Go back

Student-village sale will fund Swansea’s £200m science campus

Swansea University has put its largest student residence site up for sale to bring in additional funding for its planned £200 million science and innovation campus.

Estate agent Savills says in a statement that it has been instructed by the university to offer the Hendrefoilan Student Village—which houses around 1,600 students—for sale as a “residential development opportunity”.

No price has yet been put on the site and it will not be available until completion of student accommodation at the new science campus in 2015.

The science campus will be located at Fabian Way, between Neath Port Talbot and Swansea. The university has so far secured £15m in funding from the Welsh government, £15m from the Welsh European Funding Office, £60m from the European Investment Bank Loan facility, and £10m from oil giant BP.

The campus will include an “innovation hub and manufacturing facility” to bring together engineers from academia and industry. It will also offer undergraduate teaching and research facilities, student accommodation, and a materials testing centre, which will carry out testing for Rolls Royce on materials in the aerospace and aero-engine industries.

The university explains on its website that the expansion will offer a chance for companies to engage with the university in certain fields, “focused on the Welsh government priority areas of digital economy, low carbon and advanced engineering”.

Another aim is to boost collaboration across higher and further education institutions to produce “high-calibre graduates who have the industry-relevant skills”.

Iwan Davies, the university’s pro-vice chancellor for external affairs, said in a statement, “These are very exciting times for the university as our ambitious expansion plans are now coming to fruition.”

“We will be creating purpose built student accommodation on the new campus and the sale of Hendrefoilan forms an integral part of our sustainable business plan for financing our campus development, both at the new campus and on Singleton Park,” he added.

Scott Caldwell, a director of Savills in Cardiff, said in a statement that he is expecting “strong interest” from major housebuilders. “Whilst the site will not be available until after completion of the student residence at the new campus in 2015, there is a lot of preparatory work to undertake between now and then and the University has decided to appoint a developer to work with in obtaining the best planning permission for the site.”