Student property company Purple Frog has signed a contract with PFHD Worcester to build a 149-bedroom Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) scheme.
Due for completion in the summer of 2020, the project will reinvigorate the iconic Grade II listed building on Henwick Road, preserving the historic Gothic-façade while revamping and extending the interior to include a gym, study facilities, communal spaces, en-suite rooms and studio flats.
The project will add to Purple Frog’s portfolio, extending its presence beyond Birmingham, Nottingham, and Bristol, where it already manages properties for over 2,500 students.
The decision to build in Worcester comes as students continue to flock to its University at a higher rate than the national average.
As it stands, the University of Worcester currently subcontracts 500-bed spaces in the private sector, as has a lack of accommodation to supply its students.
This latest development will tackle this problem head-on, providing self-contained university accommodation, which in turn will reduce the strain on local residential properties.
Purple Frog managing director Patrick Garratt, commented: “This is an incredibly exciting time for us at Purple Frog, as Worcester is a city we’ve had our eye on for a while now.
“Its prominent student population and its growing recognition as one of the region’s leading higher-education institutions mean that there has never been a more exciting time to get involved with the university.
“There is clearly demand for high-quality student accommodation and we’re looking forward to meeting that demand and providing a proper level of service to the tenants, the landlords, the investors and being good neighbours within the local community.”
Both PFHD Worcester and Purple Frog are working closely with the Planning and Conservation Officer for Worcester City Council, as well as the planning consultants Malcolm Scott Consultants Ltd and DJD Architects, to ensure that the history of the building is maintained.
James Pugh from DJD Architects said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to secure the future of one of Worcester’s most notable Victorian buildings while at the same time contributing to the growing success of the university.
“The investment in the historic fabric made possible by the contribution of additional new accommodation will put the building in good shape for many years to come.
“It will be rewarding to see the building continue to help shape the lives of the young people who pass through its doors, as it has done for more than 150 years already.”
The Worcester site is still awaiting planning permission and a drop-in public consultation has been scheduled to take place at the YMCA later this month.
The consultation is 3pm-6pm on Thursday 21st December, held at the YMCA building, Henwick Road, Worcester.
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