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North East set to welcome its first Build to Rent scheme

Development of the North East’s first Build to Rent scheme is now underway. The ‘ultramodern, multi-million pound’ scheme on Forth Banks in Newcastle is the first of its kind in the region.

More than £30 million has been invested in the development known as The Forge, which is set to bring the fast-growing concept to the North East, creating 283 purpose-built rental apartments.

Despite growing rapidly in recent years, Build to Rent is still a relatively new and niche concept in the UK, but it’s already highly popular in the US, Germany and France. It’s a government-funded initiative which aims to offer high-quality rental homes with flexible lease terms and various perks such as on-site management, gyms, communal living areas and concierge services.

The Forge, which sits at the heart of the Stephenson Quarter and spans more than 200,000 square foot, is being delivered by Moorfield Group and will be made up of one, two and three-bedroom apartments with various facilities and amenities. The scheme will be professionally managed by property consultant Allsop.

The development will be set across three apartment blocks, the first of which is set to be complete (with tenants ready to move into it) this summer, with blocks two and three set to follow later this year.

The apartments, which are available either with or without furniture, will have a ‘bright and contemporary open-plan layout’, with some featuring balconies. Throughout the property ultrafast fibre optic broadband will be available to tenants, alongside facilities such as a fully equipped gym, studio space for fitness classes, a club lounge with workspaces and cycle storage racks. Other perks include a 24-hour concierge service, security and a social programme, plus there are pet friendly apartments on offer.

As part of a tech-first approach, the whole letting process can be completed online via Virtual Agency, a revolutionary portal which facilitates virtual tours and allows applicants to book viewings, reserve properties, make payments and sign and complete all documentation.

In addition, there will be opportunities for local businesses as the on-site team will host regular events in the development’s private dining and event space, welcoming everything from beauticians to pop-up bars. At present, retail space on the ground floor (of approximately 3,000 square foot) is on the market.

“The Forge will introduce a professionally managed, purpose designed, top quality rental offering to Newcastle,” Helen Douglas-Teggart, lettings manager at The Forge, said.

“We expect it to appeal to a range of residents from young professionals and couples to graduates and families with young children, as it’s flexible and offers a great lifestyle with hassle free living.”

She added: “As part of our quayside living model, The Forge will establish a community and embrace Newcastle’s business scene, working with all industries from hospitality to retail to deliver pop-up events exclusive to residents. We’re excited to provide the perfect base for city dwellers to reap the benefits of long-term, convenient renting.”

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