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Build to rent plan for old Dundee College site wins £20m investment

The vision for the development on the old Dundee College campus.
The vision for the development on the old Dundee College campus.

The developer behind plans to transform a former Dundee College campus in Dundee into more than 100 flats has received a £20 million equity investment.

Edinburgh-based property developers Whiteburn is planning the build-to-rent development on the campus, which has been derelict since 2011.

The firm has submitted a planning application for the development, which will be branded VOX, for 111 one to two bedroom apartments.

In addition the group hopes to provide 24 short stay apartments for holiday or business use, together with a café, laundrette, cinema/entertainment space, gym/studio, residents’ lounge, private dining and co-working space.

The £20m equity investment was secured by real estate advisory service GVA.

Whiteburn director Eve McCurrich said: “The support from the Scottish Government in recognising that Build to Rent can offer a professionally-managed solution to delivering homes in our cities has been key to our bringing inward investment into Scotland.

“We believe that our cities can and should be fantastic places to live. Vox will deliver buildings for people to live without having to compromise on amenity and quality of service, which is so often lacking in the current rental stock.”

Dundee has a significant private rental market, with more than 21% of households in the city falling into the sector, against an average of 12% in Scottish cities.

The majority of this is buy-to-let stock, fragmented between small landlords and managed by letting agents.

The developer believes that its mix of “customer service and security, as well as the other lifestyle amenities” will be welcomed in Dundee.

Ms McCurrich added: “Dundee is ideally placed for the creation of our first VOX. The city is vibrant, proactive and is hugely forward-thinking. We are exploring further opportunities both in Scotland and across the UK.”

The Dundee College campus was built in 1970 and closed its doors for the final time in 2011.

Moves to transform the building have been in the pipeline since 2014.

In 2015, plans were submitted by Whiteburn Projects to convert the building into 110 one and two-bedroom flats and were granted planning permission in August last year.

However, several factors, including the UK voting to leave the European Union, meant that investing in property in Dundee was regarded as having a higher-risk profile and the investment funds were no longer available.

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