Watkin Jones, the UK's leading developer and manager of residential for rent, announces that it has exchanged contracts for the forward fund of a new 260 bed PBSA (‘Purpose Built Student Accommodation’) development at Gas Lane in Bristol to Hines, acquiring on behalf of the Hines European Property Partners Fund (‘HEPP’).

The agreed sale will represent the first transaction with Hines, the global real estate investment, development, and property manager.

The site will provide much needed student housing amidst the chronic and ongoing housing shortage across the UK, including Bristol, and will be completed in time for the start of the 2025/26 academic year.  As part of Bristol Temple Quarter, one of the UK’s largest urban regeneration zones, it will transform the current brownfield site into a vibrant new student community, creating 219 en-suite cluster bedrooms and 41 self-contained studios, helping to support the new University of Bristol Temple Quarter campus. Residents will be able to enjoy a communal lounge and further amenities including a landscaped roof terrace, to relax and socialise.

It is ideally located adjacent to the University of Bristol’s new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus with the main Bristol train station, Temple Meads, less than half a mile away, offering transport links to London Paddington and Oxford in approximately 90 minutes and to Bath in 10 minutes.

Additionally, Bristol Temple Meads provides transport to other areas of the city. Castle Park, Cabot Circus and The Galleries Shopping Centre are located a ten-minute walk, providing a large range of shops, restaurants, bars, pubs, gyms and green spaces. Harbourside is a vibrant neighbourhood centred around the Bristol Feeder Canal and is located close to the development also.

In support of the Group’s strong ESG credentials, the scheme will be targeting BREEAM Excellent, alongside WiredScore Silver. The development design ensures that cyclists can enjoy 84 bicycle parking spaces. Furthermore, biodiverse roof areas, integrated bird and bat boxes and wildlife friendly landscaped areas and planting, will feature throughout the development. At least 80% of non-hazardous and demolition waste generated throughout the construction lifecycle will be re-used or recycled.

George Dyer, Group Investment Director of Watkin Jones, said: “We are delighted to be working with Hines on this exciting opportunity. Bristol continues to be one of the UK’s leading PBSA markets with two highly performing institutions. This scheme will play a key part in helping to address the ongoing shortage in student accommodation, and I’m pleased that Watkin Jones is bringing forward much needed modern PBSA, offering strong ESG credentials to this vibrant student city.”

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Notes to Editors

Watkin Jones is the UK's leading developer and manager of residential for rent, with a focus on the build to rent, student accommodation and affordable housing sectors. The Group has strong relationships with institutional investors, and a reputation for successful, on-time-delivery of high-quality developments. Since 1999, Watkin Jones has delivered over 49,000 student beds across 147 schemes, making it a key player and leader in the UK purpose-built student accommodation market, and is increasingly expanding its operations into the build to rent sector. In addition, Fresh, the Group's specialist accommodation management business, manages over 16,800 student beds and build to rent apartments on behalf of its institutional clients. Watkin Jones has also been responsible for over 50 residential developments, ranging from starter homes to executive housing and apartments.

The Group's competitive advantage lies in its experienced management team and capital-light business model, which enables it to offer an end-to-end solution for investors, delivered entirely in-house with minimal reliance on third parties, across the entire life cycle of an asset.

Watkin Jones was admitted to trading on AIM in March 2016 with the ticker WJG.L. For additional information please visit www.watkinjonesplc.com

About Hines:

Hines is a global real estate investment, development and property manager. The firm was founded by Gerald D. Hines in 1957 and now operates in 30 countries. We manage a €87B¹ portfolio of high-performing assets across residential, logistics, retail, office, and mixed-use strategies. Our local teams serve 790 properties totaling 25 million square metres globally. We are committed to a net zero carbon target by 2040 without buying offsets. To learn more about Hines, visit www.hines.com and follow @Hines on social media.

¹Includes both the global Hines organization as well as RIA AUM as of June 30, 2023.

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