Abrdn has invested £123m (€144m) in a UK student housing project on behalf of its strategic partner Phoenix Group and clients.

The fund manager has backed the University of Sussex and Balfour Beatty Investments’ West Slope Residencies Finance project partnership, by investing £110m on behalf of UK savings and retirement business Phoenix and £13m on behalf of the Inflation-Linked Infrastructure Debt Fund, Abrdn’s evergreen UK-focused fund.

The West Slope partnership will design, construct and maintain 1,900 new units of student accommodation at the University’s campus in Falmer, north of Brighton. The West Slope development is expected to be completed in April 2028.

Matt Hamilton-Glover, investment manager at Abrdn, said: “We’re delighted to continue to support the University of Sussex’s growth plans, this being the second project we have invested in, offering long-term, inflation-linked returns to our investors.

“This kind of investment is crucial given the structural undersupply of quality student housing in the UK. The project’s ambition to achieve a BREEAM Excellent accreditation underpins our commitment at Abrdn to provide sustainable real estate solutions.“

Manuel Dusina, head of infrastructure at Phoenix Group, said: “We’re delighted to expand our portfolio in the student accommodation sector via our investment at the University of Sussex.

“In the UK, the need for more quality, affordable university student accommodation couldn’t be greater, and this investment provides long-term stable cash flows to match our annuity liabilities, whilst also supporting the sector.”

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