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

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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

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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

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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.

Tech made Lancashire firm world leader in manufacturing

Preston: A Property Hotspot

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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

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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

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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.”

Creating a sense of place

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Here, in the first of a series of articles, we talk the partner organisations and businesses that make Portergate’s Riverside House such a great and continuing success story

Ian Tidd, director of Salford-based letting agents The Property Place, is well used to receiving praise from parents whose youngsters are enjoying the lifestyle and vibe created at Riverside House.

The praise comes as no surprise to him. He says it is a testament to Riverside’s fantastic facilities, its high levels of security and the friendly and professional approach of all the staff.

The Property Place has worked with the Riverside team from day one, building up a strong working relationship over the years.

Ian says: “There are massive positives when it comes to selling Riverside House to students and parents, from the quality

Ian and Christina from The Property Place

of its bedrooms to the fantastic, friendly people who work there. They are just really nice people.

“The 24 hour security that Riverside offers is also a big positive, particularly with parents. We get positive comments and feedback about this from parents all the time, which is great and shows the Riverside team is doing something right.

“It’s a really competitive market out there and you’ve got to be better than everyone else. It’s common for students to spend just their first year in halls before moving out to house-shares.

“However, at Riverside we have students who are spending two or three years there, they don’t want to move, they enjoy it so much. And that’s another sign that the team is getting things right.”

Ian adds: “A lot of the success we have had with Portergate is down to professional relationships. We consider the team at Riverside House to be one of the best to deal with; they are more like friends to us.”

Founded more than seven years ago The Property Place is built on the key foundation to ‘exceed client’s expectations through professionalism, innovation, and personal service’.

Ian says: “A sign of the success we have at The Property Place is the fact that a large proportion of our business is from satisfied clients who have referred our services to family and friends.

“Our aim is to provide our clients with a “calmer” and more personal experience in order to make their move run as smoothly and professionally as possible.”

The Property Place is also proud sponsor of the world-famous Battersea Dogs Home.

New faces at Riverside House strengthen our team

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A number of new faces have arrived at Riverside House as we continue to strengthen our highly motivated team and prepare for the opening of our ‘sister’ operation in Preston.

Steve Dyson

Elaine Mason is Riverside’s new accommodation manager and Steven Dyson is in charge of maintenance at the Salford development.

Both will also carry out the same role at Portergate’s new £18 million Friargate Court development in Preston’s University Quarter, which will open later this year.

Elaine, from Lytham, brings with her a wealth of experience in the hotel and education sectors, including life as housemistress at a boarding school for girls. She has also worked for hotel groups across the UK.


Elaine Mason

Steven, from south Manchester, is experienced in a whole host of trades – from electrics and plumbing to joinery – which are ideal in fulfilling the role of ensuring

Lorraine Arrigonie

both developments are properly looked after.

Lorraine Arrigonie is another new arrival to Salford. She joins the Riverside House team as accommodation supervisor and concierge.

A former health and social care student at Manchester Metropolitan University, Lorraine, from Droylsden, has a wealth of experience in the accommodation sector.

Hannah Southworth is our chairman Anthony Jackson’s new PA and another important part of the backroom operation that ensures the smooth day-to-day running of


Hannah Southworth

Portergate Property Management and Riverside.

Her administration tasks include operating the office’s diary management system, arranging meetings and ensuring that paperwork is up to date and in order.

Hannah, who is originally from the Preston area, has worked as a PA in the offices of major North West legal practices and recruitment companies and has qualifications in business administration.

Fun times at Riverside

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Happy students at Riverside House joined in the fun as our staff organised a series of events throughout the year to make them feel at home.

To celebrate Chinese New Year the team decked out our front foyer with Chinese lanterns, waving ‘good luck’ cats and posters.

Everyone got a Valentine’s Day treat with sweets and chocolate favours handed out to residents in the reception area.

To celebrate St Patrick’s Day residents had the best view in the house to enjoy the big Sunday parade as it made its way12923108_1700675730171271_138812389666992195_n past Riverside.

Easter also proved to be a cracking affair. Sweet-toothed residents had an ‘egg-citing’ time thanks to Portergate’s departing accommodation supervisor Hannah Gronan.

In one of her last roles at the company before moving on to pastures new, Hannah arranged an Easter egg hunt with a difference for those students who hadn’t gone home for the holiday weekend.

10 Easter bunnies were drawn and hidden around the building. If they were brought back to reception the finder received one of these treats.

It proved a popular holiday pastime – with one eagle-eyed resident bagging five of the eggs!

Elaine Mason, Riverside House manager, said: “Quite a few of the residents who I’ve spoken to said how much they enjoyed the challenge and have said how nice it was for us to think of those who couldn’t go home to their families for Easter.”

New film brings Riverside right before your eyes

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When you live far away from your investment, it’s good to be able to take a closer look.

We asked four student residents at Riverside House to swap college for the camera to star in a new film about their Salford home from home and give you an in depth tour of the building and its facilities.

Shannon Walsh, a 23-year-old independent filmmaker from Warrington, spent the day at our acclaimed student accommodation on the banks of the Irwell capturing the Riverside vibe.

And she was helped by a cast of happy volunteers who went in front of the camera. They included James Burgess, 26 from Macclesfield, who is studying drama and media at Salford.

He was joined by Jimmy Haran, 20 from Cleveleys, near Blackpool, another business management student at Manchester Met and Ruth Afaiko, 25 from Nigeria, who is studying international business and law at the University of Salford.

Eileen Alupo, 21 from Surrey, a business and tourism management student at Salford, also features on the film, as does Josh Brearley, 19 from Chorley, who is studying business management at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The work will be used to promote Riverside and Portergate – particularly to international students and their families – and highlights the quality and levels of service and support students at the hotel-class property receive once they move in.

For students like Ruth, in particular, coming from Africa the film is particularly useful since they can see exactly what Riverside House looks like – something that’s simply not possible from photography, which is usually stylised and taken in show apartments rather than the entire building including entrances and communal areas.

We commissioned Shannon’s company Walsh Films, which creates corporate, live event and short drama films, to shoot to the work. Freelance sound recordist Jack Lynskey, also from Warrington, and Cardiff-based music composer Joseph Roberts also worked on the project.

The film can be seen here on our website.

Security and service are paramount at Riverside House and students benefit from a day time House Manager, 24-hour concierge and on-site maintenance. For personal security, each floor and all rooms are accessed by swipe card.

This latest promotional film is part of Portergate’s successful and ongoing multi-media approach to marketing.

It’s also a commitment to clearly and honestly showing prospective residents exactly what we offer and the high standards we have set.

New £18m housing project aims to counter the brain drain

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Lancashire’s first bespoke accommodation aimed at apprentices, first-time employees and key workers is set to open in Preston in September.

By providing modern, affordable homes for young workers, the development company behind the newly built £18 million residential complex in the city’s University Quarter is looking to help halt the ‘brain drain’ affecting efforts to revitalise the region’s economy.

There is growing concern in Lancashire about the impact of people in their twenties leaving the region for the south east.

New research from consultancy KPMG has revealed the number of 25-34 year olds in Lancashire fell by more than 10 per cent between 1993 and 2013.

And there are fears the exodus of young workers from the North of England will impede efforts to establish the burgeoning Northern Powerhouse economic regeneration project.

Portergate, the North West-based property firm behind Friargate Court, says 63 of its apartments and studios in the new development will cater for the demand for post-college and university housing for young people who are starting their working lives.

Company bosses believe the availability of quality, affordable student-style accommodation could be one of the key factors in helping to keep young people in the area once their studies are completed.

The accommodation is also aimed at apprentices and young workers at the new Lancashire Enterprise Zone, which will form a centre of excellence for high technology manufacturing, generating wealth-creating benefits for the whole county.


It aims to create 6,000 highly skilled jobs, plus a further 5,000 to 7,000 in the local supply chain. Advanced manufacturing and aerospace firms such as BAE Systems also have expanding apprenticeship programmes aimed at attracting talent to the sector.

Friargate Court is an £18 million mixed use development on Friargate, next to the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), with key worker accommodation, student apartments and shops and cafes.

It will be managed 24/7 by Portergate Property Management with a daytime accommodation manager, concierge, housekeepers, on-site maintenance and overnight manned security all included in the rental.

Karen Preece, Portergate’s managing director, says: “We have a lot of experience in the student accommodation sector and we know there is a demand for young people to continue their student lifestyle once they start their working lives.

“We hope that by offering this type of accommodation we will help persuade more young people to remain in the area once their studies are over. We also hope apprentices and key workers will be attracted by the lifestyle we can offer them in the heart of the city.

“Many are simply not ready or able to buy a home or move into more traditional property types. They have grown up with shared student accommodation and like it.

“What we offer over and above the norm is secure, well-managed, high spec homes they can live in for as long as they want hassle-free and concentrate on making a success of their working and personal lives.

“It’s a smart way for young people to manage the stresses of modern life and it will be a big success. We believe we are creating an entirely new sector in the UK housing market.”

The complex is being finished over the summer by Preston-based Eric Wright Construction ready for the autumn. Enquiries and bookings are already being taken from young people eager to be the first to live in the most desirable new address in the city.

Portergate’s debut 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.

Portergate’s accommodation and hands-on management appeals to students, key workers and apprentices looking for a more than basic student or post-graduate living style, as well as their parents who welcome the care and attention offered by the staff.

<img class="size-medium wp-image-1713 alignleft" src="×83.jpg" alt="20160712_144554" width="300" height="83" srcset="×83.jpg 300w,×212.jpg 768w, http://studentaccommodation my 1024w,×260.jpg 940w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />Prices at Friargate Court will start from £135 for a fully furnished and well-equipped en suite room in a standard apartment containing between two and five bedrooms, a living area and large kitchen.

Large standard, superior and studio apartments are available to rent now through Portergate’s own website – – or through the joint agents, the Property Place in Manchester and a Preston-based agent.

Karen Preece adds: “We are excited to be taking bookings at Friargate Court; we have been inundated with enquiries from both the UK and from overseas students from all parts of the world.

“Preston is a vibrant, popular city attracting young people from all walks of life and the university next door to Friargate Court has ambitious plans for making its campus even better.

“Friargate Court will be setting a very high standard for its accommodation and that can only be good for Preston and Lancashire and its employers aiming to attract workers.”

Portergate prides itself on the quality and levels of service and support residents at its hotel-class properties receive once they move in and recruitment is underway for the best staff to run the residence.

Karen continued: “The tremendously high standards Portergate sets reflect the demands and expectations of today’s young people, as well as their parents, who expect their sons and daughters to live in well designed, safe accommodation while they make a home away from home.

“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.”20160712_144501

Paul Walton, director of PWA Planning, a Preston-based town planning and development consultancy, said: “Intermediate housing, which can bridge the gap between student accommodation and more traditional market housing, has a crucial part to play in the economic success of Preston, be this housing intended to provide accommodation for workers in key services, or transitional accommodation for recent graduates or apprentices.

“The latter is something which is key to a city like Preston, where the retention of recent graduates, particularly from UCLan, is crucial to assisting in limiting the movement of talent towards the perceived riches of the South East region and even the bigger cities of the North West.”

Notes To Editors

For more information, interviews and images, please contact Neil Thornton:

  2. +44 (0)7852 334 343


Apprentices the key to economic success

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The announcement that almost £11million of funding will drive forward a significant expansion in training places and apprentices in key sectors of Lancashire’s economy is more good news for the county.

Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is behind this latest initiative which will support nine projects worth more than £34m across the county.

The LEP says that its aim is to support a network of modern, high quality educational and training facilities that will look to improve skills levels.

Among many projects, the money will help back skill development initiatives at BAE Systems impressive new training centre, which is emerging at its Samlesbury site on the outskirts of Preston.

The LEP says that in aerospace and advanced manufacturing as many as 21,800 extra skilled tradespeople and qualified professionals and managers will be needed by 2022.

Friargate Court, our new £18m development in Preston, will be the first bespoke accommodation aimed at this next generation when it opens its doors later this year.

Our aim is to provide modern, affordable accommodation for young workers as they set off on their path to career success.

We also want to help keep more young people in the area once their studies are completed, halting an exodus of talent that threatens to prevent the county’s economic growth and to provide homes for workers moving into the area.

We believe the accommodation we are creating is ideal for apprentices and young workers at the new Lancashire Enterprise Zone based at BAE System’s two sites in Samlesbury and Warton.

That new zone will form a centre of excellence for high technology manufacturing, generating wealth-creating benefits for the whole county.

It aim is to create 6,000 highly skilled jobs, plus a further 5,000 to 7,000 in the local supply chain. Local advanced manufacturing and aerospace firms such as BAE Systems also have expanding apprenticeship programmes aimed at attracting talent to the sector.

Riverside House stays as good as new when major improvements protect the asset

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More than a dozen significant improvements have been made to Riverside House keeping the student residence as fresh as the day it opened in 2013.

The programme of improvements, replacements and additions carried out by parent company Portergate, and managed by Portergate Property Management (PPM), ensures the 242-room accommodation remains in excellent condition throughout.

PPM’s management policies have evolved since opening the doors of Riverside House to students for the first time in September 2013 to ensure the en suite rooms and all the communal areas are in as good a condition – if not better – than when they were built.

Student accommodation has changed beyond recognition in the past five years, according to the most informed expert sources, and the management team at PPM has led the way.

Managing director Karen Preece says: “We recognised early that students and their parents would be looking for a much better standard of accommodation than the UK student housing market had traditionally provided.

“En-suite bathrooms, fast Wi-Fi and modern décor are fast becoming the norm and we provide all these to our residents, many of whom come from overseas.

“By maintaining a high standard and enforcing, albeit with a light touch, our strict but fair ‘house rules’ we can ensure the quality of accommodation has not dipped.”

PPM understands students and their parents are choosier than they used to be. The tripling in 2012 of the maximum tuition fees for undergraduates to £9,000 a year has contributed to rising expectations among students of both their courses and their living conditions.

Investors who have bought into private student housing in the UK are sometimes disappointed by the way their investment has been allowed to deteriorate due to poor hands-off management and sub-standard service.

Not at Riverside House. The 24/7 hands-on management is paying off as Riverside House looks as good now as it did the day it opened.

“We will continue to look after Riverside House as if it were our own home and protect our asset along the way,” says Karen.

“All the improvements mean we continue to be very popular with discerning students and we will remain at the top of students and their parents’ wish list for accommodation in Manchester and Salford for years to come.

“In fact, because we have continually improved and upgraded rooms, the communal areas, the exterior of the building including external landscaping, I believe the clusters in Riverside House are actually in better shape now than when they were first built.”

Some of the improvements made since September 2013:

  • Replaced carpets throughout the communal corridors
  • Vinyl flooring has been replaced with superior Amtico tiles in all cluster kitchens and living rooms
  • LED lighting installed in communal and cluster corridors
  • Hardwired Ethernet cables have been added to each bedroom
  • The Wi-Fi system has been upgraded with all Wi-Fi access points replaced and capacity increased
  • The CCTV system protecting Riverside House has been improved with more cameras inside and out
  • A smoking shed is a new addition keeping all other areas smoke-free and clean
  • The very popular bicycle storage area has been upgraded
  • New paving has been added to the front entrance and around the car park area
  • Two new benches have been installed in the car park
  • Greenery, plant and shrubs make the external areas look fantastic
  • New planting troughs have been added and lots of box shrubs in multiple areas and Spring bulbs planted


Manchester and Salford remain at the top of the most desirable places to live for students and its housing market is as strong as anywhere in the UK.

As a result, demand for rental property in Manchester, such as Riverside House, is understandably at an all-time high, not only from tenants but investors looking to make a shrewd purchase.

In addition, Manchester has the largest university population in the country, it’s the third largest city in the UK, so demand will remain high for high quality accommodation.

Maintaining standards at Riverside House remains at the top of PPM’s ‘To Do List’ to ensure this popular residence remains at the top of new students’ ‘Wish List’.


Portergate launches Preston recruitment drive

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Student accommodation expert Portergate is launching a recruitment drive to create the team that will manage and operate its new £18 million development in the heart of Preston.

The new recruits will deliver the group’s boutique hotel-style service at Friargate Court once it opens its doors to welcome students at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) later this year.

The 244-bedroom development, which is helping kick-start the regeneration of Friargate, is also aimed at employees in Preston’s high-tech manufacturing sector and Lancashire’s new Enterprise Zone.

Vacancies exist for a range of positions from housekeeping to concierge. Initial interviews for the posts will take place during the summer. Portergate is looking to build up a 10-strong team of highly-committed workers.

Portergate Property Management (PPM) has already made its first staff appointments at Friargate as it looks to create its Preston team.

Elaine Mason will be the development’s accommodation manager and Steven Dyson will be in charge of maintenance. Both will also carry out the same role at Portergate’s highly-successful flagship Riverside House student accommodation in Salford.

Elaine, from Lytham, brings with her a wealth of experience in the hotel and education sectors, including life as housemistress at a boarding school for girls. She has also worked for hotel groups across the UK.

Steven, from south Manchester, is experienced in a whole host of trades – from electrics and plumbing to joinery – which are ideal in fulfilling the role of ensuring both Portergate developments are properly looked after.

Work is continuing to complete the construction of Friargate Court, which sits near the city’s University Quarter, and the recruitment process is being timed to coincide with the final stages leading to its official opening.

Portergate prides itself on the quality and levels of service and support residents at its hotel-class properties receive once they move in.

Managing Director Karen Preece said: “Our recruitment process will get underway shortly. We’re looking for people who bring the right sort of experience and attitude, who understand the ethos and values of our business.

“The tremendously high standards Portergate sets reflect the demands and expectations of today’s students, and in particular their parents, who expect their sons and daughters to live in hotel-class accommodation while they enjoy their higher education.

“Everyone who works at Portergate is very passionate about what it does, with a total commitment to quality and that’s what the team we will be recruiting at Friargate will deliver.”

The Friargate development is part of Portergate’s ambitious North West expansion plans. It is currently under construction by the Preston-based Eric Wright group and is scheduled to be completed in the autumn.

Portergate’s successful Riverside House student accommodation in Salford has been a major success story and welcomes students from across the globe.

Phase II of £9m Salford riverside regeneration plan gets the go-ahead

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Ambitious plans for the £9 million second phase of the acclaimed Riverside House development in Salford have been given the green light by city planners.

Portergate Developments has got the go-ahead to create 45 luxury one, two and three bedroom apartments, along with a convenience store and café on a prime site, next to its successful student accommodation building on the banks of the River Irwell.

The apartments, many with balconies and river views, will be managed by Portergate’s property management arm and are aimed at young professionals, key workers and first time buyers.

The project will become the only bespoke private apartment residence, including a number of duplex apartments, on the stretch of the Irwell that leads directly into Manchester’s Cathedral Quarter and main shopping district.

The café will be located on the first floor of the development to give it river views. The plan also involves a central landscaped courtyard along with improvements to the riverside walkway and secure car parking for residents.

Anthony Jackson, chairman of Portergate Developments, believes Phase II of Riverside, on a vacant site backing onto St Simon Street, will also play another key role in the continued regeneration of the area, providing much needed homes for ambitious young people in the city.

The development, next to Riverside House’s popular boutique-style student accommodation, has been designed by leading North West architectural practice Studio KMA.

Work on the development will now get underway later this year with building work scheduled for completion in 2017.

Anthony Jackson said: “Riverside House has been a major success story for us. Students from across the world enjoy the experience of living here and the demand for these apartments is testament to the quality of the accommodation and the service provided.

“We’re very excited by the next phase of Riverside which promises to be even more successful, with well-designed, prestigious apartments aimed at graduates, young professionals and key workers.

“Salford City Council planners agreed with us there is strong demand for this stylish brand of city living in the area.

“And, coupled with the strong retail and restaurant offering, we believe this development at Riverside is something the area is crying out for.

“We’re also already seeing a lot of interest in this second phase from existing and new investors and our aim is to deliver a quality building that is as stylish and welcoming as Riverside House.

Andrew Titterton, director of Oldham-based Studio KMA, said: “The new development will replace a vacant depot site with a high quality residential-led mixed use development.

“It will also improve the pedestrian link between St Simon Street and the River Irwell, which will benefit people living in the area.

“The aim of our design was to provide further choice to apartment living in Salford. The development is made up of both single and dual aspect accommodation, a number of which are duplex layouts.”

“We’re looking forward to seeing our plans developed into vibrant, much needed homes for young people, filling a real need in the area.”

Strengthening community links

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The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has unveiled plans to further strengthen its links with the local community.

It’s a move that has been welcomed by Portergate as its £18 million Friargate student accommodation vision continues to take shape on the city skyline.

The university has revealed plans to open a city centre shop providing a weekly menu of services and activities for the general public.

‘In the City’ is the name of the new shop on Lune Street which was previously the Britannia Building Society.

It set to open by the end of March, hosting both UCLan-led and community group activities such as exhibitions, health and wellbeing services, business and legal advice workshops and science clubs.

The shop’s activities will be published online in advance on a weekly basis with people being encouraged to send in their own proposals for possible events.

UCLan Head of Communications and Engagement Dr Jo Heaton-Marriott is working on the initiative. She told the university’s website: “UCLan is committed to developing strong links and partnerships with the local community.

“And our ‘In the City’ shop will be a melting pot for new ideas and initiatives which can really drive our city forward.

“The new facility will be open-access and most sessions will be run free of charge useful source.” Suggestions so far include first aid workshops provided by the UCLan School of Nursing, a Saturday morning children’s science club run by the UCLan and Royal Institution Young Scientist Centre and live literature projects, such as storytelling and creative writing events.

People can also call in to find out more about UCLan courses and take part in drop- in taster sessions.

Anyone wanting to know more about the initiative or propose a workshop idea can contact the In the City shop team at

Meanwhile, Portergate’s stylish development is moving towards a much anticipated opening later this year.

The 1.5 acre Friargate site is being transformed with three new retail premises and the creation of a 244 bedroomed building aimed at providing Portergate’s brand of hotel-style accommodation to students at UCLan.

The regeneration project sits on the edge of the city’s thriving University Quarter.

Part of the high-quality accommodation that it will offer is also aimed at post graduate students at the university and apprentices and key workers in Preston’s high-tech manufacturing sector and new Enterprise Zone.