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Guildford Borough Council Plans £81 million Student Accommodation Investment

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Guildford Borough Council is looking to invest more than £81 million of taxpayers' money into student housing.

The council is looking to make a huge investment over a three-year period, even though it faces significant financial challenges.

Although plans haven't been finalised, it's understood the council has entered into talks with the University of Surrey.

The council's investment strategy will likely be approved next week, describes plans to invest around £81 million in student housing by 2020-2021. However, to achieve this the council has recognised it would need to borrow £419 million, if all its investment plans are approved.

According to the council, it is exploring options to address a well-documented shortage of student housing and would expect to generate an income stream from potential investments made.

A council spokesman said: "The council recognises the need for more student accommodation to help manage pressure in the local housing market.

"Many people told us in their local plan consultation responses that specific and more affordable accommodation was needed for students in the borough.

"We are exploring options as to how we can help with this and no decisions or detailed business case has been made."

Even though Guildford Borough Council accepts there is a shortage of student accommodation it rejected plans last November to build 520 student flats in Walnut Tree, for which it was criticised.