BlackRock has signed a forward funding agreement for a UK student housing scheme.

The firm said it is working with Ashcourt to develop a 239-bed student accommodation scheme in Leeds, which is home to four universities. 

The deal is the second in the UK student housing space for BlackRock’s value-add real estate strategy this year.

Portfolio manager Thomas Mueller said student housing was a current area of interest for its UK business.

“It is in line with our UK value-add strategy to invest in shorter duration business plans with defensive, even counter-cyclical features,” he said. “We look forward to announcing similar transactions in the months to come as we continue to execute on this attractive aggregation strategy.”

The site, in Cavendish Street, is close to the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University.

Completion of the site is scheduled for August next year, in advance of the 2017/18 academic year.

The firm bought a site in Sheffield in March with planning consent for a 535-bed scheme.