What it’s really like to live in a ‘micro-flat’ as developers build small to tackle UK housing crisis

We are proud to have worked with Inspired Home to design the kitchens in these innovative new micro-flats.



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

We Have Moved!

The office move has come at a busy time for Links, the project team are acting as main contractor on a refurbishment scheme for Victoria Hall that sees the transformation of over 400 kitchens which are programmed to complete in little over 8 weeks time. Our in-house design team are working on some exciting PRS and Student Accommodation schemes for 2017 and are almost fully booked up for 2016.

The new offices are a perfect fit for Links and we look forward to welcoming you all in the near future.

Links Latest PRS Scheme Hits National News!

The Old Oak consists of 551 bedrooms, the majority of these being Twodios. The Old Oak Twodio is a 100sq ft private room and bathroom which has a kitchen shared between two residents. Links supported The Collective during the design process and manufactured and installed sample rooms in the Links Showroom before moving onto site. Once on site, the project team delivered the 551 bedrooms working alongside one of the industry’s leading contractors, Mace.

Links design expertise, along with its proficiency in the manufacture and installation process, helped The Collective’s scheme catch the eye of the national press with one national newspaper billing the development as ‘The world’s most luxurious commune’. Read the full story at the Mail Online – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3569317/Just-drop-text-light-bulbs-changed-landlords-sub-50-want-party-residents-places-London-s-new-Twodios.html

The design team at Links are busy working on the latest PRS and Student Accommodation schemes whilst the project team is busy delivering multiple projects on behalf of major clients such as Unite Students, Victoria Hall and CRM Students.

ASRA 2016

Held at the Europa hotel in Belfast, ASRA welcomed more than 350 delegates and over 115 exhibitors to its annual gathering.Known as the largest student accommodation conference in the UK and Ireland, organisers broke new ground this year in hosting the 2016 event in Northern Ireland for the first time.

The Links team had the pleasure of catching up with colleagues old and new and showcasing our amazing new exhibition stand which really was a talking point of the exhibition. Follow the link to see a short video of what was another successful ASRA conference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVRtZ442Ipw&feature=youtu.be

Next year sees the conference head to Brighton, we hope to see everyone next year.

Links Welcome Alicia

Alicia has joined our award-winning design department, which is growing at a fast rate, and who are working on a lot of exciting projects for 2016. Alicia has a passion for all aspects of Interior Design which began at a young age. Exploring and keeping up to date with current trends, Alicia brings a fresh approach to Links and whilst her style can’t be pinned down she draws inspiration from two of her favourite designers, Zaha Hadid, and Marcel Wanders.

In her spare time, Alicia loves reading fiction, design magazines, blog writing and trying to keep fit!

Breakout Manchester!

Breakout is a live game, where you have to escape from a room in the city centre, Manchester. The idea is for teams of 3, 4 or 5 participants to enter a room and use clues to find their way out. As you can see from the picture above, some of the guys were able to escape but some were not! Somehow, though, Lawrence escaped!

It was a great break from the working environment for the team, 2016 projects are well underway and preparation for our busiest summer yet is in progress. The design team is fully booked with projects taking them well into the winter.

With the festive period long gone thoughts now turn to another exciting year for Links.

Student Accommodation Conference 2015

The Student Accommodation Conference provides attendees with the latest knowledge and advice on the changing dynamics of student accommodation. It is the largest event of its kind in the student accommodation sector, and has been growing in success over it’s 8 year history.

The conference was the perfect opportunity for us to demonstrate the services that we can offer, as well as networking with the key players in the commercial and university accommodation sector. In addition to exhibition space the conference provided some fascinating insight into the future of the student accommodation sector according to experts in the field.

Throughout the day we ran a give-away prize draw for members of the conference, offering the chance for one lucky person to win a self-balancing ‘hover board’.

The event was very successful, offering a brilliant opportunity for members of the Links team to learn more about the future of student accommodation; ensuring that we remain at the forefront of innovation in this sector.

We very much look forward to attending this event again next year.

For more information see the Student Accommodation Conference: http://student.propertyweek.com/

Operation Christmas Child

All of the team packed and wrapped their own shoe box, filling it with gifts such as toys, pens, games and other goodies for under privileged children around the world – things that we take for granted but will likely mean the world to these children.

The shoeboxes will be delivered by Operation Christmas Child, run by Samaritan’s Purse. The charity successfully reaches thousands of children around the world at Christmas and provides aid throughout the year in response to humanitarian disasters.