TOWN hires new head of community partnering and launches £20m community fund prospectus to build hundreds of community-led homes.
Developer and custom-build enabler TOWN has launched a prospectus to raise £20m equity funding to enable an ambitious programme of community-led housing. Building on the success of the multi-award-winning Marmalade Lane Cohousing in Cambridge, TOWN is aiming to deliver up to 400 homes across a pipeline of community-led projects across the UK.
Overseeing the programme will be TOWN’s new head of community partnering Frances Wright, who is a resident of Marmalade Lane and played a central role in the unique developer-community relationship that made it a reality. Frances, who is a qualified solicitor and joins TOWN’s growing team from a senior position with the Camphill Village Trust, a major non-governmental organisation, commented,
“Community-led housing is a growing movement nationwide, and community groups increasingly see the force in having a development partner to help acquire land, obtain planning, secure development finance and manage the process. TOWN is uniquely positioned to work with groups to deliver their projects, and in doing so to help scale the community-led housing sector.”
TOWN is now seeking dedicated and strategic equity funding that will enable it to become the leading development partner to the community-led housing sector. The company is already working alongside a number of cohousing groups and Community Land Trusts to bring forward community-driven housing proposals across England. TOWN’s Community Partnering Fund is intended to unlock these projects, with proceeds recycled to allow further schemes to be delivered in the future as the sector expands.
The Community Partnering Fund will operate within transparent financial criteria and delivering specific social outcomes, using the specific dynamics of community-led housing to reduce development risk and deliver reliable returns.
Jonny Anstead, director of TOWN, said,
“TOWN is a profit-with-purpose company. As well as delivering more projects like Marmalade Lane that are cherished by the people that live in them, community-led development offer investors competitive returns on their equity without much of the speculative planning and sales risk that usually attaches to housing development. We’re looking forward to talking to progressive funders who want to be part of this terrific opportunity.”
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