Co-op agrees £36m loan with Lathe

The Co-operative Bank has provided a loan of £36m to refinance the Ladysmith shopping centre in Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside.

The 50-unit centre is owned and managed by property fund manager Lathe Investments on behalf of Redleaf VI Property Unit Trust.

Phil Basten, head of property finance at the Co-operative Bank, said: "Our investment shows we have confidence in the owner's ability to manage the centre, its trading prospects and the local economy. Ashton will benefit from the Metrolink extension and this should provide an economic boost to the town.

"The deal shows that unlike other banks, we are lending, happy to consider schemes that offer strong cash flows and keen to support existing and well regarded clients such as Lathe Investments."

Richard Tanner, finance director of Lathe Investments, said: "We are delighted to have completed this refinancing with The Co-operative Bank and we are grateful for their continuing support. The bank's team, led by Rob Dawson, was a pleasure to deal with and we hope to develop our relationship further in the future."

Lathe Investments acquired Ladysmith in 2005 and implemented a wide range of improvements such as reopening a multi-storey car park, reconfiguring space to accommodate more retail units, installing LED advertising screens and improving entrances.

The bank was advised on the transaction by Mace & Jones solicitors.

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