Developer set to start on university campus site in April

Developer St. Modwen Properties has agreed terms with Swansea University to develop a £150m science and innovation campus.

The firm will develop 700,000ft2 of space including 430,000ft2 of academic space and 899 student apartments. There will also be some retail space on the development.

The project is the first phase of a wider development programme for the 65 acre site.

Bill Oliver, chief executive of St. Modwen, said he expected the project to create a wide variety of jobs in the area. He added: “This is an incredibly exciting project and one that complements our extensive experience in regenerating complex sites.”

The project is being funded by the European Investment Bank, the Welsh government and an unnamed institutional investor, which will buy 50% of the student accommodation.

Detailed planning for the first phase of the development is already in place and outline planning for further phases on the site worth over £300m is also in place.

The project is expected to start on site in April 2013.

The firm also posted its results for the year to 30 November 2012 reporting a rise in pre-tax profit to £52.8m from £51.7m.

Oliver said that London and the South-east remained the strongest markets but that regional work, such as the Swansea project, was available.

He added: “While London and the South-east is the strongest marketplace, the regional recovery of the UK housebuilding market is improving. We are seeing improvement in housing sales, which is due in part to low interest rates, government initiatives to encourage first time buyers and the movement by the banks to offer more flexible mortgage terms.

“However, there is still some way to go before a full recovery starts to set in.”