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Developer expands PBSA portfolio following £56m green loan

Developer of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) is set to expand rental portfolio with a green loan from HSBC.

Downing, a Liverpool-based developer of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) has secured a £56.5m green loan from HSBC UK – who’s sustainable finance allows businesses to meet their environmental goals.

“Downing is undergoing a sustained period of growth, building on our market-leading portfolio, outstanding reputation and strong presence across the UK’s leading cities.

“HSBC UK’s support will enable the business to continue to move forward and expand our portfolio of outstanding, environmentally sustainable developments.”

Simon Garnett, Finance Director, Downing 

The funding will allow Downing to retain its latest flagship development – the 24 storey Holbrook building – as an investment asset which adds to its growing student accommodation rental portfolio. Downing will now hold the scheme, while expanding its rental portfolio by continuing with other PBSA developments in London, Manchester and other major UK cities.

“We have a long relationship with Downing, having provided development funding in the past, so we’re delighted to support the business to realise its ambitions.

“The Holbrook site will make a fine addition to the group’s growing portfolio. We look forward to backing Downing as it continues to scale up its presence across the UK.”

Kevin Dawson, Relationship Director for Housing, Corporate Real Estate, HSBC UK

The Holbrook PBSA in Acton, West London has 497 beds – a mix of shared flats and studio apartments, as well as affordable rooms which are leased to Imperial College London. The development completed in September 2019 and achieved full occupancy ahead of its opening. 

Holbrook has been built to a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’ – and so it follows the EMEA and Asia-Pacific Loan Market Association’s Green Loan Principles (GLP) published in March 2018 – to encourage and facilitate environmentally-friendly economic activity.

“According to the International Energy Agency, buildings consume 36% of the world’s energy and contribute up to 40% of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Our financing will support Downing’s commitment to ensuring sustainability throughout all sectors of its business, by delivering sustainable solutions for its teams, customers, supply chains and stakeholders.

“Our financing will support Downing’s commitment to ensuring sustainability throughout all sectors of its business, by delivering sustainable solutions for its teams, customers, supply chains and stakeholders.

“HSBC is committed to helping businesses globally transition to a lower carbon economy, having made a public commitment to provide $100bn of sustainable financing and investment by 2025.”

Natalya Tueva, Director of Sustainable Finance, HSBC UK 

Downing has over 30 years’ experience in the PBSA sector. It has developed in excess of 30 student accommodation schemes across the UK, with a joint gross development value of £1.5bn.

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