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Great Places agrees new funding with three lenders worth £284m

Savills Financial Consultants has helped Great Places Housing Group secure three new deals worth a total of £284mn.
Mike Roche Savills

Funding of £109mn and £100mn has been agreed with existing lenders Santander and NatWest Bank, respectively. New partner ABN AMRO has lent 25,000-home Great Places £75mn. All loans are revolving credit facilities (RCFs).

All three RCFs contain sustainability-linked performance measures which see a reduced interest rate in the event that Great Places meets agreed energy efficiency targets on new and existing homes.

The Manchester-based housing association will use the funds to continue to deliver its commitments to customers to invest in existing and new homes in communities across the North West, Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Great Places’ current plans include further increasing resources to improve property conditions and customer services, as well as the ambition to develop around 9,000 new affordable homes during the period 2020- 2030.

Mike Gerrard, Chief Financial Officer at Great Places Housing Group, said: “We are delighted to continue and develop our relationships with NatWest and Santander and welcome ABN AMRO as a new banking partner. We received strong interest from the banking sector for this transaction and it is pleasing to move forward with sustainability-linked funding. Thank you to the Great Places team and Savills for their insight and support.”

Mike Roche, Director at Savills Financial Consultants, said: “There were a significant number of moving parts with these deals, so it is a testament to the Great Places team that they have been able to handle the process so diligently. The Savills Financial Consultants team has really enjoyed helping Great Places secure this increased financial capacity at the right pricing to help deliver their aims.”

Jane Johnstone, Senior Director, Housing Finance, Santander UK, said: “We are delighted to have supported Great Places in providing this sustainability-linked facility. This funding will ultimately facilitate improvement in existing housing provision and the continued development of much-needed, new, affordable homes. We are proud to work together with providers such as Great Places in this critical sector.”

Martin Skinner, Relationship Director at NatWest, said: “We are a major lender to the UK affordable housing sector and are delighted to continue to support the important work of Great Places in providing much-needed social housing to the region. The RCF 2 Registered Company Number: 08836659 structure, coupled with sustainability-linked performance measures, will lead to more energy-efficient homes across the North West, Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

“We are proud to have announced that in 2023 we completed nearly £3bn of new funding to help more people and families have access to housing. We support around 200 housing associations across the UK and are proud to announce our ambition to provide a further £5bn in funding to support the housing association sector by the end of 2026.”

Rutilio Merien, ABN AMRO’s Head of UK Coverage Real Estate, said: “We are delighted to start this partnership and provide Great Places with new funding facilitating its commitment to develop new homes as well as improving existing ones. ABN AMRO is pleased to further support the social housing sector and the inclusion of ESG-linked KPIs in our facility with Great Places resonates very well with ABN AMRO’s purpose and strategy. We look forward to building a strong and long-term relationship with Great Places.”

Alice Overton, Partner at Devonshires, said: “We are delighted to have advised on these transactions and to have supported Great Places in achieving its energy efficiency and wider sustainability ambitions. Great Places approached this with dedication and commitment, and the team was a pleasure to work with, alongside Savills, all resulting in a great outcome for the business.”

The transaction was also supported by Addleshaw Goddard and the valuation team at Savills.

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