Pension fund replaces Lloyds to finance M7 development in UK

A pension fund is financing a major mixed-use project in the UK Midlands by M7 Developments, replacing Lloyds bank.

Merseyside Pension Fund (MPF) is providing a loan for the´The Green´, a brownfield regeneration scheme in Solihull to build 570 new homes in phases - including 154 senior living units – by 2024, on an area totalling 237,744 m2. The new site will also feature 44,196 m2 of commercial space.

The project – which M7 says will create around 475 jobs – is seen fitting the investment profile of MPF. Advising M7 on the loan was Mayfair Capital Investment Management.

M7 Developments is building on the historic headquarters of automotive and aerospace manufacturer, Lucas Industries, which is now part of global engineering company ZF Group. Planning permission was granted for Solihull Borough Council. ZF is to remain as a tenant while its new home is built.

Hugh Ellingham, CEO of M7 Developments, said: ‘The Green is a complex and sizeable brownfield regeneration project and this planning success is a major step forward as we begin to realise our vision for the scheme.

‘Working closely with our partners and a responsive local planning authority, the project is really starting to take shape. Having launched M7 Developments earlier this year, this is also a strong illustration of how the depth and breadth of M7’s activities is expanding, and we have several brownfield projects in the pipeline that we look forward to undertaking in the future.’

James Thornton, chief executive of Mayfair, said: ‘At this point in the cycle, given continued risk aversion from traditional lenders, commercial debt is an appealing way of generating attractive income returns in a continuing low interest rate environment.’

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