GMI Construction Group completes latest major student accommodation scheme in Leeds, Carlton Hill


Honor Wilson Head of Marketing & Communications

GMI Construction Group has formally handed over a major £40m purpose built student accommodation development in Leeds to developer Pickard Properties.

The 604-bed Carlton Hill development, close to the city centre and both the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett has been completed to welcome students for the 2023-24 academic year, which begins later this month.

One of the most sustainable new student schemes in the city, having secured an EPC A rating, Carlton Hill aims to reduce carbon emissions, both in terms of the buildings’ construction and operation, together with taking advantage of its location.

It is an all-electric development that is future proofed to benefit from continued growth of renewable energy supplies. In addition, from the outset almost half of its power requirements will be provided by low or zero carbon technologies, including from a large solar PV array and Air Source Heat Pumps.

Carlton Hill supports Leeds City Council’s ’20-minute neighbourhood’ initiative. It has been designed to have no car parking for residents to encourage the use of sustainable local transport and has extensive pedestrian access and routes to the city centre and the close by universities.

The development has also been designed to encourage student wellbeing Carlton Hill offers high quality living and social spaces for residents with larger than standard bedrooms and living spaces, a well-equipped gym and incorporates several fully landscaped ‘sky gardens’ as well as a roof terrace to allow for social activities, fresh air and relaxation.

It was designed by Halliday Clark Architects, based in Ilkley. The scheme was project managed by Fox Lloyd Jones with planning consultancy advice provided by Quod, which are both based in Leeds City Centre.

The developer has a long-standing involvement in student accommodation in the city and has worked closely with Unipol Student Homes, which will lease the building for exclusive use by students attending the University of Leeds.

Carlton Hill is also representative of the high-quality Leeds schemes in its portfolio, which are helping to transform the city’s skyline and form part of Pickard Properties’wider construction and regeneration activities across the North of England.

Andrew Hurcomb, Regional Director of GMI Construction, said: “We are exceptionally proud to have been part of this landmark development, which represents the future of student accommodation in Leeds.  Carlton Hill builds on our track record in the UK student living sector and highlights our capabilities to deliver sustainable and environmentally focused projects in close partnership with developers such as Pickard Properties and by utilising a predominately local supply chain.”

Miles Pickard, director of Pickard Properties, said: “Carlton Hill sets the standard for modern student accommodation that is appealing to tenants, not only because of its location, and focus on mental and physical well-being, but also because it’s a green and sustainable building.

“We are exceptionally proud that it has secured the highest EPC rating for a commercial/residential building, which is testament to the efforts of the development team, from our project managers and architects, through to our construction partner, GMI, and its predominantly local supply chain.”

He added: “We have been part of the student accommodation sector in Leeds for half a century and Carlton Hill demonstrates our commitment to continuing to provide the highest quality, sustainable properties in the city.

“We are looking forward to seeing the first students arrive and make Carlton Hill their home as they begin their studies at our wonderful city’s outstanding universities.”