Together development

Together provides £4.8m to transform landmark ship building

Specialist lender Together has delivered £4.8m towards the refurbishment of a historic landmark building in Plymouth.

Property investors Burrington Estates planned to refurbish The Ship into offices for a variety of businesses, but required £2.5m to repay an initial investment and a further £2.3m for the refurbishment.

The firm approached Together as the lack of tenants or formal lease agreements made mainstream funding difficult, despite having pre-let agreements with five local businesses. 

After reviewing the pre-let agreements, Together instructed a full Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors valuation with a market value established at £8.4m and an anticipated post-refurbishment value of £11m.

Funding was delivered within a month, enabling the client to move forward with the development.

Burrington Estates will refinance with a mainstream lender once the project is complete.

Mark Edworthy, founder of Burrington Estates, said: “We initially stepped in to secure the future of The Ship building in July 2015, but we needed finance to complete the refurbishment and realise our vision of creating a vibrant business community in this space.

“We’ve worked with Together previously and felt that they would be able to deal with the complexities, such as the pre-let agreements, with their customary individual and holistic approach.

“We’re now in a position to complete our project and create more office space for local businesses, while also preserving a truly magnificent building.”

Designed by notable architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, The Ship spans 116,000 sq ft on a 12.36-acre plot and was once home to the Daily Mail.

The property had been vacant for two years and at risk of being demolished before Burrington Estates stepped in with a view to creating a regional business hub.

Ritchie Watson, director of development finance for Together, added: “With the market valuation and the pre-let agreements, not to mention that Burrington Estates have a proven track record for sympathetic development of historic sites in the South West, we were happy to support them with the required funding.

“This was delivered in a short timeframe, thanks to our solicitors and valuers working together to meet tight deadlines. 

“Meanwhile, businesses in Plymouth will have a new business hub in this historic property and a market-leading leisure facility."

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