Aviva confirms £184 million UPP loan for University of Reading student accommodation project

Article date: 22 December 2011

Aviva Commercial Finance Limited has announced today (22 December 2011) that it has provided senior debt of £184 million to Universities Partnership Programme (UPP) for a student accommodation project at the University of Reading. The project is a long-term partnership for the operation and management of Reading’s student accommodation with UPP, the UK’s leading provider of campus infrastructure and residential management services.

The University will enter into a long-term project agreement with UPP, based on the standard form of contract for Private Finance Initiative projects. Under the terms of the agreement, UPP will manage 4,321 student bedrooms as well as the University accommodation office, in what is the largest single private sector residential investment into a UK university to date.

In addition to the 816 rooms that UPP already manage it will take over operation of 2,610 rooms of existing accommodation on 9 January 2012, followed by a further 898 rooms currently under construction at Childs Hall in summer 2012.

Kevin Sale, commercial finance director at Aviva, said: “We are really pleased to have been able to extend our lending to the student accommodation sector on this project. We are happy to be involved in this significant upgrade of the accommodation facilities, working with such a well regarded University as Reading and an experienced campus management service company in UPP. Aviva Commercial Finance provide long term, fixed rate debt across a number of sectors and whilst we have an appetite to fund further schemes of this type, these will be on a limited and selective basis.”

Professor Tony Downes, acting vice-chancellor of the University of Reading, said: “The University of Reading has been working with UPP for over a decade and we are delighted
that this relationship will now extend to managing the University’s entire on-campus student accommodation. Importantly for the University of Reading, at a time when the funding model for higher education is undergoing a radical change, this deal will allow us to concentrate our investment in research and teaching facilities while continuing to provide our students with high-quality accommodation.”

Sean O’Shea, chief executive of UPP, said: “We’re delighted to be working with such a forward looking institution as the University of Reading – with its strong strategy and clear vision for the future. This deals shows that the Higher Education sector is bucking the trend, and is an attractive opportunity for investors.”

Mills and Reeve LLP acted as legal advisers For Aviva Commercial Finance.


If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:
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Aviva Press Office
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Notes to editors:

Aviva is the world’s sixth largest* insurance group. We provide 44.5 million customers with insurance, savings and investment products with total worldwide sales in 2010 of £47.1 billion**.

We are the UK’s largest insurer with over 14 million customers. Our combination of life, health and general insurance is unique in its scale and breadth in the UK market.  Customers can choose to buy our products through intermediaries, our corporate partners or from Aviva direct and we have become the partner of choice for many of the UK’s biggest organisations. 

We are ranked as one of the UK’s top 10 most valuable brands and Aviva plc are in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. In 2010 we invested £4.3 million into our communities in the UK, which included 1,500 Aviva volunteers giving 24,000 hours for good causes. In addition, our employees gave £600,000 through fundraising and donating. Read our corporate responsibility report at www.aviva.com/2010cr.

Aviva is working in partnership with Railway Children through the Aviva Street to School programme to get children living or working on UK streets back into everyday life. Find out more at www.aviva.co.uk/street-to-school.

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* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2010.
** at 31 December 2010.

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