Salford Central, ECF, p PLMR

Since 2001, ECF has delivered mixed-use schemes worth £1.2bn, including Salford Central. Credit: via PLMR

ECF doubles in size to £400m

The more than 20-year partnership between Homes England, Muse, and Legal & General has received an injection of £100m equity matched by £100m debt to expand its regeneration remit.

English Cities Fund will use the money to deliver more than 1m sq ft of commercial workspace and 17,000 new homes by 2036.

Each of the partners contributed equally to the equity raise and will join their expertise in urban development, affordable housing, and infrastructure to achieve the lofty target. ECF is currently looking for new partners to help further its ambitions.

“ECF’s expansion is testament to the team’s success over two decades, with a track record of delivery,” said Muse managing director Phil Mayall.

“With greater resources, we will have an even greater impact on places and communities. Our team will work with new and existing partners, across all the regions in which we operate, to realise this potential in a way which delivers genuine social value.”

Those 2036 goals are fitting given ECF’s track record. Since its founding in 2001, ECF has delivered 2,150 homes and 1.15m sq ft of offices, shops, and leisure attractions. These include more than 300,000 sq ft of offices at St Paul’s Square in Liverpool, the £36m “national icon” office block that is Eden, and the 96 Passivhaus-certified apartments at Greenhaus – both in Salford.

“We have really changed the places in which we have invested,” said the fund’s chair Sir Michael Lyons.

“We have provided homes, jobs, workspace, and new public realm. We always take a long-term view, emphasise sustainable change and work closely with local partners, sharing risks and rewards where that is possible,” he continued.

Laura Mason, chief executive of Legal & General Capital, added: “The partnership between Homes England, Legal & General, and Muse benefits from deep sector knowledge and access to a unique pipeline of assets which deliver investment opportunities that create long-term, secure income streams that tackle some of the major social, environmental and economic issues facing society.

“With an increased appetite from other purpose-driven investors looking to access opportunities that drive returns, alongside impact, we recognise that this is an attractive partnership.”

Peter Denton, chief executive of Homes England, commented: “This expansion will support ECF’s strong project pipeline, continuing the work of this long-standing partnership and creating vibrant new places, jobs, homes and opportunities across the country.”

Current ECF projects include the £250m Stockport 8, the regeneration of St Helens, and the £2.5bn Salford Crescent.

Your Comments

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Their work in Liverpool was over a decade ago. And not great at that.

If they are about “regeneration” how about they do that, instead of just further boosting areas that don’t need it. They are feeding economic instability, not tackling it.

By Jeff

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