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Second charity partnership for student accommodation

04 November 2008

Operon has created its second charity partnership, Chiltern Student Villages, to finance, build and operate new student accommodation for Buckinghamshire New University.

The Student Residences Project, a £32 million, 630 en-suite room scheme, has been created with the University and Bank of Scotland Corporate in a deal that will see the three parties co-own a new development in Hughenden, High Wycombe, for a 35-year period, at the end of which full ownership will revert to the University.

Operon’s first charity partnership with Aston University and Bank of Scotland Corporate, to finance, build and operate 3,000 student rooms, was launched earlier this year. The contract at Buckinghamshire New University starts in January when Operon will take over the facilities management for 400 rooms at existing accommodation, with the remaining 230 to be built during 2009. It is hoped that the new build will offer the scope to further increase the number of new units to 500.

The charitable approach to financing student accommodation, developed by UK Structured Finance, will enable the University to focus its capital resources on the enhancement of its academic and research activities.

Nigel Barker, group finance director, Operon, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this new charity partnership, which will bring tangible benefits to the student experience over the next 35 years. Operon is providing a sustainable whole life solution to maintaining the buildings, and our FM expertise will ensure that the scheme runs smoothly and efficiently.”

Derek Godfrey, deputy vice chancellor of Buckinghamshire New University, added: “Our new student accommodation is part of a major building and refurbishment programme being undertaken by the University. Our partnership with Operon is testament to our innovative approach to providing top quality resources for our students, so that they are able to make the best of the University experience.”

Operon is one of the UK’s leading facilities management, construction and design companies. It employs over 1,200 people and has a turnover in excess of £50million. The Company operates via a number of divisions comprising Facilities Management, Design, Construction, Environmental and Energy Management (GENEX), Catering, Private Finance Partnerships and Central Support, in the United Kingdom and Internationally.

Buckinghamshire New University
Buckinghamshire New University is the only state-funded higher education institution in Buckinghamshire. It has enjoyed a long and successful history since it was founded in 1893.The University offers an extensive portfolio of courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and sub-degree level. It also offers services to industry including contract research, consultancy and the opportunity to employ graduates. The University’s faculties are aligned to employment markets: creative and cultural industries; the management and information management sectors; and the public sector.

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