ALUMNO Developments has highlighted the appetite among pension funds for property investment in Scotland after securing funding for a £15 million student accommodation project in Glasgow's west end.

The student housing developer, founded by Scot David Campbell, has been backed by Lothbury Investment Management for the 174-bed project.

Work is well under way on the building, which is based on the site of the former Comet store on Dumbarton Road, with the property due to be ready in August.

Alumno acquired the site when Comet went into administration about a year ago.

Retail space will be marketed beneath the accommodation, which looks over Mansfield Park in Partick.

It is hoped the building's ­location will appeal to prospective tenants. Kier Construction is handling the building work and the accommodation will be managed by Derwent Students, an offshoot of Midlands-based Derwent Living, under a 21-year lease. It marks Derwent's first venture north of the Border.

Mr Campbell said Lothbury was one of a growing number of investment firms attracted to the student accommodation sector.

He noted: "Because of the way the private rent sector has gone, the pension funds are stepping in where the banks once were.

"They like this sector: student numbers are going up, supply is not really matching the numbers and they can see there is a potential steady income stream from it and a strong rental growth."

Mr Campbell said Alumno had completed similar projects in Durham, Birmingham, Norwich and London and was confident more would follow as the student population grows in Scotland.

He said: "Nationally the numbers have gone through the roof but I believe this year [in] Glasgow the numbers have particularly gone up significantly.

"I know the university, having spoken to them recently, have experienced an increase in numbers they did not expect.

"I know that is a similar story in the other universities and colleges in Glasgow."

He added: "At the end of the day, it is a first-class education system."