OakNorth Bank provides £2.7M loan to Scarborough Group International for new stadium development

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OakNorth Bank – the UK bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has provided a £2.7M loan to Scarborough Group International (SGI), one of the UK’s most active, privately-owned developers with a GDV of £2.5B, mainly focused within the Northern Powerhouse.

The capital will be used to support the development of a new community stadium at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, in conjunction with Sheffield City Council’s long-term ambition for the area.

The Legacy Stadium, which will eventually have capacity for up to 3,900 spectators, will include a three-storey, covered stand alongside 23,000 sq ft of flexible business space and ancillary facilities. When complete it will become a permanent home to Sheffield Eagles Rugby League Football Club.

Driven by strong partnerships between key institutions from the Sheffield City Region, the Park is a major economic development project that will see the regeneration of approximately 200 acres of the Lower Don Valley industrial area.

It is strategically situated a short drive away from the M1 motorway and Sheffield city centre. The development focuses on four work streams of Health and Wellbeing, Investment and Regeneration, Research and Innovation, and Education and New Skills.

It is central to the wider Sheffield City Region ‘Global Innovation Corridor’, a 20-mile area running from Sheffield city centre to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

SGI signed a development agreement with Sheffield City Council in December 2020 to deliver a masterplan for approximately 850,000 sq ft of commercial space at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

In addition to the Community Stadium, which is currently on site and due to complete in February 2022, the developer intends to submit a planning application for the first phase of the scheme, which will feature a circa 40,000 sq ft Enterprise Centre to support fledgling businesses in the health, wellbeing, sport and activity sectors, by the end of the year.

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Kevin McCabe, Chairman of SGI, commented:

“We’re proud to be contributing to the development of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. It is set to be one of the leading modern science parks in the UK, dedicated to organisations in the health, wellbeing, sport and activity sectors.

This is the second significant facility we’ve completed with OakNorth Bank in 2021, having received £25.4M earlier this year to develop a major new office complex at Thorpe Park in Leeds.

We were once again impressed with the speed and transparency with which the team works, as well as their commercial and entrepreneurial approach.

We look forward to further strengthening our relationship with OakNorth Bank, as we continue to complete our Northern Powerhouse projects.”

Greg Manson, Associate Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, added:

“The Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is in a great position to capitalise on the existing sports and health related institutions in the area, whilst also providing state-of-the-art working and social environments to help growing businesses in this field.

Given SGI’s vast experience and leading reputation in the real estate industry, we anticipate this development to be another major success for the business.

Working closely with Kevin and the wider SGI’s leadership team was a highly enjoyable experience and we look forward to watching the project take shape throughout this year.

I have no doubts that this will be the first of many successful projects in the wider regeneration and I congratulate SGI and the local Council on their accomplishments to date.”

Jamie Davidson, Managing Director of Conduit Finance, said:

“It’s testament to Scarborough that they were able to attract finance of this nature during the pandemic.

Kevin McCabe’s ‘Keep Building’ mantra has served the company well during these unusual times. In OakNorth, we secured a bank that continued to lend and who appreciated the long-term positive impact of this building on both the business and local community.

The 200-acre project links closely with Scarborough’s strategic focus on Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG).

The project includes over 12 acres of space dedicated to parkland. In addition to the Stadium, there is a further 800,000 sq ft of commercial space to be built which will create GDV of over £267m.”

Chris Noble MBE, Sheffield Eagles Chairman, commented:

“We are delighted to be a major part of the new Legacy Stadium at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

A permanent home for the club is something we have long-required and desired and the Legacy Stadium will provide this, with wonderful facilities for our players, staff and spectators.

It’s exciting to see the project develop this year and we are extremely excited to begin life at the Stadium next season.”