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    US30 - Blog by Nathan Cornish

    US30 - Partnerships are in our DNA

    25 April 2023
    A 3 minute read by Nathan Cornish

    2023 marks 30 years in business for Urban Splash, a time in which we’ve created thousands of new homes, workspaces and new neighbourhoods from Manchester to Plymouth and just about every major city in-between.

    Much of that has been delivered in purposeful partnerships – be that local authorities, housing associations, or private sector partners – and here, our director Nathan Cornish reflects on some of our collaborations.

    The proverb goes ‘two heads are better than one’ and its one we buy into at Urban Splash. Much of our work over the years has been delivered in partnership with other brilliant organisations and people from across our sector.

    This week, we added to our extensive list of partners with the news that we’d signed a new, £10m deal with property heavyweights Grosvenor. The deal got me thinking about all of the diverse communities we’d created with partners over the years, and in this article, I’ve reflected on some of them below.

    Port Loop in Birmingham

    Public sector partners

    This blog would simply be too long to mention all the Local Authorities we’ve worked with, but its something we value highly.

    Almost all our 70 or so schemes have been in partnership with the local council. Current live projects see us working with Manchester City Council, Milton Keynes Development Partnership, The Lake District National Park, Plymouth Council, Birmingham City Council, Sheffield City Council, Swansea Council – and more!

    Park Hill in Sheffield

    Places for People
    2014 – present

    Back in 2014, we were thrilled to form a long-term JV partnership with Places for People.

    This deal enabled us to continue developing and managing ground breaking, regeneration schemes across the UK – places like Park Hill in Sheffield – a dynamic new neighbourhood that The Sunday Times recently said was helping make Sheffield the ‘Capital of Cool’.

    We’re still proud to be working with Places for People as we tackle the next exciting stages at Park Hill and Port Loop – more on that soon…

    Matchworks in Liverpool

    Pears Group
    2014 – present

    The ink was barely dry on our deal with Places for People before we signed up another major partner – Pears Group.

    The initial £135m joint venture deal funded part of our Urban Splash commercial portfolio, which at the time consisted of 35 properties including Fort Dunlop in Birmingham, Matchworks in Liverpool and Smithfield Buildings in Manchester.

    Pears MD Jonathan Rose, said at the time he was “delighted” to assist Urban Splash, adding “we look forward to working together”. Nine years on and our partnership is still going strong.

    Workspace at Beehive Mill in Manchester

    Aviva Investors
    2022 – present

    More recently in 2022, we secured a new £43.5m refinancing deal with Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc – a huge endorsement for our commercial assets, our people and the customers operating out of our buildings.

    The deal refinanced 800,000 sq ft of workspace in Liverpool and Manchester – a portfolio which Aviva’s Gregor Bamert called “diverse… well-designed, well-located and of high quality”.

    New Islington Marina in Manchester

    Grosvenor Estates
    2023 – present

    And so to 2023, when we announced our newest partnership with Grosvenor – a real estate heavyweight who have committed to a £10m deal.

    Announcing the deal, Rachel Dickie, Executive Director, Investment, Grosvenor Property UK, praised our “track record of bringing forward some of the UK’s most innovative regeneration schemes” adding that Grosvenor is “delighted to be able to support them to continue to expand.”

    We also continue to with along with other long term valued partners such at the Canals and Rivers Trust, Historic England and the National Trust, the list is almost endless but its something we don’t take lightly.

    These partners open access to land, funding and expertise that allows us to work together to deliver, what we hope will be, more award winning schemes.

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