Chestergate great Places c Paddock Johnson

The money will go towards the housing association's goal to build 9,000 affordable homes between 2020 and 2030 - like this project for 148 flats in Stockport. Credit: Paddock Johnson

Great Places nets £284m funding boost

Santander, NatWest, and ABN AMRO have agreed three separate, sustainability-linked revolving credit facilities with the Manchester-based housing association.

The £284m will go towards Great Places Housing Group’s goal to deliver 9,000 affordable homes before the end of 2030. It will also be spent on improving the group’s existing portfolio, bolstering energy efficiency credentials, and supporting customer services.

Santander has lent Great Places £109m, while NatWest has contributed £100m. The ABN AMRO deal is £75m and represents the first time the bank has worked with Great Places.

Under the terms of the agreements, if Great Places can meet specific targets around energy efficiency across its estate, then it will benefit from a reduced interest rate.

Mike Gerrard, chief financial officer at Great Places, 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.”

Rutilio Merin, head of UK coverage real estate at ABN AMRO, said of the deal: “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.”

Jane Johnstone, senior director of housing finance at Santander, also said she was pleased to support Great Places.

“This funding will ultimately facilitate improvement in existing housing provision and the continued development of much-needed, new, affordable homes,” she said. “We are proud to work together with providers such as Great Places in this critical sector.”

Martin Skinner, relationship director at NatWest, said he was glad to support Great Places – pointing out that Santander works with around 200 housing associations from across the country. The bank has plans to provide £5bn in funding for housing associations before the end of 2026.

Skinner 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 structure, coupled with sustainability-linked performance measures, will lead to more energy-efficient homes across the North West, Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

Savills Financial Consultants helped Great Places on the deal, with Devonshires providing legal advice. Addleshaw Goddard was the funder’s legal adviser. Savills’ valuation team also supported the transactions.

Mike Roche, director at Savills Financial Consultants described the loans as having “a significant number of moving parts”.

He added: “…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.”

Alice Overton, partner at Devonshires, said: “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.”

Current Great Places projects include an LGBT+ extra care housing block in Manchester, 148 flats in Stockport, and 132 homes in Radcliffe.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

Related Articles

Sign up to receive the Place Daily Briefing

Join more than 13,000 property professionals and receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox


Join more than 13,000 property professionals and sign up to receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below