Case Study: St Andrews Place – Revitalising a Struggling Student Hall and Hostel

St Andrews Place, a student hall and short-stay hostel in Liverpool, UK, faced significant financial challenges after being sold to investors in a fractional sales model in 2012. Unfortunately, the sales model collapsed, leaving the investors burdened with a loss-making liability. The building required substantial financial support due to its size and operational limitations. After a restructuring agreement was reached between the investors and the freeholder, which involved the investors purchasing the freehold, VOYA, stepped in with a plan to market the property to its extensive database of language schools and NHS Trust connections. The aim was to provide short-stay accommodation and generate a financial return for the investors.

The Impact of COVID-19:
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck the UK, resulting in travel restrictions and the temporary halt of VOYA’s plans. However, once restrictions were lifted in 2021, VOYA resumed its marketing efforts. The company successfull agreed deals with six NHS Trusts to utilise the accommodation for its international trainee nurses program, primarily from India and the Philippines, offering career and relocation opportunities in the UK. Additionally, VOYA reconnected with its language school clients, leading to three schools agreeing to use the building for their students’ accommodation during international English language courses.

The Lease Agreement and Conclusion:
With the agreements in place, VOYA secured a lease of the building from the investors. This marked the first time in nearly a decade since the building’s redevelopment that the investors received a fixed net return, paid on a monthly basis. The success of the lease agreement can be attributed to VOYA’s strategic marketing approach, leveraging its existing client base, including NHS trusts and language schools. This achievement showcases the expertise of the VOYA team in the industry, particularly in navigating challenging circumstances such as those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

By revitalising St Andrews Place, VOYA not only provided a much-needed financial return for the investors but also contributed to the local community by offering accommodation to international trainee nurses and students pursuing English language courses. This case study exemplifies the resilience and adaptability of VOYA in overcoming obstacles and finding innovative solutions to revive struggling properties.