08 January 2021

New student complex delivers £12m boost to Southampton’s economy

A new landmark development in the heart of Southampton has helped to add £12 million of value to the local economy, according to a new report.

Southampton Crossings, built by Midas Construction for developer Victoria Hall Management Limited on behalf of RPMI Railpen (Railpen), is an 11-storey, 527-bedroom purpose-built student accommodation residence overlooking Watts Park in the city centre.

As well as delivering high quality facilities, Southampton City Council has detailed how the completed project has benefited the city and its communities through the provision of increased employment, opportunities for local businesses and a wide range of social and economic measures.

In order to achieve Planning Permission obligations, the aim was always to maximise the benefit of the scheme for the local area by delivering a bespoke Employment and Skills Plan. Throughout the project, Midas supported local employment and provided a number of different learning and skills opportunities, including 12 work placements for students, 15 new apprenticeships, employment for six local people and facilitated training and qualifications for several people while working on site. The team also supported 34 construction careers events in the local area, engaging with more than 1,200 students and young people.

Southampton Crossings joins the property asset portfolio of Railpen, the investment manager for the £30 billion railways pension scheme. The new development, with its positive and lasting impact on the Southampton community, strengthens Railpen’s commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors across its investment portfolio, on behalf of beneficiaries.

Ian Dewhurst, Business Development Director at Midas Construction, part of the Midas Group, said: “Midas is committed to leaving a positive impact on the communities it works with, bringing benefit to those living in those communities. We were delighted to see just how much value this significant project brought to the city.

“Supporting local employment and training opportunities is so important to us and it’s fantastic to see this development have such an impact.

“We are proud to have been part of this modern, state-of-the-art facility that has not only benefited the local economy but will provide a home away from home for students living in the city.”

David Swieton, Employment and Skills Plan Coordinator at Southampton City Council, who produced the Social Return on Investment (SROI) report, added: “The activities have had a positive impact on individuals and communities across the city. The Midas team has represented the development in an exemplary manner whilst engaging effectively around skills for growth in the industry, talent matching for local people and aspirational work with students.”

Councillor Christopher Hammond, Leader of Southampton City Council, said: “It’s great to see the completion of this development and the benefit it has had to the wider economy. Midas has created an impressive building, whilst creating opportunities for local people.

“As a Council, we’re working to make our city greener, fairer and healthier. To achieve this, we’re working with a range of stakeholders to ensure that investment in the city creates local jobs, wealth is retained here and is beneficial to our communities. Our ambition, approach and strength of partnerships makes this a great city to invest in.”

Southampton Crossings welcomed the first cohort of students through its doors at the start of the academic year in September.

The new accommodation features state-of-the-art living spaces for students, offering several different types of en-suite bedrooms in cluster flats or private studio room arrangements.

In addition, students can enjoy modern and exciting facilities at Southampton Crossings, including dedicated study rooms, a games area, gym, karaoke rooms, laundrette, cycle storage, private dining space and a roof garden. The development caters for students attending the University of Southampton and Southampton Solent.

John Nesbitt, Managing Director of Victoria Hall Management Limited, added: “As Developers and operators here, we have been pleased to work with Midas to create a top quality home for students and in the process to see a significant proportion of the investment working its way into the local economy.”

The Midas Group delivers projects across a range of sectors including; education, residential and commercial developments, and has offices throughout the South West, the Midlands and Wales.

The company’s strategy is to be the contractor of choice in the areas in which it operates, by the development of long-term relationships through delivery of its vision to be ‘leaders in customer service and performance’. It is a strategy which is showing success with more than 80% of the Group’s projects being carried out on a repeat business basis.

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