North East Property Fund invests £50million across the region

Tony Cullen
Fund Manager
Bell Blue

The North East Property Fund has reached the investment milestone of  £50million, providing funding to help kickstart the development of small-scale property schemes throughout the region.

Managed by FW Capital, the fund was established in 2017 in response to demand for smaller construction and property development financing. It is backed by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP). Since the fund started in 2017 FW Capital has supported the construction of 227 houses across 51 developments, the build out of 7,589 sq ft of commercial space and created and safeguarded 750 jobs. 

One North East success story is local property developer Bell Blue who has recently received a £1.435million loan from the North East Property Fund to support an exclusive development of five high specification executive homes in the stunning rural location of Satley, County Durham. The homes boast generously designed space in a location handpicked for its exclusivity and privacy. This is the third Bell Blue scheme the fund has supported, highlighting how it can provide long term support to developers.

Tony Cullen, Fund Manager at FW Capital, said:The North East Property Fund has played an important role in bringing new housing and small-scale commercial property schemes to the region. It’s made a significant impact by unlocking finance for smaller property developers like Bell Blue who are meeting the growing demand in the North East for quality new homes as seen with their latest development in Satley. We’re delighted to support their third development. It’s a great example of how we’re building lasting relationships and supporting local property developers to address the housing shortage in the region. Good quality housing in the right locations is still in demand despite what is being reported nationally. This is perhaps best demonstrated from the fact we have seen sales across 10 development sites we are currently funding and have received more than £9.5m of repayments since April 2023.”

Matt Houghton, Bell Blue Director said: “Our latest development is a stunning location in Satley with spectacular rural views. It’s been great to work again with Tony at FW Capital who has shown continued confidence in our business, providing capital to help us to complete the site. This is the third loan we have received from the North East Property Fund and it  has had a real impact on the success and growth of our business. We’re already attracting prospective homeowners who are interested in the new development, with 4 or the 5 plots still currently available for sale.”

Darlington based Bell Blue Ltd focus on small developments of bespoke new build homes consisting of 3 to 10 units. The two previous loans from FW Capital and the North East Property Fund supported two successful housing schemes. The first in 2020 to support the construction of four family homes in Toft Hill, Bishop Auckland, County Durham and in 2022 the build of five new homes on the site of a former equestrian centre in Hargill Road, Howden-le-Wear. 

Helen Golightly OBE, Chief Executive of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “In challenging economic times it’s always important to plan for the future, and that’s exactly what the the North East Property Fund has allowed us to do. The funding provided to local businesses ensured construction projects continued during the coronavirus pandemic, and it has since supported developers impacted by rising inflation.

“With business confidence currently high in the North East, we’re now well positioned to meet the growing demand for residential and commercial property in the region. And by supporting smaller property developers like Bell Blue, we’re helping SMEs to invest and grow; creating jobs across the North East and growing the regional economy.”

The North East Property Fund offers loans from £250,000 up to £2million for residential and non-speculative commercial developments in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and County Durham. The Fund can provide up to 100% of build costs for suitable schemes with repayment terms available up to two years.