TAB and Opes Financial Partners complete £4.55m bridging deal

TAB has worked together with Opes Financial Partners to complete a £4.55m bridging loan for Setha Group’s development in Canterbury.

The facility, arranged at 65% LTV over a nine-month term, was used to refinance an existing loan and raise capital for the development of the Biggleston Yard mixed-use scheme, for which the client secured planning approval in principle.

The RICS valuer was Christopher Francis, senior associate director at Strutt and Parker’s office in Canterbury, while Daniel Fireman, real estate finance partner at Gunnercooke acted for TAB.

The developer worked together with Child Graddon Lewis and Clague Architects to bring forward the proposals, and is currently waiting for the formal sign off for the scheme, pending approval from Natural England. 

Once completed, the £27m GDV project located near the Canterbury Cathedral, will comprise approximately 19,500 sq ft of commercial, as well as 33 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments and duplexes, and 32 serviced flats over 39,000 sq ft.

The development will incorporate the remnants of a late medieval church house, as well as early 18th century elements, including a Grade II-listed three-storey terraced property. 

The mid-19th century foundry previously used by HM Biggleston & Sons will be retained and refurbished, and the forge repurposed and integrated within the scheme. 

Late 19th century buildings are also being retained and the churchyard of the former St Margaret’s Church will be incorporated to create an accessible open public space.

Nick Russell, sales director at TAB, said: “The Biggleston Yard site is in an ideal location on the high street, in the shadow of the cathedral. 

“Setha Group had put in an extremely robust and well-thought planning application to convert the site into shops, serviced apartments and residential property.

“New access to the property will allow visitors and residents to appreciate parts of this historic site that have not been easy to see before, too. 

“On top of that, having a site of that size vacant left an economically important hole in the centre of Canterbury, so it’s nice to play a part in restarting the city centre’s economy.”

Matthew Davies, co-founder of Opes Financial Partners, said: “We’ve written a lot of business with TAB this year, chiefly because they’re transparent with us and we can always trust them to get the job done. 

“Securing funding for mixed-use schemes with retail and hospitality elements is challenging, especially as this was also a big loan. 

“Additionally, some of the investors in the transaction were not UK residents. 

“Fortunately, TAB took a pragmatic approach and were able to deliver where others could not.”

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