Leading student property company Purple Frog is progressing with plans to convert a Grade II listed building on Henwick Road, following unanimous backing from Worcester City Council’s Planning Committee. Following an initial contract with PFHD Worcester, the green light will see the creation of 147-bedroom Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA), expected to be complete by summer 2020. Including a gym, a cinema room, study facilities, laundry service, communal spaces, en-suite rooms and 42 studio flats, the complex is built with Worcester’s growing student community in mind.

What’s more, the project prioritises the preservation of the High Victorian Gothic-façade: the well-known existing building was built in 1868 and the new design intends to keep this rich historical heritage at the forefront of the build.The project will be the latest addition to Purple Frog’s impressive portfolio, extending its presence beyond Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Loughborough, and Nottingham. This saw Purple Frog let 4,300 bedrooms to students during the 17/18 academic year.

Worcester has an ever-increasing representation as a student metropolis, with its current cohort of over 10,000 students, along with the numberof people applying to the University of Worcester growing at a much higher rate than the national average. This has hugely contributed to the West Midlands’ higher education institutions total of £2.2billion to the regional GVA.

Speaking about the development and Purple Frog’s plans moving forward, Managing Director Patrick Garratt, commented:

“We’re delighted that we have had this development unanimously approved by Worcester City Council’s Planning Committee; it’s tremendously heartening to know that those in the city have seen the benefits of the project and are supporting us to see it into fruition. The Henwick private halls will provide the best quality accommodation to enable students to make the most of their time at the University of Worcester. Purple Frog is excited to have the opportunity to create a thriving community of students, close to the university, optimising their time in this great city.”

As it stands, the University of Worcester currently subcontracts 500 bed spaces in the private sector, as it does not have enough accommodation to supply its students. This latest development will tackle this problem head on, providing self-contained university accommodation, which in turn equally reduces the strain on local residential properties.

“Worcester is on the cusp of becoming a hive of higher education activity; but with this boost comes demand for student-specific housing, to mitigate the demand on landlords and local residents alike. With this in mind, Purple Frog is proud to be helping to fix this problem. We’re looking forward to meeting the demand and providing a proper level of service to the tenants, the landlords, the investors and being good neighbours within the local community,” added Patrick.

The site has a rich history, as a former orphanage and more recently, the site of the YMCA. Both PFHD Worcester and Purple Frog have been 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 will be kept alive, preserving its significance to the city in the process. Each party will now collaboratively begin the next steps, which will see work begin on the technical design and delivery programme for the site in time for University of Worcester’s 2020/21 intake.

For more information about the project, Purple Frog, or the work it does, head to: www.purplefrogproperty.com.

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