£100m green funding secured by Bruntwood SciTech to accelerate new developments

07/04/2023

BRUNTWOOD SciTech, the UK’s leading property provider dedicated to the growth of the science and technology sector, has secured an additional £100m as part of its financing facilities from HSBC UK, Lloyds Bank, NatWest, and Santander UK. 

The funding will enable the Joint Venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General to continue with its expansion plans at pace to support the burgeoning demand from life science, tech and innovation businesses across the UK with world-class infrastructure and specialist support.

As Bruntwood SciTech continues to accelerate its decarbonisation as part of its net zero goals for new buildings by 2030 and its entire portfolio by 2050, the terms of the loan are intrinsically linked with these committed sustainability targets. These include improving the EPC ratings of buildings, a year-on-year reduction in carbon intensity, a reduction in embodied carbon across new build developments, and an increase in renewable energy procurement.

Specific to its expansion plans, £50m of the funding will be utilised for the next phase of development to get underway at the new Circle Square neighbourhood within the Manchester Oxford Road Corridor innovation district. No.3 Circle Square will be a 15-storey, 267,000 sq ft hub of cutting edge workspace designed to facilitate collaboration and creative innovation, and follows the completion and full-occupation of No.1 and No.2 Circle Square. New businesses locating to No.3 Circle Square will become part of a growing tech community, joining the likes of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Roku, Autocab – recently acquired by Uber, Octopus Energy, and NFT marketplace experts Known Origin – recently acquired by eBay.

The green funding secured aligns with the company’s plans for No.3 Circle Square to achieve net zero embodied carbon during construction and operation for its shared spaces, BREEAM Excellent status, a NABERS 5 Star rating and an EPC A rating. The building is due to benefit from an all-electric heating and cooling system with state of the art air source heat pumps, as well as smart metering, roof mounted solar panels, a smart BMS, and local MVHR units to maximise efficiency and fresh air control to its occupants. The new landscaped space outside No.3 Circle Square, Symphony Gardens, will complement the existing five acres of public realm, featuring Symphony Park, to further increase biodiversity. Green travel will be also encouraged through provision of high-quality facilities including cycle and shower facilities and kit drying rooms. 

Bruntwood SciTech now has a £380m financial package to support its growth and sustainability ambitions; a £250m term loan and £80m revolving credit facility, both of which are sustainability linked, as well as a £50m green loan for No.3 Circle Square. Lloyds Bank acted as sustainability coordinator on the financing arrangements. 

Kate Lawlor, chief executive officer at Bruntwood SciTech, said: “We are committed to a net zero future within the world-class infrastructure we build and provide for science and technology businesses and we continue to set ourselves ambitious targets to meet this goal.

“This new funding agreement enables us to accelerate our growth both sustainably and at pace, so that we can provide the specialist facilities businesses in the innovation sector need in line with demand and with minimal environmental impact. We look forward to commencing construction on No.3 Circle Square soon as well as our future development pipeline across the UK.”  

Richard Butterfield, Relationship Director, real estate and housing at Lloyds Bank, said: “Bruntwood SciTech remains one of the UK’s true success stories – a business with sustainability and the industries of tomorrow running through its core.

“This financial package will enable it to take the next step on its journey, by building No.3 Circle Square – which will house some of the most exciting tech businesses in the North West – and continuing to improve the green credentials of the rest of its portfolio. We are looking forward to continuing to support businesses like Bruntwood SciTech that are focused on greening the built environment.”

Andy Clarke, Director at NatWest said: “NatWest are delighted to be providing our continued support to Bruntwood SciTech with this latest Green funding.

“The funding will enable further growth in the science, technology and innovation sector and we look forward to supporting the delivery of the next phase of Circle Square as well as Bruntwood SciTech’s wider development pipeline across the UK.”

Matt Jones, Senior Director, Real Estate Finance at Santander UK said: “Bruntwood SciTech is committed to building sustainable buildings, reducing its carbon footprint, and developing areas to improve biodiversity, and Santander UK is proud to support its development plans with this latest funding.”

Shoosmiths acted on behalf of the lenders and Addleshaw Goddard for Bruntwood SciTech, with CBRE providing valuations.

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