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PBSA growth: another student development for Alumno Group in Norwich

A funding agreement has been reached between Alumno Group and Curlew Capital on the former’s new student accommodation development at Benedict’s Gate in Norwich.

The scheme, which saw planning permission granted on November 18 last year, is the third project Alumno has developed in Norwich after two successful developments in the All Saints Green area of the city. The second of these, Pablo Fanque House, opened to University of East Anglia (UEA) students in September 2018. 

The latest site was acquired by a ‘programmatic venture’ managed by Curlew Capital that is exclusive to clients of CBRE Global Investment Partners (CBRE GIP). 

Once complete, the Benedict’s Gate scheme will offer 302 en-suite and studio rooms for students, including communal kitchens and lounges.

The landscaping around the development will aim to provide a ‘high quality of external amenity’, addressing the need for vibrant and sustainable outdoor space, alongside other sustainable means of water storage and drainage.

Additionally, there will be a new public car park to be run by the city council, assisting with local businesses and helping to ensure that St Benedict’s remains a vibrant independent shopping destination.    

To ensure a lasting legacy, Alumno is also investing in public art installations that will focus on promoting the heritage and history of the city’s Roman Wall, as well as working with a ceramic artist to design a bespoke mural.

Alumno also claims the development will have a positive economic impact, bringing commercial benefit to the west of Norwich city centre by delivering an increased residential student population within the area to support existing traders and businesses.

In addition to this, contractors HG will be bringing construction jobs to the area while on site during the build.

“With two universities in the city, there is a need for more quality student accommodation, and we’re happy to be working in partnership with the universities, the council and the local community to deliver this, as well as helping the council with its regeneration plans and rigorous planning blueprint,” Alumno managing director David Campbell said.

“The new student communities will be a welcome boost for local businesses, and the new community and cultural hub this creates will drive further investment and opportunities in the west of city centre.”

Paul Oliver, chief executive and founder of Curlew Capital, added: “Curlew and its institutional partner CBRE GIP are delighted to have entered into an agreement to fund Alumno to deliver this asset, delivering much needed PBSA beds to Norwich, while further enhancing our investment programme for the Curlew Student Trust 2 PBSA Fund.”

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