OakNorth Bank lends £2.3M to Create Real Estate to convert a vacant casino in central Bristol into new offices

  • Founded in 2018, Create Real Estate acquires UK real estate assets with the opportunity to add significant economic, social and environmental value through intensive asset management and development;
  • The capital from OakNorth Bank will support the conversion of vacant upper floors of a building in central Bristol from a casino into offices;
  • According to the Bristol Office Agents Society, demand for office space in Bristol has soared in the first half of 2022 despite ongoing uncertainty in the wider economy.

OakNorth Bank, the UK bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, has provided a £2.3M loan to Create Real Estate, a UK real estate investor, to convert vacant upper floors at 1-2 Portwall Lane in Bristol from a vacant casino into offices.

Known as Portwall Lofts, the new offices will offer an elegant workspace of over 5,500 ft² split across two floors. Set within an impressive Victorian redbrick warehouse on the origins of the Bristol’s 13th century Portwall, the grand vaulted timber frame ceiling with skylights and natural timber floor creates space and natural light. The ground floor of the building is currently occupied by a steak restaurant, Pasture, which is ranked as the 7th best restaurant in Bristol on TripAdvisor from over 1,100 restaurants.

Ricky Humphreys, Co-founder and Director of Create Real Estate, commented: “We are excited to be bringing these new offices to Portwall Lane in Redcliffe, a dynamic and vibrant neighbourhood within Bristol’s central business district. Bristol’s booming tech and media sectors are driving employment in the city as well as demand for office space with tech and media businesses accounting for almost a half (47%) of all office take-up. The support from OakNorth Bank is helping us take advantage of this opportunity to convert the vacant floors into stylish and characterful loft style workspace. The OakNorth Bank team were incredibly communicative throughout, keeping us up to date on how everything was progressing, so that we had realistic timelines and could plan accordingly. It was a refreshingly simple and speedy experience which we’d highly recommend to others in the sector and region.”

Lance Anelay, Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, continued: “Create channel their deep sector expertise in real estate, entrepreneurial dynamism, and institutional funding into previously developed land and buildings to add economic, social and environmental value. Portwall Lofts is a prime example of this. It is remarkable how quickly demand for office space has bounced back after two years of COVID, so there is a significant need in the city for high quality office space. Create Real Estate is delivering this, and we’re delighted to be backing them.”




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:

  • Lent over £7.5B, directly helping with the creation of 34,000 new jobs and 25,000 new homes across the UK.
  • Raised deposits from c.160,000 savers.
  • Supported several hundred businesses across the UK with the debt finance to pursue their growth ambitions.

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


Valentina Kristensen – Director, Growth & Communications – valentina.kristensen@oaknorth.co.uk / press@oaknorth.co.uk / 0757 234 9009


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