25-acre Manchester development secures £34.7m funding

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has provided £34.7m of funding to FairBriar International for its Middlewood Locks development in Manchester.

The 24.5-acre scheme is a new residential and commercial neighbourhood at the western gateway to Manchester's central business district and is expected to provide 2,215 new homes.

A total of £25.5m of the facility is residential development finance to enable fast-track delivery of phase two of the project.

This phase will provide 546 new, one- to three-bed homes across four buildings, totalling 360,129 sq ft on two plots.

FairBriar International is a joint venture comprising Scarborough International Properties (50%) with Metro Holdings of Singapore (25%) and Hualing Group of China (25%).

Simon Marshall, joint chief executive of Scarborough International Properties, said: “We are very appreciative of the HCA’s support, which will enable us to accelerate the delivery of much-needed homes for local people.

“Major sites, such as Middlewood Locks, are key to meeting housing demand in areas of strong economic and demographic growth such as Greater Manchester.

“We look forward to working in partnership with the HCA through to the completion of this very important development.”

The balance of £9.2m will be used to fund infrastructure and enabling works across the development.

The overall funding will be for an initial three-year period and is subordinate to the senior lenders to the first two phases of the development.

The Middlewood Locks scheme will provide a new waterside neighbourhood around three large basins of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury canals.

The first phase of the development will provide 571 one-, two- and three-bed apartments and is scheduled for completion in spring 2018.

Nick Walkley, HCA chief executive, added: “This loan is a great example of how we can help developers create new communities which will provide more of the homes that people need, and do so quickly – completing almost 600 homes by this time next year.

“As the wider site is set to deliver more than 2,200 homes, a key part of the funding was to support the infrastructure works as this will enable the future residential phases to be brought forward faster.” 

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