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Student accommodation commercial delivery advice

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The Challenge

The University of York required advice to assist with its decision-making for the delivery of two new colleges together providing over 1,200 key bed spaces at its Heslington East campus.

The Solution

Cushman & Wakefield provided advice in the following areas:
  • Establishing the financial and qualitative metrics to describe the University’s requirements and options to meet these;
  • the potential impact of each option upon the University’s balance sheet and P&L accounts;
  • testing in the financial options to determine the most effective means of funding a new scheme;
  • procurement implications; and
  • exploring how to get best value from managing the student residential portfolio whilst maintaining or enhancing its appeal to students.
  • Our advice considered the wider implication for the University in the context of its overall student residences provision.

The Results

Cushman & Wakefield’s Public Sector Advisory team used standard development appraisal modelling to first understand critical factors relating to scheme viability. This allowed a feasibility study to be carried out incorporating the assumptions underpinning the new college developments.

We were able to robustly test a range of approaches against the University’s preferred criteria addressing how best to structure a transaction to ensure its commercial success and satisfactory outcome for the University.

We provided the University with a clear understanding of its requirement within the context of its overall residences portfolio and clear guidance to procuring and managing the next phases of residences.


Andrew TC Smith

Andrew TC Smith,
Head of Public Sector Advisory,
Senior Director
+44 (0)113 233 7306



Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones,
Director, Education & Student Residential
+44 (0) 161 235 7650



For more information on the service(s) provided as part of this case study, please visit the Public Sector Advisory team pages.


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