21 February, 2008 – AskBury announces funding deal for Bury's Townside development
Standard Life Investments' Long Lease Fund is to forward fund the first phase of AskBury's multi-million pound Townside development in Bury at a cost of approximately £30m.
The first phase includes a new state of-the-art 50,000 sq ft primary care centre to be occupied on a 20 year lease by Bury Primary Care Trust and a 40,000 sq ft office to be occupied by Bury Council on a 25 year lease.
The start on site of the PCT building, designed by architects Hurd Rolland, and the office and 380 space multi-storey car park buildings designed by Carey Jones, is due to begin in spring this year.
David Burkinshaw, Director at Ask Developments said: "Askbury is delighted to have secured a sale of the first phase of buildings to Standard Life Investments’ Long Lease Fund. This is excellent news for the development and a vital step in the delivery of the commercial component of this major Town Centre Scheme.
Mark Sanders, Chief Executive from Bury Council added: "Private investors are showing their confidence in our future and we are tremendously excited at what this will mean to local people.
"The Townside development will mark the start of a significant and radical change for the town centre of Bury. The new facilities on offer will mean that they will be able to access everything they need right on their doorstep and it is hugely exciting."
Richard Marshall, Fund Manager at Standard Life Investments also commented: "We are delighted to be forward funding the first phase of Bury’s Townside development. The income streams from both the Primary Care Trust building and office space are government-backed and meet the criteria of the Long Lease Fund for investing in high quality property with blue chip tenants."
The proposals for Townside, located opposite Bury Town Hall, will transform this Gateway site into an £80m mixed commercial and residential area.
In addition to the PCT and Council accommodation, AskBury is currently negotiating two further pre-lets with a hotel operator for a 110-bedroom hotel, and an office occupier. Both buildings will total around 65,000 sq ft.
Major public landscaping, including a new civic square and new pedestrian connection to link the Scheme to Bury’s Metrolink station are also planned.
The residential element of the Scheme comprises 220 apartments which are planned as part of a future phase and planning permission is expected to be submitted at the end of this month.
AskBury is a joint venture between Ask Developments and Bury MBC. King Sturge acted for AskBury and Whitaker Horton represented Standard Life Investments’ Long Lease Fund. Manchester law firm Halliwells advised AskBury on the development and sale agreements.
Source: Bury MBC press release