Student halls developer Empiric restarts stalled schemes

Grant Prior 2 years ago
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Developer Empiric Student Property is restarting  work on two accommodation schemes which were mothballed during the Covid pandemic.

The firm confirmed to the city today that work would recommence on schemes in Southampton and Bristol to create a  total of 385 student beds.

A decision on restarting a third stalled scheme in Canterbury will be made later this year.

Empiric said: “After a detailed review of the associated costs and benefits, we have recommenced development work on the Southampton and Bristol developments.

“We will review the Canterbury development in October 2020 once we have gained planning on a second phase of the build and have greater certainty around our income for the 2020/21 academic year.”

The announcement came as Empiric posted a pre-tax loss of £14.4m for first half of 2020 compared to a £28.8m profit last time.

Chairman Mark Pain said: “We are confident that we have a business which will be able to work through the current pandemic and provide a platform for growth moving forward.

“The attractive fundamentals of increasing structural demand from both domestic and international students for premium, responsibly managed student accommodation focused in high demand UK towns and cities remains strong, whilst the supply of such accommodation continues to be restricted.

“Combined with the Company’s robust balance sheet, differentiated well located portfolio focused on premium studio-led and smaller buildings with rooms predominantly direct-let, and the benefits of our operational transformation continuing to strengthen, we see significant opportunities for the Group to grow and deliver value to our stakeholders despite the short-term uncertainty.”

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