The 146-apartment complex is being developed by Hillstone Developments, which secured planning permission for the project, but had difficulty in sourcing finance from mainstream banks in Scotland.
Broker Goodman Corporate Finance stepped in and introduced Secure Trust to the project, who were ultimately able to provide the funding needed.
David Cunningham, head of real estate finance, north, at Secure Trust Bank, said: “This funding deal was our first venture in Scotland and builds on our growing capability in the purpose-built student accommodation sector, where we have a real appetite for good schemes.
“We worked closely with Goodman Corporate Finance in structuring the funding, which has enabled Hillstone to develop a brown field site. We are looking to do many more schemes in Scotland.”
The site of the planned apartments had previously been used for industrial purposes, but the area was becoming increasingly residential, according to Hillstone owner, Paul Hepburn.
“We wanted to increase the value of the site and turn it into something more appropriate for the area,” he said.
“Goodman took a look at the project and looked at the funding we needed,” said Hepburn. “They came up with two or three potential funders and we began negotiations with Secure Trust.”
Aware of the support for accommodation for students of Edinburgh University among the local authorities, Goodman saw the potential for the project.
“We could see this was a strong project proposal and wanted to make sure the right funding package was in place,” said Robert Daw, Goodman Corporate Finance associate. “It was a complex deal but we knew that Secure Trust were looking for large funding opportunities and that they were keen to expand into new areas.”
“At the moment there aren’t many lenders who are able to fund large schemes in Scotland, but we have more than 200 funders available to us and so can access a huge range of flexible funding options to come up with the right match for each client. We hope this will be the first of many new opportunities north of the border.”