M&G forward-funds £39m Conwy HQ

Muse Developments has secured £39m from M&G Investments to finance the construction of a 100,000 sq ft office in Colwyn Bay town centre, set to be the new headquarters for Conwy County Council.

The finance, provided by M&G’s pension fund clients, enables a start on site at the four-storey civic building, designed by AHR Architects.

The office will accommodate around 750 council staff, relocating from 13 buildings.

Muse gained planning approval for the project in August this year. Muse was selected as the council’s preferred development partner in September 2015 following a competitive procurement process.

Contractor Bowmer & Kirkland is now on site and work to demolish the existing buildings will start in mid-December.

Construction is scheduled to start during spring 2017, with completion expected in Autumn 2018.

Once complete, a 40-year lease will be initiated between M&G and the council.

Wes Erlam, development director at Muse, said: “This is a great deal for Colwyn Bay, with tens of millions set to be invested into the ongoing regeneration of the town. We’re working with Conwy Council to deliver this important development which will help them to operate more efficiently and reduce their carbon footprint by bringing a number of key services together into one energy-efficient and accessible building.”

Shailendra Shah, investment director within M&G Real Estate’s long lease property team, said: “This structure enables Conwy County Council to fund its investment in local infrastructure and continue its regeneration plans. This is a sustainable and long-term approach for financing local needs.

“These investments help to meet the demand from pension funds and other institutional investors for security with long term income that increases in line with inflation. This approach brings benefits for local councils, residents and for ordinary savers through the sustainable long-term returns generated for their pension funds.”

The new development is a part of the council’s wider strategy to regenerate Colwyn Bay town centre. The second phase includes plans to redevelop an existing grade two-listed civic building to the east of the town.

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