A North-East property firm is on the hunt for new development opportunities after sealing what is thought to be the region’s biggest refinancing deal so far this year.
Durham City-based 3R Land and Property, which has a sizeable commercial property portfolio across Durham, Newcastle and Gateshead, received the cash injection from the Swedish Handelsbanken after terminating its relationship with its previous lender Northern Rock.
“Since changing to a new lender, with whom we have a very positive and supportive relationship, we are now able to consider plans for significant developments throughout the North-East,” said 3R director, Robert Fulton. “We are grateful for the support of everyone who has enabled this deal to become reality.”
Bill Ridley, head of Handelsbanken’s Durham office, said: “We are delighted to have been involved in such a significant deal for Durham city and to have had the opportunity to work with great local professional teams.”
Negotiations for the new funding have been ongoing for more than a year, overseen by Newcastle law firm Sintons. “We are very pleased to have played a role in this deal,” said Mark Dobbin, who heads Sintons’ specialist banking and finance team. “We have worked with Handelsbanken on many substantial transactions over many years, but this is our first with its Durham branch.”
One of 3R’s biggest ongoing projects is a joint venture with Network Rail to develop a brownfield site on Gateshead’s Askew Road. The proposed scheme would create a new North-East maintenance centre for the rail company and allow 3R to build a mixed-use development, including offices and a hotel, on the remainder of the land.
Network Rail’s portion of the scheme will consist of a two-storey office building, storage facilities and car and cycle parking spaces. The new office space, totalling 2,070sq metres, will allow it bring together up to 300 staff from existing offices and sub-depots across the region.
Kevan Carrick, of JK Property Consultants, which is acting as agent and development consultant to the property company, said: “This is an exciting scheme for Gateshead, especially in such challenging market conditions, and the creation of jobs is essential to help grow our economy. The partnership between Network Rail, Gateshead Council and 3R Land and Property has been excellent and we look forward to an early completion of this scheme.”
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