£160 Million Scheme Proves Rewarding For Faithful+Gould

Dale Potts
Faithful+Gould is celebrating a new milestone on Catalyst Higher Education’s £160 million Private Finance Initiative project to build and manage a student village for the University of Sheffield following financial close being reached.

Faithful+Gould Consult, the business within Faithful+Gould which provides specialist, strategic services to clients in a number of areas including project finance, risk management and contract analysis, was supported by teams from other offices of Faithful+Gould as well as parent company Atkins, whilst undertaking a due diligence review of the project on behalf of Financial Security Assurance.

The project will be undertaken by Catalyst Higher Education (Sheffield) plc, a consortium formed by Bovis Lend Lease and HSBC using finance provided from a bond issue guaranteed by Financial Security Assurance.

The scheme, which will be carried out over a three year period, involves the re-development of the Endcliffe and Ranmoor sites in the west of Sheffield. Set in an affluent residential area of the city, the campus comprises of halls of residence built from Victorian times through to the 1960s and 1970s as well as a number of Victorian villas which had previously been converted to provide accommodation.

Work which commenced in late 2005 under an Early Works Agreement, is being undertaken over four phases and will include the refurbishment of 400 existing rooms, the demolition of some existing accommodation as well as the provision of residential apartment buildings comprising of approximately 3,600 new rooms, together with social and welfare facilities for students.

Regional director David Nicholson commented, "Faithful+Gould has extensive experience of working on high profile projects with higher education establishments and because of this we are able to offer a real insight to the challenges in this sector, equipping us to meet and exceed our client’s requirements. "We place great importance upon fostering excellent working relationships with our project partners and this scheme represents the third major project in which Faithful+Gould has provided technical advisory services for Financial Security Assurance. It is also the eighth scheme in which we have worked in close conjunction with a Bovis Lend Lease company."

Construction works on the scheme will be undertaken by Bovis Lend Lease as part of a design and build contract with Catalyst. Upon the scheme’s completion, Vita Lend Lease, a part of the Bovis Lend Lease group will provide hard maintenance services to the accommodation over a 40 year period. The University will continue to provide cleaning, catering and pastoral care services, and will market the accommodation to students on behalf of Catalyst.

Doug Fletcher, project director of Bovis Lend Lease, said: "Bovis Lend Lease is currently involved in a number of education sector projects at some of the most well known and respected education establishments in the country and we are delighted to be working so closely with Faithful+Gould on this scheme. I am very much looking forward to seeing the project upon its completion in autumn 2009."

Dr David Fletcher, registrar and secretary at the University of Sheffield, added: "This major project is a demonstration of the University’s commitment to our students. By improving our existing accommodation and building new facilities, we will consolidate and strengthen the University’s international status, attracting students, staff and investment in both the University and the city."