A YORK property developer is exploring options for more student accommodation in the city.

S Harrison is confident of being able to capitalise on the anticipated upturn in the sector after preliminary Group trading figures show a trading profit of £2.5m on a turnover of £8m, for the year ended December, 2020.

Cash reserves stand at just under £14m to invest in new schemes. These reserves were strengthened by the sale of Harrison’s 394-bed student accommodation close to Murrayfield in Edinburgh, to Watkins Jones.

Managing director, Ann Scott, said the pandemic had had a big impact, and the market would remain uncertain for some time.

"Being flexible and having the resources to move swiftly when opportunities arise will be key to success in the short to medium term," she said.

"Our wide-ranging pipeline of development schemes coupled with our income generating property portfolio and our strong balance sheet positions us well.”

She added: “In 2020 we rebranded one of our York-based student residences. Now called Abode, the 506-bed residence close to the city centre also benefited from a £1.5 million refurbishment and enhancement programme and maintained a 97 per cent occupancy rate throughout the year.

"We are currently exploring options on an additional site in the city which would provide an excellent location for student accommodation."

S Harrison is a York-based, privately-owned property development company, which was founded in 1952.

In Scotland, the Group has planning approval to create a 157-bed hotel on a former office site close to Haymarket station and is exploring options for its site at Ocean Point in Leith.

Harrison is in negotiations to acquire additional sites with potential for student accommodation in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The Group has strengthened its presence in the housing sector. Its private residential development in Whitby which came on stream in 2020 has already seen 70 per cent of the homes released on phase one reserved or exchanged. Phase two will be released shortly.

Also, on the Yorkshire east coast, Harrison is working closely with the local council to bring forward a high-quality development of 65 homes, a mix of supported housing and general needs apartments.

Ann added: “We already have strategic land holdings in Leeds and Manchester and are looking for additional opportunities across the Midlands, north of England and Scotland. Our breadth of experience across the residential, student, hotel, commercial and industrial sectors makes us an ideal partner for those looking to realise optimum value from their land assets.”

Full audited accounts for Harrison Group are expected to be published in May.