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Thu September 19 2019

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Engie on board for £200m Leicester student halls revamp

31 Jul Engie has secured more than £200m worth of construction work to build new student accommodation at the University of Leicester.

Seven new towers will be built at Freemen’s Common
Seven new towers will be built at Freemen’s Common

Existing student halls at Freemen’s Common are being pulled down, having reached the end of their life. In their place, Engie will build seven blocks to house 1,164 students.

Engie will also build a 500-space multi-storey car park and a 9,000m2 Teaching & Learning Centre.

The Grade II listed Freemen’s Cottages will be refurbished to provide office and study space.

The project is being led by Freemens Common Village LLP, a special purpose vehicle led by Equitix that has been set up to design, build, fund, manage and operate the project for University of Leicester. Engie is taking an equity stake in the project, alongside Equitix and the university, and has a 50-year hard facilities management and lifecycle contract.

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Demolition work began in the spring. Building work is likely to commence in September 2019 and will take three years to complete

Martin Smithurst, chief operating officer of Engie’s Places & Communities Division (North), said: “This is a prime project for Engie, as it’s one of the few occasions where we get to showcase our broad capabilities in placemaking. These contracts not only allow us to demonstrate our expertise across energy, services and regeneration but provide us with the opportunity to apply our long-term investment model, by taking an equity stake in the scheme.  This assures our partners and students of our long-term commitment to Leicester and its university.

“We have delivered several similar higher education projects across the country and we’re delighted to be working with the University of Leicester, as well as Equitix, on such a remarkable scheme that will create a lasting legacy in Leicester.”

Major projects director Jake Fellows added: “Working collaboratively with the University, Equitix and the wider stakeholder group, including funders and the city council, we have been able to effectively design and mobilise this extremely exciting project. This development will deliver a significant regeneration of the Freemens Common site, providing market-leading accommodation for the university to support their recruitment strategy, as well as demonstrating the capability and experience of our team and supply chain to respond to complex projects of this nature.”

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