£4.7m loan to kickstart mill conversions

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A developer has secured £4.7m loan from a government fund to restart work on two flagship mill conversions in Ancoats, Manchester.

Paragon Developments, led by Daren Whittaker who is also a director of Leeds-based construction company Renaker, plans to convert the Royal and Paragon mills which stalled five years ago.

ING Real Estate completed the conversion of Old Sedgewick Mill, which along with the others forms the Royal Mills complex. But it had little appetite to continue when the economy collapsed.

Each of the mills will be converted to provide 40 apartments and there is also permission for another new build block of 48 unit.

Paragon has been backed by Get Britain Building, the government’s £570m fund to kickstart stalled schemes. It is administered by the Homes and Communities Agency.

Mr Whittaker said: “The schemes have already got planning and we are hoping to kick on as quickly as possible. It is a great opportunity.

“We will be looking to deliver a similar high quality of fit-out as in Old Sedgwick which is a wonderful example of an industrial building well saved and now well used.”

Work is due to start this month.