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Unite Signs Joint Venture with Connaught

11 March 2009

The UNITE Group plc the UK’s leading developer and manager of student accommodation, announces that it has signed a joint venture agreement with Connaught, the integrated services provider, creating UNITE Connaught Services (“UCS”), which will be responsible for providing reactive and planned maintenance services across the UNITE managed estate.

As well as providing an improved service to customers, UNITE expects the Joint Venture to help generate cost savings of approximately £2 million per annum for the Group. The new partnership takes effect from the beginning of May and forms part of the Company’s operational Blueprint programme, which is targeting total costs savings of £10 million across UNITE’s operational portfolio. As part of the programme, the Company has looked at ways to ensure that all support functions are closely aligned to the operational business, with core processes tailored entirely around the needs of customers.

The partnership with Connaught was initiated in 2008, with a trial across London, which led to improved service delivery and significantly reduced costs within UNITE’s reactive and planned maintenance works. With clear service level agreements in place during the trial, first time fixes on maintenance call-outs doubled, with planned maintenance benefiting from improved infrastructure and IT platforms, leading to improved employee productivity.

John Tonkiss, UNITE’s Chief Operating Officer, said:

“The partnership has been set up to align our support functions directly with customer requirements. UCS will deliver a high level of service to our customers, who will benefit from improved technical and maintenance support. We are delighted to be working with Connaught, who we selected as our partner due to their extensive facilities management experience and developed service proposition and IT platforms.
“The partnership will allow us to develop on our collective capabilities with the benefit of expanding the Joint Venture in the future, to create additional income streams through other contracts outside of the UNITE portfolio."

Mark Davies, Chief Executive, Connaught plc, commented:

"We are delighted to be entering into this partnership with UNITE and are excited about the opportunity to work together and deliver a high quality integrated property management and maintenance solution for the student accommodation market."





















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