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New Sheffield development to be funded by crowdfunding platform

The funding launch of an ‘exciting new development’ in the Castlegate area of Sheffield was recently announced by Leeds-based property investment firm UOWN.

Forming part of a wider 2019 regeneration project being driven by Sheffield Council, the twelve-apartment development is located on the old Stantons Bakery and Cafe plot and is set to be completed by the start of 2020. The one-bedroom properties on offer will be made available exclusively to first-time buyers.

It’s anticipated that 200 people will invest into the project together using the UOWN platform, which offers people the chance to invest money from as little as £1 in properties that are purchased, through rental and through larger property developments.

An important part of the regeneration project being carried out by Sheffield Council is providing affordable housing to the people of Sheffield, and with this in mind the twelve properties on the Castle Street development will be made available to local people and first-time buyers as a priority.

Castlegate is located in the north-east of Sheffield’s city centre and is the latest part of a strategic plan to regenerate the heart of Yorkshire’s second biggest city.

The area is being earmarked as a place for new business to flourish in the tech, creative and leisure sectors, with co-working spaces in repurposed historic buildings and locations being created for start-ups.

As well as the new UOWN-driven Castle Street development, there is set to be redevelopments to the Old Town Hall and Courthouse, in addition to plans to revamp the site of Sheffield Castle by uncovering its remains and revealing the River Sheaf which runs through it.

UOWN, launched in 2016 by brothers Shaan and Haaris Ahmed with the goal of democratising property investment and allowing more people to join what is seen as the safest route for investment in the UK, offers a crowdfunding service where customers can choose to invest as much as they want per month (from as little as £1) to earn returns of around 15% per project. Since launching, UOWN has raised over £1 million and completed various conversion projects.

“We wanted to work with local business partners, people with a real interest in building on its unique character and who share our vision,” Castlegate programme director Simon Ogden, who has been driving the project for Sheffield Council and Castlegate Partnership, commented. “UOWN have an interesting new model for helping people to invest in the local Sheffield economy. We have big ambitions for the Castlegate area and the Castle Street project is an important example of fresh thinking on how to unlock the potential of the former Stantons Bakery and Cafe - one of the most distinctive buildings in the quarter.”

Shaan Ahmed, who said that UOWN were committed to finding new and innovative ways to help people on to the property ladder, with over 2,500 people using the service to begin their property investment journey since launch, added: “We are pleased to announce the Castle Street development funding process, which will be a part of an exciting regeneration project in Sheffield. We feel that the plans the council are putting into place will help the area thrive, the potential new business and recreation services make for a great place for people to live and work.”

Haaris Ahmed added: “We are always looking for interesting opportunities for our UOWN customers, working with Sheffield Council to regenerate the Castlegate area was a no-brainer. The old Stanton Bakery building is a classic piece of architecture, and our plans will sympathetically update the building.”

“Once completed, these beautifully finished apartments will be made available for locals and first-time buyers, meaning no foreign investors buying them all up, making sure we are giving Brits a chance to start their own property journey.”

In future, UOWN said they are looking to work with other councils in the UK to help with further regeneration and housebuilding.

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