OakNorth Bank provides £50M loan to support Brigid Investments

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OakNorth Bank – the UK bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has provided a £50M loan to Brigid Investments, a special purpose vehicle formed by John Laing, and Macquarie Capital.

The capital from OakNorth Bank will support the acquisition of approximately 250 newly built and fully occupied rental retirement properties, operated by McCarthy Stone, the leading developer and manager of retirement living communities in the UK.

The units which are spread across the UK, are split into two types – Retirement Living: apartments designed specifically for over 60s with facilities such as communal lounges and guest suites that support companionship, and Retirement Living PLUS: apartments designed for over 70s that offer extra facilities, such as restaurants, on-site flexible care, and support packages to assist those who need additional help.

The facility will also provide Brigid Investments with the opportunity to develop a scalable platform moving forward, in partnership with McCarthy Stone, resulting in a commitment to finance a further 400 rental retirement units over the next 12 months.

Richard Williams, CEO of Brigid Investments, commented:

“We are delighted to be partnering with McCarthy Stone, the UK’s leading developer and manager of retirement communities, and creating a platform for growth.

Retirement living is a market with high barriers to entry and strong fundamentals, underpinned by an ageing population and constrained supply.

John Laing and Macquarie Capital are both leading investors in developing infrastructure, with significant prior experience of investing in specialised accommodation and broader social infrastructure.

We were delighted to work with Damien and the team at OakNorth Bank whose understanding of the retirement living sector was impressive.

They structured a flexible and attractive facility that will have a significant impact on our future growth ambitions.”

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

“Richard has over 20 years of real estate, property and later living experience, following his roles as Regional Managing Director with McCarthy Stone and as Chief Executive of Rangeford Retirement Living & Care.

It is this level of experience, coupled with a talented team around him and the fact that we expect demand to be high for rental units, given the added optionality they offer, that will be vital factors in this project’s success.

With the UK retirement living market significantly undersupplied compared to other developed countries, and the demand supply imbalance expected to deepen in the medium term, it’s vital that lenders support projects of this type in the short, medium and long-term.”