Urban Splash
Miranda Dobson

Urban Splash sell £77m portfolio amid major restructuring

Property development firm Places for People has announced a £77m deal for a portfolio of properties, bought from Manchester-based company, Urban Splash.

The deal will see Places for People take ownership of Urban Splash’s Park Hill scheme in Sheffield alongside property at a number of other site, after the seller was shortlisted for the prestigious Sterling Prize earlier in July.

Urban Splash has subsequently announced a corporate restructure, the sale of a residential portfolio of 654 apartments to Places for People in a deal worth £77m and a three-year sales and management contract.

The deal will see Places for People retain Urban Splash as managers on the portfolio to minimise the impact on current occupiers.

Urban Splash will also establish a number of new businesses, including Urban Splash Holdings, Urban Splash Management, and a series of new holding companies, several of which will be completely debt free.

The directors will retain full ownership of all new companies, while the firm also announced it is seeking out new joint venture opportunities.

David Cowans, group chief executive at Places for People, said: “Places for People has invested in acquiring these properties from Urban Splash as part of our continued commitment to high quality, affordable and sustainable housing.

“Adding these properties to our portfolio enables us to provide even greater choice and more access to homes for sale, rent and part ownership across the UK.”

Tom Bloxham MBE, chairman of Urban Splash, added: “We are very pleased to be working with Places for People. We are two organisations who share many values, a belief in the power of placemaking and mixing up uses and tenures.

“We both have enviable track records in developing award winning regeneration projects, private rental stock and affordable housing.

“We are confident that that our design flair, marketing and lettings skills combined with Places for People’s reputation, skills and experience will make this collaboration a great success.”

The portfolio taken on by Places for People includes property from schemes in Manchester, Plymouth, Bristol, Bradford and Leeds, which have won investment from the Homes and Communities Agency, including its Rent to Homebuy Scheme.

Mr Bloxham continued: “The sale of this portfolio marks a significant turning point for Urban Splash and the funding from it will be used to reduce debt while our corporate restructure will allow us to undertake future development projects.”

“This restructure, sale of the residential portfolio and setting up of a sales and management agreement with Places for People signals the start of a new beginning for us.

“It has been a tough five years but during that time we have delivered some great award winning projects including the Royal William Yard in Plymouth, Lakeshore in Bristol, Longlands in Stalybridge and Park Hill in Sheffield.

“We are pleased that we have now been able to undertake a corporate restructure and place individual properties and relevant debt into new legal entities.”

Places for People currently owns and manages 143,000 units and has assets of £3 billion, while Urban Splash has invested over half a billion pounds creating new homes and jobs in over four million sq ft of space.

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