OakNorth Bank provides £4.7m loan to newly launched SME housebuilder


honey housing development

OakNorth Bank, the neobank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, has provided a £4.7m loan to newly launched SME housebuilder, honey, to support its maiden residential scheme.

Founded in October 2022 by former Avant Homes CEO, Mark Mitchell, honey builds original homes with a unique approach to design, space, and sustainability.

Standard features in every honey home will include bi-fold doors, individually designed integrated kitchens, boutique-style bathrooms, and EV charging points.

All units will also accommodate the Future Homes Standard, resulting in honey homes producing 75-80% fewer carbon emissions.

Located in its newly opened Sheffield city-centre HQ, honey has initially agreed to acquire two new developments in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, set to deliver over 141 homes across both sites.

The new business is also backed by leading private equity provider, Alchemy Partners, who specialise in investing in debt and equity special situations across Europe.

The firm currently has AUM of over £1.6b and has invested in over 200 transactions since its launch in 1997.

Subject to planning, the capital from OakNorth Bank will be used to support honey’s Derbyshire development, consisting of 50 two, three and four-bedroomed homes.

Located in the rural village of South Normanton, the site will also include five affordable units and will feature fourteen separate house types for buyers to choose from.

Mark Mitchell, Founder & CEO of honey, commented:

“By launching honey, I can now start realising my vision for building new homes that will deliver a combination of style, substance and sustainability that will be unmatched at its price point.

From our market research, we understand there is strong demand for high quality and high specification new homes in South Normanton, so, subject to planning, we will be very pleased to be able to provide exactly that for the Bolsover local community.

Working closely with Damien and the team at OakNorth, we instantly realised their passion and ability to support the SME housebuilding community and they were highly transparent and communicative throughout the entire lending process.”

Damien Hughes, Senior Director of Property Finance at OakNorth Bank, added:

“Since honey’s launch only five months ago, Mark has already overseen the opening of its new Sheffield HQ, whilst also bringing together highly experienced industry talent that looks set to create a refreshing approach to housebuilding.

Located a short drive away from the popular towns and cities of Chesterfield, Derby, and Nottingham, the South Normanton scheme is perfectly placed as a commuter location, making it ideal for young and growing families.

SME housebuilders continue to play a vital role in local communities and economies, which is why we’re so thrilled to be able to support honey’s first-ever residential scheme.”