NORTH WEST EVERGREEN AND GROWING PLACES FUNDS INVEST IN LOGISTICS NORTH, BOLTONDecember 2013
The North West Evergreen Fund, “Evergreen”, has provided a £7 million development loan to Harworth Estates to fund infrastructure works at its Logistics North site in Bolton – a scheme that will deliver thousands of new jobs to the local area. The new infrastructure loan was structured by CBRE’s Investment Advisory team.
To complement this investment, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (“GMCA”) also arranged for a further £3 million to be provided from its Growing Places Fund on a pari passu basis.
The £10 million loan will fund the construction of roads, ground works, power, drainage and utilities on Harworth’s 250 acre site. With these works, to be completed in 2015, the site will offer up to 400,000 sq m of space for manufacturing or distribution dependent businesses. It will also have access to the adjoining new 550 acre country park, providing businesses and their employees with an outstanding surrounding environment.
One of the biggest schemes of its kind being brought forward in the North West, Aldi has already chosen to relocate its regional distribution centre to Logistics North on a 35 acre plot.
Phil Wilson, Executive Director at Harworth Estates, commented:
“This loan will be instrumental in enabling us to deliver what will be the premier logistics location servicing the North West. Bolton Council adopted the Logistics North site within its Core Strategy Framework (2011) and was fully supportive in bringing our development forward through the planning process, as were Salford and Wigan Councils. Having local authorities and funds such as the North West Evergreen Fund championing key regeneration projects in the North West of England is crucial to the continuing growth of the region.”
Rod Lockhart, Director of Investment Advisory at CBRE, the Investment Advisor for Evergreen, said:
“Logistics North is Evergreen’s fourth investment in the last year, having already provided loans of over £15 million pounds including to the Soapworks and Citylabs developments, which are progressing and expected to complete in 2014. Evergreen was established to provide developers with an opportunity to secure much-needed finance for strategic sites that will make a significant contribution to the success of the North West’s economy. While we have a strong pipeline of potential projects and hope to announce further loans shortly, the fund’s capacity has recently increased and we continue to seek opportunities to invest in viable projects in the region”.
Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, added:
“We are delighted that Logistics North has been given this development loan, given its status as a key scheme for Bolton and the wider Greater Manchester region. It brings investment of £202million and real economic benefits to the area particularly in terms of increasing employment opportunities for local people. We’re pleased to be working alongside Harworth Estates in delivering a scheme that will have clear long-term benefits.”
Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, Mike Blackburn, commented:
“Logistics North is GM’s Growing Places Fund’s fifth investment, having already provided loans of over £15 million pounds aimed at unlocking investment opportunities that contribute to the GVA and create employment opportunities within Greater Manchester. Growing Places can work alongside Evergreen funding in a mutually beneficial way to provide much-needed finance for key opportunities that will make a significant contribution to the success of the North West’s economy. We have a strong pipeline of potential projects and hope to announce further loans shortly, however, we continue to seek further opportunities to invest in viable GM projects”.
The North West Evergreen Fund, which is made up of 16 local authority limited partners was established to provide funding to support real estate projects which are critical to the region’s economy, generating jobs and growth. It is capitalised through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and other public money allocated under the Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (or “JESSICA”) initiative, which is managed by the European Investment Bank in the North West on behalf of the Homes and Communities Agency. The application to the EIB was led by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities.
The Evergreen model provides loan funding to be invested in projects which will generate a financial return and will then be recycled back into the fund to help support further projects. The fund is advised by CBRE Indirect Investment Services Limited, the FCA regulated arm of CBRE, and co-chaired by Manchester City Council and Lancashire County Council.