Cranfield University, a specialist postgraduate university in technology and management, has raised £150 million to fund additional on-site student accommodation and to enhance the student and staff experience.

The money, which is repayable at different points over the next 30 years, was raised through a private placement arranged by HSBC, with three North American insurance companies providing the finance. A number of other leading universities have raised money in the private placement market in recent years.

The funds will be used to create 865 new student rooms on the Cranfield campus, with the first phase available from September 2021. The funds will also be used to construct the Beacon, a new circa 4,000 square metre building at the heart of the campus that will include facilities for education, catering and social spaces. Construction and fit-out of the Beacon is due to be completed in Autumn 2022. The final portion of the funds will be used to re-structure existing shorter-term borrowings and provide some scope to finance other investment opportunities as they arise.

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University, said, “I am delighted that we have successfully raised long-term finance, at very competitive financing terms, to invest in the future of the University. The new student accommodation and the Beacon will, together, have a very significant, positive impact on both the student and staff experience.”

Dominic Kerr, Managing Director and Head of European Corporate Origination, HSBC, said:
“We were delighted with the enthusiasm shown by a large number of investors in Cranfield’s exciting story and vision for the future, and to have helped to find the right partners to fund this next phase of growth. Investment such as this is a real vote of confidence in Cranfield and its strategy, and the ultra-low coupons achieved bear comparison with the very lowest obtained to date by any UK Higher Education institution, underpinning an excellent financial platform for the University.”

Proposed plans for Cranfield's new Beacon