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HRH The Princess Royal opens flagship student development in Stratford
29 January 2020
The University of London’s Eleanor Rosa House, which stands 33 floors high and features stunning view across the London skyline, has been officially opened by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of London.
The £105 million scheme was forward-funded by the University Partnerships Programme (UPP), the UK’s leading provider of on-campus residential and academic infrastructure. UPP also operates the residences, providing a full facilities management service to the 511 new study bedrooms and communal space.
Investment included £86.8 million of senior debt from Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) and £17.9 million of subordinated debt and equity provided by UPP Group and its Shareholders. Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd. provided a wrap to the 46-year index-linked loan, provided by PIC. It was constructed by the Watkin Jones Group, one of the UK’s leading development companies.
Students, project partners, university employees and members of Newham Council came together to celebrate the official opening on Tuesday 28 January, where Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal unveiled a plaque marking the occasion.
The striking new residence is one of the newest student developments in London. A short walk from the main transport hub in the bustling neighbourhood of Stratford, Eleanor Rosa House represents the second transaction between UPP and the University as a result of a long-term partnership first established in 2013.
Providing an additional 511 study bedrooms and communal space to the University’s residential portfolio, it forms a vital part of the institution’s investment programme to upgrade its intercollegiate accommodation offering and to continue its current trajectory to grow and develop as one of the most significant academic institutions in the country. It responds to a strong demand from students for high-quality accommodation, located close to their place of study.
As part of the University’s ‘Leading Women’ campaign, which last year celebrated the 150th anniversary of women being first admitted to higher education in the UK, the accommodation is named after Eleanor Grove and Rosa Morison, founding principal and vice-principal of College Hall, the University’s first hall of residence for female students.
In 1883, Morison became the University of London’s first ‘Lady Superintendent of Women Students,’ with responsibility for women studying at University College and the London School of Medicine for Women – which had been established in 1874 by Leading Woman Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. Both pioneering women supported the suffrage movement and women’s participation in government and inspired the interior design of the building.
Chris Cobb, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Operations) and Deputy Chief Executive for the University of London, said: “I’m delighted with the addition of Eleanor Rosa House to the University of London’s growing portfolio of student residences. This new building goes some way to alleviating the very high demand for the University’s quality, accessible and affordable student accommodation. I’m similarly delighted that the project was delivered on-time and to budget and would like to thank our partners UPP and Watkin Jones in achieving this. We continue to seek additional sites around London and remain committed to supporting our Member Institutions in enhancing the experience of students in London.”
Jon Wakeford, Group Corporate Affairs Director at UPP, said: “The University of London is a world-renowned institution and this landmark development will provide future generations of students with safe, secure and affordable accommodation of the highest quality in the heart of London. The new development is the result of UPP’s second project with the University, reinforcing our bespoke, long-term partnership with the institution.”
Richard Simpson, CEO of the Watkin Jones Group, said: “We believe in creating great places for students to live, work and relax. We are very proud of Eleanor Rosa House, a scheme that delivers fantastic design, high-quality interiors and an unrivalled array of facilities. I am certain it will provide a great base for generations of students – ensuring they get the very best out of university life.”