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OakNorth Bank provides £3.3M loan to Guthrie Roberts to redevelop former Worcester fire station into new city centre mixed-use scheme

OakNorth Bank – the UK bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has completed a £3.3M loan to experienced property developer, Guthrie Roberts.

Founded in 2011 by Ben Roberts, Guthrie Roberts sources and delivers profitable development projects, assists with joint ventures, and provides property consultancy. Having delivered more than 60 new homes across Worcestershire since inception, the developer’s portfolio under management is now over £5M. As a legacy mission following Ben Robert’s two decades in the armed forces, the firm also offers bespoke training on property acquisition to key workers and service personnel, helping them get a foothold on the property ladder.

The capital from OakNorth Bank will be used to redevelop the former three-storey Worcester fire station into a new city centre mixed-use scheme, comprising of 28 Manhattan-style one, two and three-bedroom apartments on the upper floors, and a commercial unit on the ground floor. All the apartments will be high-spec units with bespoke kitchen, integrated appliances, central heating, tiled bathrooms with designer bath fittings, and oak wood flooring. Residents will be offered a private communal garden space, 15 car parking spaces and over 30 cycle spaces. The site, situated between the river, cathedral and highstreet, is also only a short walk away from Foregate Street station, offering regular trains into Birmingham in less than an hour.

Ben Roberts, Founder & Director of Guthrie Roberts, commented: “Representing a new central urban hub for the city, the old fire station will give residents the perfect balance for modern living. Surrounded by popular shops, a bustling highstreet and a great selection of restaurants, bars and cafes, the site is ideally located for those commuting into neighbouring major cities, including Birmingham, Cheltenham and Swindon. This iconic building and its wonderful heritage are at the forefront of our plans and we’ll be preserving many of the original designs, such as the hose-drying tower. The team at OakNorth Bank were clear, commercial and collaborative and we appreciated the transparency of the process, both in terms of meeting the Credit Committee, but also via OakNorth’s Online Lending Portal.”

Dale Cowdell, Associate Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank said: “In Guthrie Roberts, we have an experienced developer which continues to take a measured approach in its evolution, delivering projects that have grown in size and complexity over the years. The  business has developed a  reputation for delivering high quality products, evidenced in part by the sale prices achieved on previous schemes. The centre of Worcester hasn’t seen a high level of residential development with planning restrictions in place on a number of historic buildings, meaning they’ll likely be high demand for these units given the site’s rich heritage.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

About OakNorth Bank plc

Launched in September 2015 and founded by entrepreneurs, OakNorth Bank provides fast, flexible and accessible debt finance to the UK’s Missing Middle.

Since its launch, the bank has:

It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Visit www.oaknorth.co.uk for more information.

Contact

Tom Pavey-Smith, Associate Director – Growth & Communications: tom.pavey-smith@oaknorth.co.uk / 0791 716 5588

 

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