The Unite Group has announced that it has secured the purchase of land in Newcastle upon Tyne to build new student accommodation.

Located near to both Newcastle University and Northumbria University the site spread over 200,000 sq ft and has a total development cost of £31 million. Unite plans to build a 600-room student halls which will go alongside the four properties the company already owns serving both of the city's major universities. Its current portfolio contains over 1,000 beds and has allowed both institutes to expand.

The new development will provide everything that the typical student could ask for including communal space, en-suite cluster rooms as well Wi-Fi internet and LED lighting. Unite stated that the design of its new accommodation is aimed at enhancing students' living and learning experience.

Richard Simpson, managing director for property at the company, explained the decision to build more student accommodation in Newcastle comes as the government plans on removing the student number cap in 2015. He believes that this could spark an increase in enrolments, growing by up to 12 per cent.

Speaking about Unite's purchase, Mr Simpson said: "This acquisition marks good progress with Unite's selective regional development programme and is a prime example of how we are investing the proceeds from our 2013 share placing; it is in an excellent central location, well positioned for both Newcastle's universities and in a market we expect to experience continued growth."

The company has earmarked 2016 for an opening date meaning that it will be ready for the start of the 2016/17 academic year. It will provide yet more choice for students looking to study in the north-east city.

Both Newcastle and Northumbria have been significantly upgrading their offering to undergraduate and postgraduate students. The latter opened a new £30 million sports facility in 2010 while Newcastle unveiled The Business School opposite St James' Park in 2011.

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