Derwent FM secures university management contract

FACILITIES management company Derwent FM has been appointed to a £65m, 1,414-bed student accommodation scheme.

The Harrogate-based company, which has a turnover of £6.5m and employs 254 people, has won the contract for the University of Essex scheme, after its recent appointment as preferred bidder for the 3,000-bed scheme at the University of Hertfordshire. The company will provide facilities management services at the University of Essex for 50 years beginning in July 2013 as part of Uliving – the consortium made up of major developer Bouygues Development and Derwent FM’s parent company, not-for-profit accommodation operator Derwent Living – which will provide equity into the scheme.

Derwent FM, which declined to disclose the value of the contract, will provide accommodation management, tenancy management, security, cleaning, helpdesk, maintenance and full life-cycle responsibilities.

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The scheme comprises 648 new student units and the transfer of 766 existing ones.

The new build part of the scheme, known as The Meadows, will accommodate 228 students in 12-bed town houses along with a further 420 en-suite study bedrooms in clusters. It will also include ‘The Hub’, a pavilion that will house a student common room, a launderette and a ‘grab-and-go’ retail facility.

Martin Corbett, managing director of Derwent FM and director of residential services of Uliving, said: “Our aim is to work in true long-term partnership with the University of Essex to foster a community spirit and enhance the student experience by the quality of the buildings and the services we deliver.

“We very much look forward to working with the university to achieve this aim and to provide students with a great place to live.”

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Peter Church, director of campus services, University of Essex, said: “The combination of Bouygues Development’s extensive building and project management experience and Derwent Living’s track record of managing accommodation will ensure The Meadows meets the needs of our students.”

Derwent Living re-invests 75 per cent of Derwent FM’s profits from student services and facilities management activity into developing new properties and maintaining its existing housing stock. It has a total asset value of more than £400m.