Wheatley secures £76.5m debt funding deal

Property group Wheatley has secured a £76.5m investment from Scottish Widows that will enable the former to build hundreds of new affordable homes.

The 25-year debt funding deal – a result of Scottish Widows’ partnership with the Bank of Scotland’s real estate and housing team – is claimed to be the first of its type in Scotland.

The funding will enable Wheatley’s commercial subsidiary Lowther Homes to purchase 560 mid-market rental properties, which are currently owned by three of the group’s registered social landlords (RSLs).

This will allow the three housing associations – GHA, Cube and Dunedin Canmore – to use the proceeds to build 700 new homes as part of Wheatley’s wider ambition to deliver 7,500 affordable houses and flats through to 2025.

“This is a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to boost the supply of affordable homes across the country in support of the Scottish government’s More Homes Scotland agenda,” said Alastair MacNish, chair of Wheatley (pictured above).

“It is a massive vote of confidence by Scottish Widows and the Bank of Scotland in both Wheatley and the affordable housing sector, and one that will lead to hundreds of new, affordable, high-quality, energy-efficient homes.”

Jason Morris, director of loan investments at Scottish Widows, said that structuring this long-term loan provided Wheatley Group with the certainty of fixed rate funding for the next 25 years.

“We are delighted to support the provision of much-needed affordable homes building on our previous commitments to the housing sector.”

This investment follows £185m of funding from the European Investment Bank, which was secured by Wheatley earlier this year, and brings the total raised by Wheatley since 2013 to almost £930m.

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