A specialist alternative asset manager has committed £12 million, alongside several significant public sector bodies, as part of a public-private partnership to regenerate the Stockport Interchange bus station and develop a £40 million 196-unit Build-to-Rent (BTR) residential building.
The money from Gresham House will go towards the scheme, which is being developed by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and constructed by Willmott Dixon (WD) in their capacity as the main contractor.
The project includes a 14-storey purposely designed BTR building with 70 one-bed and 126 two-bed units in the heart of the town centre. Elsewhere, work will take place to dramatically upgrade the transport infrastructure at the bus station, connectivity to the train station and the amenities for cyclists and walkers.
What's more, a new two-acre rooftop park on top of the Interchange station is set to create leisure and recreation areas, as well as additional green space for the local community. The redevelopment is due to be completed in 2024.
The £12 million investment, made by the Gresham House British Strategic Investment Fund (BSIF), will go towards delivering the BTR component of the project, and will be delivered via Gresham House’s existing mainstream BTR platform, Rise Homes.
All of the funding and development partners (Transport for Greater Manchester, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Homes England and CityHeart) have worked closely together to allow this landmark scheme to be delivered.
The deal represents Gresham House’s second housing investment in Stockport, having previously completed another residential scheme just 200 metres from the Interchange site. A large town in Greater Manchester, just seven miles from Manchester city centre, Stockport played an important role in the Industrial Revolution as a key silk and cotton-making town, and was also at the centre of the UK's hat industry. By 1884, it was exporting more than six million hats a year.
It is perhaps best known for its local football team - currently plying their trade in the National League - and its impressive viaduct, which was built in 1840 and carries the mainline railways from Manchester to Birmingham and London over the River Mersey.
Joe Thomas, investment director at Gresham House, said of the project: “We're delighted to be working with GMCA, SMBC, TfGM and WD on the regeneration of Stockport Interchange, building on our track record of delivering mainstream BtR properties across the UK. We're currently delivering over 1,200 high-quality and fairly priced multi- and single-family homes in the Northwest, Midlands and Yorkshire and firmly believe in the importance of delivering great homes to support urban and community regeneration.”
Nigel Rawlings, chief executive of Rise Homes, added: “The Stockport Interchange project follows on from the success of another multi-family BTR scheme completed by Gresham House and Rise Homes in Stockport, The Mailbox. It has the largest area of living wall in the North of England and is located just 200m from the new Interchange site. We look forward to working within the parameters of the project’s high-quality design and with the excellent team of partners involved."
Alistair Wardell, Investment Director at Gresham House, also commented: “This complicated public-private partnership investment is testimony to our long-term sustainable investment focus and will provide our investors with strong risk-adjusted returns."
"We are also excited about building upon this new relationship with the GMCA and accelerating our multi-tenure residential investment strategy, by partnering on further projects to deliver much needed new and affordably priced residential homes across the region.”
Meanwhile, Paul Dennett, deputy mayor of Greater Manchester for Housing, Homelessness & Infrastructure, said: “Gresham House’s support has been valuable in ensuring we can significantly boost good quality new homes in Stockport’s town centre alongside redeveloping the Interchange bus station. The green space, walking and cycling infrastructure being created as part of this development will also help improve the lives of residents."
“We are delighted to be able to support this ambitious partnership over the coming years and look forward to ongoing collaboration through the Mayoral Development Corporation to realise Stockport’s town centre vision.”