Project Summary

Sector: Education, Higher Education, Student Accommodation

Project profile: Design, Build, Finance and operate 190 student rooms at two separate campus sites, across the Scottish Highlands.

Customer: University of the Highlands & Islands

Value: £18.5 million

Stage: Completed August 2016

Location: Inverness and Fort William, Scotland

Professional Team

Funder: M&G Investments

Tenant: University of Bangor

Legal Advisor: Brabners LLP

Architect: Faulkner Browns Architects

Contractor: Vinci Construction Limited

Employers Agent: Spring & Company Limited


Structural: Tier Consulting

Planning Consultant: Geraint John Planning

Project Description

Cityheart were appointed by the University of the Highlands & Islands to design, develop and maintain thirteen new student accommodation schemes across three phases. Phase one saw the completion of the initial two schemes in Inverness and Fort William.

The Inverness College scheme provides accommodation for up to 150 students a year in single rooms (with shared kitchens) with private cooking facilities and studio rooms.

In Fort William at West Highland College we provided a 40-bed en-suite bedrooms with shared kitchen and living areas.

Working with our construction partner Robertson’s, utilising their specialist timber frame division for pre-fabricated frames, we were able to reduce construction time without comprising on design, quality or cost. This allowed us to complete the schemes ahead of schedule.

Student Management

As well as developing the new facilities, Cityheart Living Limited has also entered into a Student Management Agreement with the University of the Highlands and Islands to manage and maintain their properties.

The 35 year contract will see up to a further eleven buildings added across the Highlands and Island, with up to 1,100 students. The geographical spread and small size of the individual buildings presents a particular challenge.


Fiona Larg, the university’s chief operating officer and secretary said “We are delighted with our new residences on Inverness Campus and are excited to see students settling into them for the first time. Students are at the heart of what we do and the provision of suitable accommodation is an important asset in supporting current students and attracting new ones.”


Lizzie Munro, a fourth year BA (Hons) Scottish history student said “I think the new residences are fantastic and a great opportunity for more students from outside of Inverness to come and study at the University of the Highlands and Islands and Inverness College UHI.”