Legacie secures £60m Merseyside Pension Fund loan
The funding will assist the developer in its £140m transformation of the grade two-listed former Heaps Rice Mill off Park Lane in Liverpool.
Merseyside Pension Fund has agreed to loan £60m to Legacie Developments as part of its Catalyst Fund to help with the redevelopment of the mill into 620 apartments, as well as an underground spa and museum.
This fund seeks to aid economic growth in Liverpool city centre, and recognises the 200 jobs and local training opportunities that the scheme will create.
Falconer Chester Hall designed the Heaps Rice Mill project, which is being delivered across five phases to create a mix of one- and two-bedroom city centre flats.
John Morley, founder and chief executive of Legacie Developments, said: “The investment will help us bring to life a historic Liverpool landmark – unlocking local jobs, training opportunities, and economic growth.
“Having the support of such a prestigious pension fund is a big vote of confidence in our company and the largest funding deal in Legacie’s 10-year history.”
Hill Dickinson advised Legacie Developments on the deal. CBRE is a retained advisor to Merseyside Pension Fund.
Henry Randolph, senior director of CBRE Capital Advisors, commented: “[The loan] is a great example of how a local authority pension fund can invest in their own region while maintaining strict risk controls and achieving a commercial return.
“At Heaps Mill, the quality of design, provision of amenities, and proximity to the best areas of the city will help to make this an attractive scheme for residents.”
Cllr Pat Cleary, chairman of the Merseyside Pension Fund’s committee, added: “Despite Liverpool being an increasingly attractive city to live and work in, housing completions have remained a fraction of their pre-financial crisis levels, especially for quality schemes with strong environmental credentials, such as Heaps Mill.
“As well as helping to alleviate the housing crisis in Liverpool, the units will be far more environmentally friendly than existing stock, utilising air-source heat pumps, MVHR systems, and retaining the historic Heaps Mill building fabric in the redevelopment.”
Previously used by Joseph Heap & Sons, which once ground rice for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, the mill has been vacant since 2005.
Work started on site in December and is due to complete in 2025.
The redevelopment of the mill has been a long time coming.
Developer One Park Lane won planning consent for the site’s redevelopment in 2014 and Inhabit bought the plot a year later.
In 2019, a joint venture between Elliot Lawless and Valorem Investment Partners’ Anthony Maxwell-Jones bought the site with the intention of redeveloping it.
However, no work had taken place in the eight years since planning permission was granted until late last year.