth hundreds of thousands of pounds to local economy

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The affordable student accommodation developer, FreshStart Living, has announced it has completed on a deal with Provident Finance Group to acquire a Bradford city centre office block in what will be a considerable boost to the Bradford economy.

This is great news, not just for FreshStart Living, but for the students who will live in Colonnade House and for the city of Bradford.

The affordable student accommodation developer, FreshStart Living, has announced it has completed on a deal with Provident Finance Group to acquire a Bradford city centre office block in what will be a considerable boost to the Bradford economy.

The news of the completion comes after FreshStart Living announced that it had been granted planning permission to transform the former Provident Financial headquarters, Colonnade House on Sunbridge Road, into 223 en-suite student pods.

The Salford-based company has already begun work redeveloping the nine-storey building and it expects to have the work completed and fully tenanted with students in time for the 2012/13 academic year in starting in September.

FreshStart Living specialises in transforming empty/underperforming buildings into affordable homes and student accommodation. The company acquires sites at below market value which allows savings to be passed onto final purchasers as well as the tenants who live in the properties.

FreshStart’s student rents are considerably more affordable than University owned halls. This saving for the students is money that can then be spent in local pubs, shops and restaurants and will be a substantial boost to the Bradford economy.

The University of Bradford are currently charging £93 per week plus £6 weekly utility charge for students living at their accommodation, The Green, during the 2012/13 academic year*. They offer forty-two week tenancy period which equates to a total cost of £4,158 for the year.

FreshStart Living is charging rents from £70 per week including all utility bills and Wi-Fi internet connection for a tenancy period of 44 weeks.

If a student living at Colonnade House saves £29 per week compared to if they lived at the university-owned accommodation, that’s a combined weekly saving of £6,467 for the 223 students.

Over the standard 44 week tenancy period this equates to an extra £284,548 per year that can be spent by the students in the Bradford economy.

Charlie Cunningham, chief executive officer of FreshStart Living, said:

“This is great news, not just for FreshStart Living, but for the students who will live in Colonnade House and for the city of Bradford. Not only are we redeveloping an out-of-use building, we are transforming it in to affordable accommodation.

“There will be over 200 students living there all paying below average rents, so they will have spare cash to spend in pubs, shops and restaurants. It will be a real boost to the local economy.”

Founded in 2009 in response to the virtual standstill of residential development and growing need for affordable homes the company sells on the completed properties including the student pods at ‘real prices’ to first-time buyers, key workers and investor landlords.

Ends

Notes To Editors

*Figures are taken from The University of Bradford website and were correct at the time of publishing.

The planning application to transform the building into student accommodation was received by the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council on 19 December 2011 and permission was granted on 15 March 2012.

The nine-storey building will be transformed into 223 en-suite student pods. Each storey will have 24 student pods with 13 rooms on the ground floor. A two-storey annexe building will house another 18 pods.

The individual student rooms will be centred around large, shared living spaces and kitchens to encourage a community feel where student can live, work and enjoy themselves in a safe and comfortable environment.

FreshStart Living has a track record of completing student accommodation redevelopments in a short turnaround after transforming another of its student developments in Manchester in just three months.

Work began on Montgomery House, Manchester in July 2011 and the development was completed and fully tenanted with students by the start of the academic in September of the same year. The company is confident it can replicate that fast turnaround with Colonnade House Halls and are inviting contractors to tender.

FreshStart Living is a student accommodation specialist and has successfully completed student developments in Manchester and Greenock, Scotland to date and have another development in the pipeline in Salford.

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Matt Dyas
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