OakNorth Bank completes £36M loan for acquisition of seven student accommodation sites


iceni property

OakNorth Bank, the UK bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, has provided a £36M loan to Clearbell.

The capital from OakNorth Bank will be used to fund seven PBSA sites in the popular student cities of Aberdeen and Southampton, offering over 1,800 bedrooms for residents.

Six of the seven sites, offering a total of 1,050 bedrooms, are located in Aberdeen and are situated in close proximity to both the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University.

The Southampton site, named Lucia Foster Welch, offers residents 809 bedrooms, across six separate buildings and is situated next to the city’s popular Ocean Village.

Recently fully refurbished by Clearbell, the site is located a short walk from Solent University and only four miles from the University of Southampton’s main campus.

All sites will be managed by Iceni Property Asset Management, which has a proven track record of delivering high-quality student accommodation schemes across the UK.

Set up in 2018 by Founding Director and CEO, Matthew McAdden, the firm delivers reliable development management, property management, and asset advisory services in the student accommodation sector.

Matthew McAdden, Founding Director and CEO of Iceni Property, commented on the transaction:

“The assets in Aberdeen and Southampton are in excellent locations for students attending the city’s four main universities, and we fully expect demand for them to be high.

With student numbers increasing across the board, the team will be playing an important role in managing highly sought-after PBSAs in two of the UK’s popular student destinations.

We have extensive experience in managing student accommodation in the university sector, and this same level of expertise was reflected by the team at OakNorth in regard to their lending approach”

Deepesh Thakrar, Senior Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, added:

“Clearbell is a strong business with ambitious plans for the future. Its funding requirements gave us another opportunity to once again work with a high-quality institutional investor, as well as a very experienced student operator in Iceni Property.

The student accommodation sector was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, we’re now seeing large university towns and cities bouncing back strongly, following evidenced uptake for the coming student year, as the market returns to normal with in-person lectures and seminars.

We look forward to working closely with Matthew and his team on future projects moving forward.”