Manchester lender announces plans to grow its loan book to £5bn

Tom Bloxham, left, and Chris Baguley

Cheadle-based specialist lender, Together, has ambitions to increase its loan book to more than £5bn over the next five years, its corporate managing director announced last night (April 26).

Chris Baguley told guests at a corporate event organised by Together that the lender had written £200m a month since the start of the year – with a record £260m in March – and based on the group’s previous performance, expected originations to increase its lending in excess of £5bn.

He was speaking to an audience of more than 200 of Together’s corporate customers at Peter Street Kitchen in Manchester.

The event featured a question and answer session with guest speaker, Tom Bloxham, founder of Manchester-based regeneration company Urban Splash.

Mr Baguley said: “We’ve also invested in Together’s vision for the next five years and our further ambition for growth. Our five-year plan takes us to over £5bn per annum – that’s over £450m per month of new lending, which we believe is achievable, given our performance to date.”

He said that the group was committed to its long term ambition to use its lending to create a positive impact for communities across the UK.

He added: “It’s not just about the numbers, but looking at what we want to be known for as a business – being good to deal with, good to our customers, good to our colleagues, good to our local communities and charitable partners, and taking seriously the responsibility we have from an environmental and social perspective.”

Tom Bloxham, who was awarded the MBE in 1999 for services to architecture and urban regeneration, said: “Manchester is an amazing city that continues to evolve. It has been exciting to witness the tremendous changes that have taken place with the city’s population only just reaching that of 1945.

“It has been particularly fantastic for Urban Splash to be a key part of that regeneration, which we did by embracing great design to redevelop unused buildings creating new parts of Manchester such as Ancoats, New Islington and the Norther Quarter.

“But our job isn’t done yet – there is still plenty more to do.”

He added: “There are a number of arms to our business including the recent creation of a new PRS company, which has just raised £150m to buy more sites. What we are doing at Urban Splash is creating a great business with people from our city that have the right values and can make an entrepreneurial difference.”

Mr Baguley also rolled out the red carpet for TV producer Sioned Wyn at the event. She is the director of indie production company, Chwarel, which created Channel 4’s Bafta-winning property show, The Great House Giveaway.

Together provided the commercial finance to buy properties for contestants taking part in the programme to refurbish and sell on – within six months – keeping any profit they make.

Mrs Wyn said: “I was so pleased to have the opportunity to work with Together. The Great House Giveaway is the only show that allows people who are typically involved in building and renovating houses, such as joiners and decorators to be able to acquire a property without having the money themselves. Together made this vision a reality and because of them we have gone on to win several television awards.”