Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), a specialist insurer of defined benefit pension funds, has invested £60.6m (€69.7m) in a UK student accommodation project.

The investment with the University of Essex, takes PIC’s investment in the university’s campus to more than £150m this year.

The project is for the construction of a 643-bed student housing development on University of Essex’s Colchester campus.

Liz Cain, senior debt origination manager at PIC, said the investment builds on an existing relationship with the various parties following an investment of £98m to refinance an existing accommodation block.

“PIC is a buy-and-hold investor and these projects work well as there is a long-term nominations agreement in place with the university which links to our long-term partnership approach.”

PIC said it has invested around £2.5bn in direct and bilateral deals, including with providers of student accommodation, universities, renewables and over £700m in social and affordable housing across the UK.