As part of the arrangement, Watkin Jones has entered into a development funding agreement with M&G, under which it will receive £68.5m for the development works which it is to carry out. Construction is set to start on site immediately, with completion targeted for 2021.
Watkin Jones said that the Reading development agreement represented an important additional opportunity for its build to rent strategy, alongside its own growing pipeline of sites. The company is in control of five build-to-rent development sites and remains in negotiations on several other development opportunities. It expects to deliver more than 1,500 units in the next five years.
Chief executive Mark Watkin Jones said: "We are delighted to have been chosen to work with M&G and Lochailort to deliver this high specification build to rent scheme in Reading. It is particularly pleasing that our partners recognised our development expertise and we see this as a catalyst to securing more build to rent development opportunities. The development agreement for the Reading scheme replicates the delivery elements of our student accommodation model and, alongside the excellent visibility in our student accommodation development business, reinforces our confidence in our business model and the markets in which we operate."