abrdn invests in University of Sussex student accommodation

21 February 2024

abrdn has invested £110m on behalf of Phoenix and £13m on behalf of ILID, its Index-Linked Infrastructure Debt Fund, in West Slope Residencies Finance Limited (West Slope – ‘the project’) - a partnership between the University of Sussex and Balfour Beatty Investments. The West Slope project will design, construct and maintain c.1,900 new units of student accommodation at the heart of the University’s campus in Falmer, north of Brighton.

The units, arranged as en-suite cluster flats, townhouses and family apartments, will be built over three phases. The project is aiming to achieve a BREEAM Excellent accreditation and includes several climate-friendly solutions including 1,500 sq m of solar panels, green roofs and grey water recycling. In addition to the residential units, the project also includes a Health & Wellbeing Centre, which will include a doctor and dental practice, a supermarket and café.

The project structure is based on and located adjacent to the successful East Slope project, which started to accept students in 2021 and in which abrdn is also an investor. The University of Sussex currently have around 14,000 students in need of housing and forecast this to rise to 17,000 when the West Slope development is expected to complete in April 2028. 

Matt Hamilton-Glover, investment manager, abrdn, said: “We’re delighted to continue to support the University of Sussex’s growth plans, this being the second project we have invested in, offering long-term, inflation-linked returns to our investors. This kind of investment is crucial given the structural undersupply of quality student housing in the UK. The project’s ambition to achieve a BREEAM Excellent accreditation underpins our commitment at abrdn to provide sustainable real estate solutions."

Manuel Dusina, Head of Infrastructure, Phoenix Group, commented: “We’re delighted to expand our portfolio in the student accommodation sector via our investment at the University of Sussex. In the UK, the need for more quality, affordable university student accommodation couldn’t be greater, and this investment provides long-term stable cash flows to match our annuity liabilities, whilst also supporting the sector.” 


Media enquiries

Debbie Cowe,

Media Relations Manager, abrdn


+44 (0) 7711 774017

Notes to editors

About abrdn

  • abrdn is a global investment company that helps clients and customers plan, save and invest for the future. Our purpose is to enable our clients to be better investors. 
  • abrdn manages and administers £495bn of assets for clients (as at 31 December 2023).
  • Our strategy is to deliver client-led growth. We are structured around three businesses – Investments, Adviser and Personal – focused on their changing needs.
  • The capabilities in our Investments business are built on the strength of our insight – generated from wide-ranging research, worldwide investment expertise and local market knowledge.
  • Our teams collaborate across regions, asset classes and specialisms, connecting diverse perspectives and working with clients to identify investment opportunities that suit their needs.
  • As at 31 December 2023, our Investments business manages £367bn on behalf of clients - including insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, independent wealth managers, pension funds, platforms, banks and family offices.