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Empiric commits to forward funded development in Birmingham: The Emporium

2nd September 2016

The Board of Empiric Student Property plc (ticker: ESP), the owner and operator of premium student accommodation across the UK, is pleased to announce that the Group has entered into a forward funding arrangement with Linford CZero Ltd to develop a 185 bedroom scheme, The Emporium, in central Birmingham for a total investment of £19.53 million.

The project comprises the redevelopment of a complex of Grade II listed buildings and construction of a contemporary new 15 storey tower. The premium student accommodation scheme will include a mix of studios, duplex apartments and one, two and three bedroom apartments with communal spaces including a gym, cinema, library, games and work rooms, laundry facilities and a garden terrace on the third floor.

In addition, there are three ground and basement level commercial units which have consent for food and drink outlets and will be retained by the developer on a long leasehold basis.

The Emporium is located in central Birmingham, immediately adjacent to the new city centre campus of Birmingham City University and on the edge of the new Eastside City Park.  Aston University and Birmingham Metropolitan College are both under 5 minutes' walk from the property which is also within easy walking distance of the Bullring shopping centre and Birmingham New Street train station.

Linford CZero Ltd, which is undertaking the Group's Welsh Baptist Chapel development in Manchester, will be responsible for the development of The Emporium.  The full amount required for the development will be invested in stages against development milestones.

This acquisition is the Group's third investment in Birmingham and, once complete, will take the number of beds owned by the Group in the city to 368.  The scheme will be marketed and managed through the Hello Student® operating platform and is expected to be delivered in spring 2018, in time for the 2018/19 academic year.

Paul Hadaway, Chief Executive of Empiric Student Property plc, commented:

"This property is the Company's third acquisition in Birmingham and will enable the Group to target students from Birmingham City University and Aston University in addition to the University of Birmingham.  Birmingham is a vibrant city with the highest student population outside of London with over 61,000 full-time higher education students.  The Group's two existing properties have a strong lettings history and this acquisition is in line with Empiric's investment criteria."

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The Empiric plc management team has a long track record in the acquisition, development and management of student accommodation assets in the UK.

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