Barclays £35m Financing Deal for Fold to Develop 600 Homes

2 July 2015

Barclays today announced the completion of a £35million financing package with Fold Housing Association aimed at supporting the delivery of approximately 600 social and affordable housing units across Northern Ireland over the next 2-3 years.

Diana Fitzsimons, Chair of Fold Housing Association, which manages over 6,000 social housing units in Northern Ireland, discusses the financing package: 
The Barclays financing package together with capital grant funding from the Department for Social Development will underpin an ambitious development programme and provide a valuable boost to the local construction sector over the next 2-3 years. Having already secured over £70M of private finance to support the construction of new homes across NI, this additional £35M of financial support from Barclays brings our total investment in local housing to over £100M. Fold remains committed to developing high quality, low cost homes to meet an increasing demand for housing.
 
Joanna McArdle, Director, Barclays, discusses:
Barclays has extensive knowledge and experience of working in Northern Ireland's social housing sector and a clear understanding of its specific needs. We were therefore ideally placed to develop a bespoke financial package to support Fold Housing Association's development programme and assist in achieving a solution which would allow them to deliver on average an additional 200 social housing units per year, over the course of the next three years. This significant deal will be a great boost for Fold and of course for the thousands of people that will benefit through the provision of these new homes.
 
Ms McArdle continues: 'In the last seven years Barclays has injected over £300m in private finance to the local social housing sector and we are committed to continuing to fund the sector going forward. We believe social housing also plays an important role in stimulating the local construction industry which is so important for jobs creation in Northern Ireland.'
 
Welcoming the announcement of funding for Fold Housing, Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey MLA said:
'This private funding, which will complement funding from my Department, is very much welcomed, particularly at a time when public finances are under such pressure. The housing association movement has just come through a very successful period with 10,066 new social and affordable homes delivered in the past four years. Fold Housing Association has contributed significantly to that success and this new funding will allow more of the same. This investment is an endorsement by Barclays Bank that the social housing sector is strong and able to deliver a quality sustainable product that continues to be much in demand.
 
Cameron Watt, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA) comments: NIFHA congratulates Fold and Barclays on this significant funding deal that will help deliver many more much-needed homes. Fold is now one of the largest and best respected residential developers in Northern Ireland. With strong boards and senior teams, Fold and other high-performing housing associations are an investment option of choice for financial institutions. Local housing associations look forward to continuing our successful partnership with Barclays to build high-quality homes and help nurture thriving communities.

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