Future Generation completes its first PBSA scheme

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Student accommodation specialist Future Generation has successfully completed its first PBSA scheme — the £25 million Hythe Mills project in Colchester, Essex.

The scheme is a model of what top tier student accommodation will offer well into the future, with shared spaces designed to encourage social interaction and healthy lifestyles.

The developer can also reveal today that ‘Hythe Mills’, constructed by Kier, was fully pre-let in February amid intense local competition for high-quality student accommodation.

The complex in Hawkins Road boasts 229 bedrooms, an interactive fitness studio and a riverside networking hub. The fitness suite is equipped with virtual training programs including Spin, Body Pump and Body Combat, and is delivered in partnership with world-leading group fitness specialist Les Mills.

London-based architect Levitt Bernstein created a mix of en-suite rooms and studios across the scheme’s riverfront setting with landscaped grounds fronting the River Colne in the centre of the town. Two thirds of the rooms have been let at affordable levels below market rents.

Future Generation — the PBSA arm of developer Southern Grove – delivered the scheme as a joint venture with Tadhamon Capital.

All tenants, most of whom attend the University of Essex, benefit from Future Generation’s partnership with Samsung which sees Samsung digital appliances, TVs and air conditioning installed in every room.

In 2017, Future Generation embarked on an ambitious mission to build 10,000 student beds in five years, while simultaneously raising the quality of affordable student homes. To date, the firm has a pipeline of approximately 5,000 student beds.

Andrew Southern, Chairman of Southern Grove and Future Generation, commented:

“I’m incredibly proud of this development. It’s the first of a number of student developments we are working on and it’s also the first project we’ve done with Samsung.

“The quality of the accommodation offered is second to none and we’re leaving clear water between us and the competition.

“We absolutely refuse to create schemes that aren’t design led, and Hythe Mills is a thing of beauty. We are determined that we are not going to end up among the ranks of developers whose buildings are pointed out in 30 years’ time as examples of hasty mistakes created by accountants. It’s all about the environment and an architectural legacy, as much as turning a profit.”