Property round-up: First Choice Homes Oldham; Create Homes; Glenbrook; Synapse 360; Salford City Council

The Sholver development

First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) has completed 29 new homes at its Hillside development in Sholver.

The six four-bedroom, 11 three-bedroom and six two-bedroom homes, along with six one-bedroom apartments – all for affordable rent – are part of FCHO’s work to build 750 new homes in Oldham and surrounding areas over the next six years to help meet housing need.

Underlining the social housing provider’s pledge to support the local economy and create jobs and training opportunities through its work, the build has been delivered by local contractor, Casey, which holds the same values.

The £4.7m scheme forms part of regeneration work in the Sholver neighbourhood and created full time jobs for three FCHO customers. It also provided a work experience placement for an FCHO customer, arranged through the housing provider’s employment service, Directions. Oldham-based firms, Whiteley Eaves and Nicol Thomas were partners in the scheme, too.

Joel Owen, director of development at FCHO, said: “Improving lives through high quality, modern homes is what we’re all about and I’m proud of the excellent work done here to not only build much needed homes, but also through great teamwork we’ve managed to make a really positive difference in the local community. This is a great example of a land and package deal brought to us from Casey and we hope to work on similar schemes with them in the near future.”

Alan Taylor, director at Casey, said: “It has been brilliant working in partnership with FCHO on the Sholver development to provide high quality homes for the new residents. It was important to us to leave a legacy in the area and to help those affected by the pandemic, which we have been able to do by a variety of social value initiatives.”


St William’s Gate

Create Homes has secured a £4m funding package from Paragon Development Finance to support its 23 home development in Pilling, Lancashire.

The Blackpool-based company’s St William’s Gate development will consist of 23 two-, three- and four-bed houses. Phase One of the scheme is sold out and the company has just embarked on building and marketing Phase Two.

Paragon’s funding has enabled Create Homes to refinance existing debt related to the scheme, as well as completing the project. The deal was led on behalf of Paragon by relationship director Dave Rowlinson, who focuses on the North West.

Paul Mathison, group chief executive of Create Homes, said: “After the success of our first two residential developments in the region, we are really excited with this latest residential project. We are convinced that the quality of our homes and the rural setting allows us to offer an exceptional product – the quality of which will be the best in the area.”

Dave Rowlinson, Paragon Development Finance relationship director, said: “Create Homes has forged a great reputation for delivering quality family homes in attractive locations. This scheme has already proved popular with Phase One selling out quickly and I’m sure Phase Two will be equally as popular.”

Create Homes is a new client to Paragon and the deal was introduced by David Rainford, property finance director, Cowgills. The funding has been arranged over 26 months and the scheme total gross development value stands at £6.4m.

Other advisors included Hayden Manifold of Savills (valuer), David Boyes, Rhian Griffiths and Oliver Labbett of Dalbergia (project management) and Peter Williams of DAC Beachcroft (legal).


Portwood Court

Manchester-based investment and development company, Glenbrook, has announced the investment sale of the final unit on Portwood Court in Stockport to DK Commercial for £545,000. The deal achieved a Net Initial Yield of 10.50%.

Located at the Portwood roundabout, the 4,919 sq ft building is one of three buildings forming Portwood Court, which offers 18,527 sq ft of retail accommodation. Other occupiers include the German Kebab shop, Connection Flooring and Pizza Hut.

Chris Lloyd, investment director at Glenbrook, said: “After only acquiring the whole of Portwood Court in December 2019, we have now completed the final sale and concluded our business plan. We have sold the units to investors and owner occupiers showing there is still strong interest in the retail sector for good locations.”

Cheetham and Mortimer represented Glenbrook.


One St Peter’s Square

Cloud solutions specialist, Synapse360, is opening a brand new UK headquarters in Manchester as part of its ambitious UK growth plan.

The new UK headquarters is central to Synapse360’s plans to supercharge growth by increasing its presence and visibility in the UK. The company’s move into the landmark One St Peter’s Square development in the heart of Manchester, will further its ambitions to become a leader in the country’s cloud solutions and IT managed services market.

Stephen Douglas, MD of Synapse360, said: “Moving our UK headquarters is a significant step in Synapse360’s journey. Our new central Manchester location will enable us to expand on that considerably, strengthening our commitment to delivering the UK’s quickest route to the cloud to businesses all across the country and helping business leaders to sleep soundly, knowing their data is completely safe and secure.”

Steve Lamb, Synapse360’s UK business manager, heads up the office of around 40 employees comprising technical, sales, marketing, and administrative support for existing UK customers including Luton Airport, JML, and BDP. In addition to its central location, the new office offers the company flexibility to grow this number as it scales, as well as access to a flourishing tech community.

Lamb said: “The biggest digital and technology hub outside of London, Manchester was recently named the fastest growing tech city in Europe. As part of a thriving tech-savvy business community, and with access to a wealth of incredible talent, Synapse360 is perfectly positioned to serve our loyal existing customer base, as well as helping more businesses across the country to reap the benefits of moving to the cloud and protecting their priceless data.”


Salford Mayor Paul Dennett

People in Salford are benefiting from a £30m boost from developments there.

Since 2010 the city council has secured £29.9m in Section 106 contributions from developers to mitigate the impact of development on local communities and to support more sustainable places.

So far the council has spent £12m on the local environment, £4m on affordable housing and £2.3m on community projects. And £11.6m is still to be spent.

Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, said: “It is great news that we have managed to bring such a staggering amount of money in from section 106 agreements since 2010. We have a proven track record in bringing in money and the Section 106 accounts from last year are now available for people to see.

“Overall the list of improvement is really positive and includes money spent on replacement trees, park upgrades, footpaths, nature reserves, schools, affordable homes, public art to name just a few. There is something for everyone in the full list and we are proud to publish it.”

He added: “In the past financial year we managed to spend 67% of this money on affordable homes to help with the housing crisis. Providing decent affordable homes for local people is a priority of mine and to see an extra 183 homes in the past 10 years purely as a result of Section 106 obligations, in addition to £4m to be spent on affordable housing, is greatly welcomed.

“In the past year we have spent almost a quarter of the money on open space improvements such as public realm and parks. We want to continue to provide nice places that people can enjoy with parks and play equipment where young people can have fun and keep active.”