Merchant Gate in Wakefield is one of the partnership's successes. Credit: ECF

ECF doubles in size to £400m

Now more than 20 years old, the partnership between Muse, Homes England and Legal & General has received a £100m equity injection matched by £100m of debt as it looks to expand its regeneration remit.

ECF, founded as English Cities Fund, is a public-private partnership, which looks to combine Homes England’s ambition to deliver more affordable housing, Legal & General’s real estate investment proficiency and Muse’s expertise in urban regeneration.

It was first created in 2001 with £100m of investment to boost priority regeneration areas, with Wakefield one of the five areas it has delivered in, schemes worth a combined £1.2bn.

ECF said that with a strong pipeline, additional capital will build on its success to date. Increasing in size will ensure ECF has a faster and greater impact across new locations, alongside existing place-based partnerships (Salford Crescent, Manor Road Quarter in Canning Town, Stockport 8 and St Helens, Merseyside).

Peter Denton, chief executive of Homes England, said: “Spanning two decades, the English Cities Fund has a track record of delivering truly transformational places in areas that need it the most.

“This expansion will support ECF’s strong project pipeline, continuing the work of this long-standing partnership and creating vibrant new places, jobs, homes and opportunities across the country.”

Laura Mason, chief executive of L&G Capital, said: “This additional injection of capital allows ECF to expand at pace as it continues to deliver strong returns and positive impact.

“The partnership between Homes England, Legal & General and Muse benefits from deep sector knowledge and access to a unique pipeline of assets which deliver investment opportunities that create long-term, secure income streams that tackle some of the major social, environmental and economic issues facing society.

“With an increased appetite from other purpose-driven investors looking to access opportunities that drive returns, alongside impact, we recognise that this is an attractive partnership.”

Phil Mayall, managing director at Muse, said: “ECF has, and continues to, deliver complex, impactful, and sustainable regeneration. Working in partnership with Homes England and Legal & General, ECF is unique in its ability to deliver challenging regeneration over the long term.

“ECF’s expansion is testament to the team’s success over two decades, with a track record of delivery. With greater resources, we will have an even greater impact on places and communities. Our team will work with new and existing partners, across all the regions in which we operate, to realise this potential in a way which delivers genuine social value.”

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