Together gets on board with Burrington Estates to fund landmark building The Ship


The Ship

Specialist short-term finance provider Together has delivered funding of £4.8 million for the landmark Plymouth building, The Ship, as leading property investors Burrington Estates breathe new life into this historic building, designed by acclaimed architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and once home to the Daily Mail.

The impressive property, which spans 116,000 square feet on a 12.36 acre plot, had been empty for two years and at risk of being demolished when Burrington Estates stepped in with a vision to create a regional business hub. Funding was required to refurbish the property, creating offices for a wide range of businesses over the three floors, with spectacular views.

The client required £2.5 million to repay their initial investment and a further £2.3 million for the refurbishment. However, the lack of tenants or formal lease agreements made mainstream funding difficult, although there were pre-let agreements with five local businesses.  Needing a tailored approach, Burrington Estates turned to Together.

The specialist lender reviewed the pre-let agreements, whereby the businesses, which included an established call centre, a café and a leisure operator, had agreed to enter into a lease once the refurbishment was complete. Taking its usual common sense approach, Together then instructed a full RICS valuation with a market value for the property established at £8.4 million, with anticipated value post-refurbishment at £11 million. Together agreed the full funding of £4.8 million, which was delivered within a month, and the client was able to move forward with the development.

Mark Edworthy, founder of Burrington Estates commented:

“We initially stepped in to secure the future of The Ship building in July 2015 but we needed finance to complete the refurbishment and realise our vision of creating a vibrant business community in this space. We’ve worked with Together previously and felt that they would be able to deal with the complexities, such as the pre-let agreements, with their customary individual and holistic approach. We’re now in a position to complete our project and create more office space for local businesses, whilst also preserving a truly magnificent building.”

Ritchie Watson, director of development finance for Together, added:

“This case is a great example of where our individual approach comes into play. With the market valuation and the pre-let agreements, not to mention that Burrington Estates have a proven track record for sympathetic development of historic sites in the South West, we were happy to support them with the required funding.  This was delivered in a short timeframe, thanks to our solicitors and valuers working together to meet tight deadlines.

“The client has an exit strategy planned, and will refinance with a mainstream lender once the project is complete; with a significant uplift in value anticipated. Meanwhile, businesses in Plymouth will have a new business hub in this historic property and a market leading leisure facility.”

Together has been providing finance for 42 years and has seen record lending in the past 12 months. The business has ambitious plans for growth and has appointed dedicated sales representatives across mainland UK who work with businesses, property investors and professional introducers to deliver the commercial finance they need.