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Increasing tax scams targeting UK students and how you can avoid them

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Securing your content online.

Thousands of students across universities in the UK are being targeted by scammers in an effort to steal money and personal details.

These “phishing” emails use addresses such as ‘’ to mislead students into believing that they are owed a tax rebate from HMRC and can claim this money through a link included in the email. This link leads to a website for students to enter their banking and personal details which will then be stolen from the victim.

Phishing is defined by Action Fraud as a method used by fraudsters to access valuable personal details, such as usernames and passwords.

The financial secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride, has stated that “HMRC will never inform you about tax refunds by email, text or voicemail. If you receive one of these messages it is a scam. Do not click on any links in these messages, and forward them to HMRC’s phishing email address []. “

HMRC is encouraging all students to be aware of the potential tax scams and for universities to raise awareness about the issue.

Here are HMRC and Action Fraud’s tips to avoid being caught out by “phishing” scam emails:

Recognise the signs. Genuine organisations like banks and HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your Pin, password or bank details.

Stay safe and know your source. Do not give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you were not expecting.

Use your spam filter. If you detect a phishing email, mark the message as spam and delete it. This ensures that the message cannot reach your inbox in future.

Take action. Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to and texts to 60599.

 If you suffer financial loss, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use its online fraud reporting toolCheck for information on how to avoid and report scams and recognise genuine HMRC contact.

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Transformation of the Crescent in Salford

By | Riverside News | No Comments

A masterplan to create a new ‘city’ district on 244 acres in Salford has been unveiled. Billed as an ‘£800m investment opportunity’ it will transform the historic area, The Crescent. The vision, based in and around the University of Salford campus, includes:

*2,500 new apartments and houses.

*A new school.

*2,000 space multi-storey car parks.

*A new hotel and conferencing suite.

*Hundreds of new student accommodation flats on campus increasing total to 2,000.

*New shops and health services.

*New parks and public spaces.

The plan is for the next two decades and the aim is to turn the location into ‘a key cultural destination through a more diverse offering, which could incorporate cafes, restaurants, galleries, events…and a hotel.‘ It is not yet clear how many of the new homes will be affordable or private but it is understood the council’s intention is to make sure a sizeable percentage are ‘affordable’.

The A6 corridor, along The Crescent and Chapel Street, has already seen a revival with new apartments and independent businesses giving it a ‘Northern Quarter’ feel. Land involved in the development is currently owned by both the University and the council. The University’s Maxwell building will be retained as an events venue but made available for more public use. The planting of 1,000 additional trees around Peel Park, which is within the University campus, and along the A6 is also proposed.

Designed by 5plus Architects it identifies three ‘zones’ of investment: the Adelphi and Crescent neighbourhood; Peel Park and Frederick Road (Main University Campus); and the Frederick Road North Industrial area. An estimated 1.6 million sq ft of new commercial space for industrial growth sectors including digital and creative, sport and health – plus 1.1 million sq ft of new educational floorspace for the University are planned. New commercial arts workspaces, five miles of running tracks, and 1.5miles of new cycleways would also be provided.

Six heritage buildings, including the magnificent Peel Building on the campus, would be preserved but possibly used in other ways, but some, including the Newton Building in the campus, would be demolished.

Helen Marshall, Vice Chancellor of the University of Salford, said: “These exciting plans for The Crescent represent the next step of a journey that started with the construction of the first of our university buildings – the Peel Building – in 1896. Working in partnership with the council and 5plus Architects, we have developed this masterplan to ensure that our campus is fit for purpose for the next 20 years, providing a great experience for our students and investing heavily in the future of the City of Salford. The new facilities that are part of the package of redevelopment will enable us to carry out the industry-led teaching and research that is key to our strategic aims of preparing our graduates for the modern world of work and delivering economic growth for Salford, Greater Manchester and beyond.”

Adelphi Square and Friargate embrace the future

By | Friargate News | No Comments

The £60 million Adelphi Square regeneration plan has just been given the green light by Preston City Council. Friargate Court, Preston’s luxury city accommodation, now fronts this most strategic location. Portergate Property Management, who built and manage Friargate Court, the new 244-room purpose built residence, has purchased and is in the process of demolishing a row of derelict, dilapidated shops. The redevelopment will make way for a smart new accommodation building, which will significantly improve the current landscape and complement the Adelphi scheme.

The Adelphi roundabout scheme and flagship new student centre will provide a shared space of large open pedestrian spaces and tree-lined avenues. Adelphi Square is part of the £200 million UCLan Preston campus.

Michael Ahern, Chief operating officer at the University of Central Lancashire comments: ““This Adelphi Square project is of significant importance. Not only will it transform our campus but will positively contribute to the on-going regeneration of Preston.”

Anthony Jackson, Chairman of Portergate has long believed in the significance and elevation of Preston and has long been a champion of regenerating run down areas.

The area below Friargate Court, which will look directly onto the new highly glazed student centre, forms an important gateway between the campus and the city centre. Hence the new Portergate scheme will reflect the area by providing aesthetically pleasing, modern city accommodation in the form of apartments to purchase.

Anthony comments: “Preston is gathering momentum. I am delighted to see public and private sectors embracing and revitalising this great city, looking forward in the way Manchester has.”

Technology Key to Business Success

By | General News, Portergate News | No Comments

The CEO of the Lancashire-based Printed Cup Company, a world leading manufacturer, has said technology is the key element which makes his firm 10 times better than its competitors.

Mark Woodward, who founded the company after being made redundant from a previous managerial role, gradually built technology into the business from websites and CRM systems to its own ERP system which allows customers to track orders.

The Printed Cup Company now employs two full-time coders “which makes us better by a factor of 10 from our competitors”, according to Woodward.

“Without these systems we would not be able to offer a one-hour service, making us the fastest paper cup manufacturer in the world,” he told BusinessCloud.

“I view Lancashire’s role within the Northern Powerhouse as very significant: it has aeronautics and nuclear fuel and is a significant manufacturing base for many companies,” he continued. “The companies I have been to see in the county have invested in technology significantly.”

By providing bespoke accommodation for students and young professionals, Portergate plays a key role in the establishment of Preston and the North-West as a centre of business and commerce.

Preston: A Property Hotspot

By | General News, Portergate News | No Comments

With affordability in London stretched, many are now looking to England’s northern regions, including Preston, where prospects for capital growth look far more promising, as illustrated by the latest Hometrack property report.

The property market in northern England, supported in part by the Northern Powerhouse concept, has attracted a lot of media attention, not to mention both domestic and international investment, especially from China. Large-scale investment and regeneration programmes, such as the £440m City Deal, which along with other investments, is expected to create upwards of 20,000 new jobs, boosting the local economy to the tune of £1bn over the next decade.

The recent opening of Friargate Court, a luxurious accommodation complex taking design inspiration from boutique hotels, is part of a wider movement providing high quality educational and training facilities that will please students and parents alike.

Each well-appointed apartment or studio includes a fully furnished living space and fitted kitchen complete with appliances, utensils and crockery. Bedrooms are also fully furnished and include bedding and towels. Everything you need to start out in student life is provided. The designer shower rooms have all the luxuries you would expect from a boutique hotel.

The University of Central Lancashire, which currently boasts a staff and student community approaching 38,000, recently announced plans to invest a further £200m into its City campus increasing numbers to over 50,000, making it the fourth largest university in England.

2016 marked a huge turning point for Preston, according to Matt Eastham, director at Easthams & Co.

As well as a £50m investment into the Markets Quarter to develop an 11-screen cinema complex with seven restaurant units and a new multi-storey car park, the creation of a youth zone and public square, and the restoration of the Guild Hall with a £15m makeover, the council’s new City Living strategy is refurbishing Winckley Square – one of the finest Georgian squares in the UK, Eastham explains.

Ideally situated, Preston is the geographic centre of the UK offering easy access to the M6, M61, M65 and the M55 motorway networks and is also less than an hour’s drive from Manchester, Liverpool or the Lake District and just two hours by train from London and Glasgow.

Management School Redevelopment

By | General News, Portergate News | No Comments

Plans have been lodged for the redevelopment of the Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) which span more the 200,000 sq feet across a host of new and existing buildings on the University’s Bailrigg Campus.

The full planning application has been lodged with Lancaster City Council in a bid to construct a Western Pavilion, Eastern Pavilion, Lecture Theatre, and Hub Plus. The scheme aims to provide a consolidated home for the LUMS within the University’s campus, which also involves refurbishment of the Gillow House Building, the Graduate Management School and the Lancaster Leadership Centre.

Architect Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) said: “The redevelopment of Lancaster University Management School builds on the school’s reputation of delivering a holistic, world-class student experience.

“The building will provide a balance of open and individual research facilities to support the needs of international academics, including open and inviting accommodation conducive to a range of study and social learning patterns.”

“Located on the Bailrigg Campus, the proposed scheme forms a major new centre within the southern campus.”

Alongside LUMS’s redevelopment, the newly-opened student accommodation at Friargate provides a bespoke, modern living facility as part of a network of high-quality educational and training facilities in a central Preston location.

Full Team At Riverside House

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The Riverside team: Here to ensure Portergate continues to deliver on your investment.

From left to right

  • Steve Dyson – Maintenance Manager
  • Cath Bayliss – Housekeeper
  • Marco Bertoglio – Caretaker
  • Susan Walsh – Housekeeper
  • Steve Walker – Risk and Facilities Administrator
  • Anthony Jackson – Chairman
  • Karen Preece – Managing Director
  • Hannah Southworth – P.A to M.D and Chairman
  • Gemma Peters – Head Housekeeper
  • Jade Pettman-Smith – Accommodation Supervisor
  • Antonio Santos – Conceirge
  • Elaine Mason (not pictured) – Accommodation Manager

The Riverside team and their colleagues in our newly opened Preston, Lancashire, residence share a wealth of knowledge and expertise across the two sites.
For Portergate Property Management, we offer new recruits comprehensive training from experienced student sector professionals and the chance to work in different roles across two sites.

Portergate officially unveils Friargate Court, setting a new standard in student accommodation

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Portergate Property Management (PPM) today officially opens Friargate Court, the company’s latest accommodation purpose built for students, post-graduates, young professionals and key workers.

Friargate Court, an investment in Preston worth £18 million, has been the largest building project in the city for the past 12 months and has opened its doors to coincide with the 2016-17 academic year at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

And the ambitions of PPM’s chairman and managing director, Anthony Jackson and Karen Preece, will become clear to the invited guests from Lancashire’s worlds of business, education, civic administration finance and politics.

The Friargate Court story began more than five years ago when Mr Jackson developed a new understanding of the changing face of student accommodation. His vision led to Riverside House, a bespoke luxury student residence in Salford serving an international clientele of discerning, more demanding students and their families.

The determination to think and develop differently to the prevailing student accommodation market was a huge success and led Mr Jackson to take his concept a step further.

While Karen Preece refined and managed Riverside House, fine-tuning its unique hands-on management style, Mr Jackson spent many months freeing up a dilapidated, run-down, but strategic site in Preston.

Friargate Court sits on land occupied by the former Bamber’s furniture store with a long prominent frontage on Friargate itself and enough land at the rear to allow for 244 studios and en suite rooms in different blocks.

The vision has paid off with a beautifully constructed complex that has instantly become the best accommodation in Preston.

Its strategic location on the edge of the Adelphi roundabout is where the University of Central Lancashire is pumping £200 million into new buildings, public realm and better connectivity with Preston city centre.

PPM is aiming the new accommodation not just at undergraduates and overseas students, but also at the growing, yet under-serviced apprentice and key worker housing market.

The official opening today will give Preston and Lancashire’s policy-makers and chief influencers a full tour of Friargate Court’s fully furnished and well-equipped en suite bedrooms in standard apartment clusters containing between two and five bedrooms, a living area and large kitchen.

Large standard, standard, superior and studio apartments are also available to rent now through Portergate’s own website – – or through the Property Place in Manchester and local agents Martin & Co.

Anthony Jackson says: “It’s taken a long time and a lot of hard work, but to be able to show people around Friargate Court today is very satisfying.

“Preston and Lancashire need vision and bold new ideas to compete with the likes of Manchester and Liverpool.

“There is opportunity and potential here as we are showing. Our unique philosophy of hands-on management and superior service is filling a need many others in the sector didn’t even know existed.

“We look forward to working closely with the university and with major employers in Lancashire for many years to come to service the accommodation needs of their students and staff.”

Karen Preece added: “We are thrilled to have opened Friargate Court and welcomed our first residents at an exciting time for Preston and the University.

“For now, we have some excellent offers for the best accommodation in the city and we have been receiving enquiries from both the UK and all parts of the world.

“UCLan is a vibrant, popular university, attracting students from all walks of life and the university has ambitious plans for making the campus even better.

“There are also many young people from all walks of life starting out on their careers and we can cater from them too.

“Friargate Court has now set the bar very high for high class accommodation and we are changing the game by also taking bookings from graduates, young professionals and key workers who love this style of city living.”

For more information on Friargate Court and Portergate Property Management please visit:

Proud Preston’s world class university credentials

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There was more good news for Preston as a university city in the week that Portergate opened the doors of its impressive £18 million Friargate Court development to students.

It was also revealed that the city’s University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has bucked the UK trend and held its position in a league table of top global universities.

UCLan retained its place in the prestigious QS World Rankings while many UK-based institutions dropped down the list.

It’s a great achievement by UCLan, which was the first modern university to make an appearance in the rankings back in 2010.

It has once again been included in the table which lists 850 elite universities from the thousands of institutions around the globe.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Thomas told the university’s website: “We are delighted to have retained our position in the QS World Rankings.

“Our academic and employer reputation have been ranked highly while our diverse international staff and student community has been recognised.

“Our performance in this league table is not only a great reward for the efforts of everybody here in Preston but is also testament to the progress we’re making on the world stage.”

“We are extremely proud that Preston has a university which is ranked as one of the world’s best. We are striving to help people, irrespective of their background, to fulfill their academic potential.”

The team here at Portergate is also striving to make the student experience in Preston world class.

Friargate Court, our newly opened 244-room residence in Friargate, near to the university campus, will cater for students, post graduates, researchers, apprentices and key workers in the first building of its type in Lancashire.

As Richard Taylor, director of letting agents Martin & Co says: “There is a real buzz about what Portergate is bringing to the city.”

We have led the way in the University Quarter of Preston with a new style of accommodation.

Our managing director Karen Preece explains: “Both the university and Portergate recognise the changing world of educational provision and the lifestyle that goes with that.”

Just minutes from the heart of the city, our stylish living accommodation at Friargate Court is a mix of studios and apartments and there will be a shops and cafes on site.

Unveiled: Lancashire’s most luxurious student accommodation

By | Portergate News, Uncategorised | No Comments

The most luxurious student accommodation in Lancashire is ready to open its doors to the 2016-17 in-take at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston.

Friargate Court – designed and managed by the expert team here at Portergate – is a 244-bedroom residence in the heart of the city’s University Quarter.

The complex will be officially opened on September 19 ready for the new academic year and bookings have already been taken from students eager to be the first to live in the most desirable student address in the city.

Our debut student residence, Riverside House in Salford, has provided the blueprint for Friargate Court and it has been a huge success, selling out in only its second year since opening.

Our high standard of accommodation and hands-on management appeals to students who want more than the basic student living style and to their parents who welcome the care and attention offered by the 24/7 staff.

Prices at Friargate Court will start from £135 for a fully furnished and well-equipped en suite bedroom in a standard apartment containing between two and five bedrooms, a living area and large kitchen.

Large standard, standard, superior and studio apartments are also available to rent now through our own website – – or through the  Property Place in Manchester.

The £18 million investment in student living in Preston is being overseen by our managing director Karen Preece. She says: “We are excited to be taking bookings at Friargate Court as we have been inundated with enquiries from both the UK and all parts of the world.

“UCLan is a vibrant, popular university, attracting students from all walks of life and the university has ambitious plans for making the campus even better.

“Friargate Court will be setting a very high standard for student accommodation and that can only be good for UCLan as it aims to attract the best students from around the world.”

Here at Portergate we pride ourselves on the quality and levels of service and support residents at our hotel-class properties receive once they move in and recruitment is underway for the best staff to run the residence.

As Karen says: “Everyone who works at Portergate is very passionate about what we do, with a total commitment to quality and that’s what the new team we will be recruiting at Friargate Court will deliver.”