New Partnership To Provide £1bn In Development Finance

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

New Partnership To Provide £1bn In Development Finance

New Partnership To Provide £1bn In Development Finance

In a bid to help support small to medium-sized businesses developing homes for rent or sale (including the private rented sector, retirement living and social housing), Barclays has teamed up with the government to provide £1 billion of finance for the building of thousands of new homes across England.

Loans will range from £5 million to £100 million, all competitively priced, and have been made available for developers and housebuilders that can demonstrate that they have the necessary experience and track record to complete their proposed projects.

The idea is to help diversify the housing market because at the moment, nearly two-thirds of homes in the country are being built by just ten companies.

Commenting on the news, chairman of Barclays John McFarlane said: “There is a vital need to build more good quality homes across the country. This £1 billion fund is about helping to do exactly that by showing firms in the business of house building that the right finance is available for projects that help meet this urgent need. We are very pleased to be working with government to get the country building more homes, more quickly.”

James Brokenshire, housing secretary, made further comments, saying that the new fund will help to give smaller builders access to the finance they require in order to see their housing developments get off the ground.

“This opportunity is a fantastic one, not only for seeing more houses built but also promoting new approaches to both design and construction in the housing market at present, he continued.

These new innovative ways of working include urban regeneration projects and the use of brownfield land.

Of course, it’s not just access to funding that is proving to be a barrier to housebuilding at the moment, particularly with Brexit on the horizon. Just today (September 12th), the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) published research showing that smaller housebuilders are now predicting that skills shortages in the industry will hinder housing delivery and will overtake access to finance as the biggest barrier to building new properties in the future.

The study found that the percentage of smaller builders saying that skills shortages are a major barrier to building was up to 44 per cent, rising from 42 per cent last year.

A lack of available and viable land was also cited as a barrier to increasing housing delivery, with nearly two-thirds of those asked saying that the number of opportunities now present for small site development are now decreasing.

Chief executive of the FMB Brian Berry reminded everyone that the construction sector is “heavily reliant” on workers coming from the EU, with just under one in ten born in the EU. These skills shortages are set to be intensified further by Brexit and the end of free movement.

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