Pension fund makes £8.5m commitment to housing scheme

The Tower Road South scheme

Merseyside Pension Fund, advised by CBRE’s investment advisory team, has agreed an £8.5m loan facility to support the development of the first commercial buildings at Wirral Waters, one of the largest regeneration schemes in the UK.

This represents the fourth investment from the Merseyside Pension Fund and is the first to be made outside of Liverpool city centre.

The loan has been provided alongside £4.5m of regional and local government funding.

It has been awarded to Peel L&P, which will deliver the projects.

This is the second loan that the Merseyside Pension Fund has committed to provide to the group, having financed Merseyside Heat at Liverpool Waters in 2019.

Merseyside Heat is a local district heating network with expected completion in 2023.

Once completed, the first phase will provide up to 19 gigawatt hours of low-carbon heat energy per annum to consumers at Liverpool Waters and the greater waterfront area.

The Wirral Waters loan meets a number of ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) criteria – it will be used to deliver a 30,000 sq ft BREEAM Excellent office building and it will also support the development of a 70,000 sq ft multi-unit manufacturing and logistics project at MEA Park, both on brownfield land.

The two buildings will create 100,000 sq ft of new employment space in Birkenhead and will be critical to the delivery of other sites as part of the wider Wirral Waters master plan.

Wirral Waters is a strategically important regeneration project in the city region.

Once complete it will have a total gross development value of £4.5bn and will regenerate 500 acres of land to create 20 million sq ft of mixed-used floor space, five million sq ft of employment space and up to 13,000 new homes.

Joe Bahsoon, director, CBRE Capital Advisors, said: “Wirral Waters is a landmark scheme within the Liverpool City Region and meets the fund’s core objective of supporting local development and regeneration.

“Occupiers and investors alike are increasingly seeking buildings which meet ESG criteria and on behalf of the fund we are delighted to be facilitating the development of the first BREEAM certified building in Wirral.”

Richard Mawdsley, Peel L&P’s director of development for Wirral Waters, said: “We are delighted to be working with both Merseyside Pension Fund and CBRE on Wirral Waters.

“Securing this funding means that these two highly sustainable and jobs-creating projects can proceed as planned, bringing investment, economic growth and prosperity to Wirral.

“We hope to be announcing the contractor for No 1 Tower Road South very shortly with work starting on-site this year.”

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