St Stephens Church

Manchester based developer Nook and Key lacked the track record to access high street funding and approached the Fund after seeing a banner on a site in Manchester City Centre.

The Fund agreed a £2.5m loan with an additional £1.1m from the Homes and Communities Agency to support the conversion of a Grade II listed church and the development of 14 new build family homes in Hyde.

The monies represented 85% of the development costs of the scheme – Director Ross Gardner said “The fees are comparable to institutional lending but more crucially the amount allows us to free up our own equity and look at other sites and more schemes. It is a partnership and makes us as a small business a more attractive and safer proposition. It opens up avenues for other private investors and allows us to grow faster”.

The Church, St Stephens in Floweryfields, was converted into 16 large one and two bedroom apartments in a scheme designed by Millson Associates. All the apartments and the three and four bedroom houses were for sale.

Director Mike Hampson said: “We have discovered that there is a lot of added value working with the fund rather than with a bank. We have received a huge level of support, not just financial but with the strategic positioning of the company.

“The Fund Team came out to see what we do. The quality we want to achieve and the mix of properties we  created in Hyde. Unlike a bank the Fund has the same goal as us – we want to build more houses. All our ambitions aligned."