The Cotton Building

Allied negotiating Evergreen finance for Cotton Building

Allied London is in talks to agree a loan from the North West urban regeneration fund set up by the European Investment Bank and European Regional Development Fund, to develop speculatively the 160,000 sq ft Cotton Building in Spinningfields.

Mike Ingall, chief executive of Allied London, told Place the public funding would be matched by the developer's own finance and in total £30m is being raised to build the new block, which he said "is not an office building". Ingall, with an eye on the new breed of techie occupier, prefers the label "workspace".

Evergreen was launched in 2011 to stimulate the development market in the North West, outside Merseyside which has its own fund, Chrysalis. Evergreen's investments so far include a £6m loan to the Soapworks 400,000 sq ft office development in Salford by Carlyle, Abstract Securities and Nikal Developments; £9.5m alongside Lloyds Banking Group into Bruntwood's 100,000 sq ft Citylabs centre in Manchester's Oxford Road; and £10m for the 4m sq ft Logistics North project by Harworth Estates in Bolton.

The Evergreen model provides loan funding to be invested in projects which will generate a financial return and will then be recycled back into the fund to help support further projects. The fund is advised by CBRE Indirect Investment Services, the FCA regulated arm of CBRE, and co-chaired by Manchester City Council and Lancashire County Council on behalf of 16 local authorities.

Ingall said the criteria for securing the fund's backing were threefold: employment creation, regeneration and BREEAM 'excellent' environmentally friendly design.

Allied received planning permission in January for the Cotton Building, designed by Cartwright Pickard, advised by planners at Deloitte Real Estate. Work is due to start on its construction in late spring.

The North West Evergreen Fund is capitalised through the European Regional Development Fund and other public money allocated under the Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) initiative, which is managed by the European Investment Bank in the North West on behalf of the Homes and Communities Agency. The application to the EIB was led by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities.

No one from Evergreen or CBRE was available immediately when contacted by Place North West this morning.

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