417 Kitchen Refurbishment – In 10 Weeks

David Cocker, Director of Operations, Union State Student Accommodation


417 Kitchen Refurbishment – In 10 Weeks



Name of Clients: Blackstone, Edmond Shipway and TigerLime all working on behalf of Victoria Hall Ltd (Union State).
Scope of Work: Kitchen/Social space refurbishment.
Number of Kitchens Refurbished:
417 Split between 6 different locations.
: Cardiff, Glasgow, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham.
10 Weeks summer refurbishment.
Project Value:
£3.2 Million.



Consultation – Having successfully completed refurbishments for Victoria Hall Ltd, Links were approached for the summer 2016 works. Using a wealth of knowledge and experience Links worked collaboratively with the client to develop the scope of works for the scheme, and consulted at every stage of the project up to completion.

Design – Links’ in-house design team will assist you in turning your vision into something tangible; creating a detailed specification. Insight into student lifestyle helps Links to produce stylish yet adaptable interiors. This ensured that the designs for Victoria Hall Ltd remained aspirational and flexible, to suit all 417 kitchen/lounge areas across the 6 sites. Our CAD qualified employees create photorealistic 3D visualisations, and well-established relationships with suppliers guarantee materials are sourced specifically for their suitability to each project.

Programming – Development of a detailed programme at the very beginning enables Links to deliver complex projects, simultaneously and over multiple sites across the country. Each site is assigned an experienced project manager who will coordinate and deliver your development to Links’ quality. Specifically, during this summer’s refurbishment project, Links’ capacity to work cooperatively alongside other on-site works was instrumental in ensuring the on-time completion of all client projects and providing a superior service.

Procurement – Once the contract has been awarded Links’ dedicated procurement team begin the process of selecting resources. In-depth knowledge of the industry combined with a structured supply chain, ensures all goods and services are carefully chosen and managed for their excellence.

Surveying – Our in-house, qualified surveying team personally visit each location to determine any unique site restraints and ensure the designs suitability.

Manufacture – Our own dedicated manufacturing facility ensures goods are manufactured months in advance of being required on site. This preparation safeguards against many of the risks associated with a demanding delivery programme – a minimum of one delivery a day during the Victoria Hall Ltd refurbishment project.

Installation – After site immobilisation the Links team commenced the refurbishment works at the end of June. All locations worked under the same refurbishment sequence, starting four flats, per site, each day. Links’ project manager’s work methodically to ensure that our in-house installation team and subcontractors bring your designs to life.

  • Maximum time on one site – 10 weeks.
  • 100% success rate finishing Victoria Hall Ltd refurbishments on time for the last 10 years.
  • 100% defect free handovers.

After Care/ Service Standards – Links’ support does not end when the site is completed. Our dedicated project managers continue to be committed to providing a fast, approachable response to any post-completion queries. The unique skill set at Links: interior designers; quantity surveyors; project managers; contract managers etc., ensures a seamless delivery from vision through to creation and beyond.



The value of university is not just based on academic qualifications. For many, it is a move away from everything familiar; creation of new relationships and discovery of new places. This challenging journey is strongly influenced by a student’s living space; satisfaction with accommodation underpins wellbeing. Studies highlight a positive correlation between accommodation satisfaction, happiness, and academic success. Links’ transformation of the Victoria Halls communal areas allows students to relax in a homely environment; stimulating integration and promoting personal development.



Following Link’s refurbishment, the 7,921-bed Victoria Hall student accommodation portfolio has been valued and is for sale at £450 million.



“Union State is a private hall provider for student accommodation based throughout the country at 11 separate sites, some of the sites are more than ten years old and were in need of refurbishment. Over the past two years, we have been conducting small refurbishment projects with Links with exceptional results. This year the decision was made to close some sites and reduce the summer intake on the others during a ten week period and refurbish all remaining Kitchens/Lounges totaling 417.

Failure of a project this size would have caused huge financial and reputational damage to our company.
Throughout the whole process, all sites have been really pleased with the level of service and professionalism that has been shown by the team, this is from the design stage with Links’ architects all the way down to the tradesman and laborers for the fit out and handover. During the refurbishment, the site supervisors were very knowledgeable about all stages and the level of communication was excellent. All on-site team members have been courteous and respectful to not only our staff but the students as well.
Links achieved a very high standard on an exceptionally large project in a short period of time. The level of workmanship has made a significant change to our business, the new residents love their new common areas and have already said that they will be coming back next year.”

David Cocker, Director of Operations, Union State Student Accommodation, 2016
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