Local real estate investor acquires Friargate Court student asset in Preston following funding from Cambridge & Counties Bank

17 October 2023

An established Preston-based property investment firm has added to its real estate portfolio with the acquisition of a 244-bed purpose-built student residential asset in Preston, supported by funding from Cambridge & Counties Bank.

Innovation Control Ltd (IC Ltd), an existing client of the bank, has acquired the freehold of Friargate Court having managed the asset for the past six years. The high-specification property, constructed in 2016 and comprised of three blocks with two commercial units, is used by students from the University of Central Lancaster.

The management team at IC Ltd, led by Director Anthony Jackson, was originally introduced to Cambridge & Counties Bank by panel broker Watts Commercial Finance Ltd.

The firm previously had a loan with the bank to support the acquisition of a 242-bed student asset in Salford, which was sold in early 2023.

The Friargate property is located around 0.2 miles from the University campus. Part of the property fronts the High Street, which is currently undergoing pedestrianisation and offers significant retail and leisure amenities. The area around the University is part of Lancashire Council’s Masterplan development, in which over £200 million is being spent on the transformation of the site and Preston City Centre.

Dedicated funding for student housing is an area that Cambridge & Counties Bank and its UK Real Estate Finance team supports. In FY2022, the bank expanded its REF team by almost a third to cater for increased demand for its bespoke solutions and sophisticated clients, including many in the student housing sector.

Anthony Jackson, Director, Innovation Control Ltd said:

“Student residential accommodation continues to offer good, long-term value for investors, and we believe sites like this one in Preston, a city underserved by quality accommodation, represents a significant opportunity for all stakeholders.”

Friargate flat building

Carl Ashley, Regional Director at Cambridge & Counties Bank said:

 "Our support for Mr Jackson and the team at Innovation Control Ltd demonstrates the bank’s continuing commitment to support clients with a proven track record of success in the residential property sector.”