Student accommodation remains a burgeoning asset with new £214.6M club deal from NatWest, HSBC UK and Barclays

  • Banks split funding equally at around £71.5m
  • New projects will be in Coventry, Manchester & London
  • Banks are lending to Downing Group to develop the student accommodation deal

NatWest, HSBC UK and Barclays have today revealed details of a £214.6m deal for Liverpool-based Downing Group, with the privately-owned real estate investment, development and management firm set to develop three student housing schemes in Coventry, Manchester and London.

The student accommodation deal, which represents 65% of the total development costs, will go towards the construction of 2,201 beds across the three cities and will add to Downing Group’s already-extensive presence in the market.

Downing Group is one of the most mature developers and investors in the UK student accommodation market, with landmark schemes under management in the UK’s most prestigious student cities. The company has a portfolio of over £1.1 billion and has developed over 12,000 student bedrooms across the UK. It has nomination agreements in place with leading UK universities including King’s College London, the University of Leeds and the University of Warwick.

“Student accommodation remains a hugely attractive sector. The UK continues to house some of the best universities in the world, consistently attracting both domestic and international students. The demand for high-quality accommodation is a constant and we’re delighted to be working with Downing Group to help satisfy the need.

“Coventry, Manchester and London are all fantastic cities and we’re proud to be able to help facilitate the development of premium accommodation for the student population.”

Hugh MacDonald

Director, Real Estate Finance at NatWest

The developments, which will be at Belgrade Plaza in Coventry, River Street in Manchester and Miles Street in London, are all under construction currently with proposed completion dates of August 2019, July 2020 and July 2021 respectively.

Kevin Dawson, HSBC UK’s Relationship Director for Housing, said: “We’ve worked with Downing Group since 2009 and seen it grow from two to three schemes per year to an enviable six to eight over that period. These three developments will make fine additions to Downing’s already diverse portfolio and we look forward to supporting the Group as it continues to significantly scale up its presence in the UK.”

Ross Mackay, Director, Barclays Real Estate Finance, commented: “It’s great to expand our relationship with Downing Group by supporting them on three excellent schemes which will bring high quality student accommodation to Coventry, Manchester and London. We look forward to continuing to work together and helping them create vibrant student communities across the UK.”

“This agreement offers a tangible indication of the level of confidence our portfolio inspires and will support the Group as we transition into our next phase of growth. Demand for high-quality student accommodation remains high and Downing Group continues to go from strength to strength, building on our market-leading portfolio, outstanding reputation, and strong presence across the UK’s leading cities.”

Simon Garnett

Financial Director of Downing Group

Notes to Editors

For further information and interviews, please contact Chris Wilson in the NatWest press office: / +44 (0) 20 7672 0457

About NatWest

NatWest serves customers in England and Wales, supporting them with their personal, private, and business banking needs. NatWest helps customers at all stages in their lives, from opening student accounts, to buying their first home, setting up a business and saving for retirement.

Alongside a wide range of banking services, NatWest offers businesses specialist sector knowledge in areas such as manufacturing and technology, as well as access to specialist entrepreneurial support.

About Barclays

Barclays is a transatlantic consumer and wholesale bank with global reach, offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management, with a strong presence in our two home markets of the UK and the US.

With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 40 countries and employs approximately 85,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.


HSBC UK serves around 14.5 million customers across the UK, supported by 32,000 colleagues. HSBC UK offers a complete range of retail banking and wealth management to personal and private banking customers, as well as commercial banking for small to medium businesses and large corporates.

HSBC UK Bank plc is a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, which is part of the HSBC Group – one of the world’s largest banking and financial services groups with assets of US$2,603bn at 30 September 2018. Linked by advanced technology, the HSBC Group serves customers worldwide from around 3,800 offices in 66 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa.