Equitix Closes the First DBFM Project for hub South West Scotland Limited
Equitix can announce today that hub South West Scotland has closed its first Design Build Finance and Maintain ("DBFM") project within its first year of existence: With a capex value of £43 million the project includes the design, construction and finance of 3 new build Primary Care health centres in Wishaw, East Kilbride and Kilsyth. The partnership between hub South West Scotland, NHS Lanarkshire and Scottish Futures Trust is part of a wider scheme which will deliver a pipeline of projects worth over £2 billion across Scotland in the next 10 years. John Graham Construction Limited will commence construction works in January 2014 with project completion targeted for summer 2015. Graham Asset Management will be responsible for the hard FM during the project concession period which will consist of building and fabric maintenance, mechanical & electrical maintenance, hard landscaping and contract management.
Equitix Reaches Financial Close on Brunswick Social Housing Project
Equitix are delighted to have closed Brunswick Social Housing following the Equitix led consortium, Solutions 4 Brunswick (S4B), being appointed by Manchester City Council as Preferred Bidder to deliver the £113 million regeneration plans.
The plans include selective demolition of unsatisfactory homes, refurbishment of over 650 existing homes with new kitchens and bathrooms, and the development of 200 new social homes including a 60 unit extra care facility and other extensive new infrastructure. The Brunswick Neighbourhood regeneration project comprises the design and construction of the development works, Housing Management, FM and lifecycle of the new and refurbished social homes.
Contour Homes will be responsible for managing the council homes and neighbourhood for the next 25 years; Mears will refurbish existing council homes and manage repair work for the length of the contract; and Galliford Try will build new infrastructure and homes for sale and rent. The 25-year regeneration project will bring large investment to an area that has seen development postponed for several years.
Senior debt has been secured by Assured Guaranty wrapped fixed-rate bonds.
David Rose, a Director at Equitix said “Reaching financial close is very exciting for the entire consortium. The partnership with Manchester City Council began 6 years ago and we are pleased to now be able to push forward and action the plans the partners have been working towards since the very beginning.
"We now look forward to our continued relationship with the council and neighbourhood for the years to come."
Equitix reaches financial close for the £317m Greater Gabbard OFTO
The consortium comprising Equitix, the UK-based developer, investor and fund manager, Balfour Beatty Investments, and AMP Capital, have today reached financial close on the £317 million Greater Gabbard offshore transmission project. Each holds a one third share of the project. Greater Gabbard is the largest of nine assets tendered by OFGEM in the first round of offshore transmission owner ('OFTO') procurement and represents Equitix's inaugural investment into Ofgem's offshore transmission regime.
The Greater Gabbard OFTO is the high-voltage transmission system which connects the 504MW Greater Gabbard Wind Farm located off the coast of Suffolk to the onshore transmission grid. Greater Gabbard will generate enough electricity to power circa 500,000 homes each year. The OFTO assets include two offshore and one onshore substation and over 150km of sub-sea cable infrastructure.
The debt is being financed by a publicly listed bond which has been successfully launched. This is the first OFTO project to be funded through the capital markets and the first UK project, and only the second across Europe, to make use of the innovative EIB Project Bond Credit Enhancement (PBCE) product.
Equitix are also preferred bidder on the £346 million Gwynt y Mor OFTO, a project in Ofgem's Transitional Round 2a which is expected to close in 2014 as well as being shortlisted for the West of Duddon Sands OFTO to be awarded in the first half of 2014. Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the transmission assets over the 20 year revenue period.
Consortium Achieves Financial Close at University of Salford
Equitix are pleased to announce that the University of Salford and Salford Village Limited, a consortium comprising Equitix and Kier Project Investments as investors, global student accommodation specialist Campus Living Villages and construction firm GRAHAM Construction have reached financial close on a £66m project to build and manage 1367 new student accommodation beds at the University’s Peel Park campus. The accommodation will form part of the University’s wider campus masterplan.
The announcement today follows a press release issued in March confirming the consortium as Preferred Bidder. GRAHAM Construction will commence works on site in November. Campus Living Villages, Equitix, Kier Project Investments and Graham Investment Projects will jointly invest and develop the property, alongside project finance from Standard Life Investments. Once complete Campus Living Villages will manage the accommodation and welcome its first residents for the academic year 2015/16.
Campus Living Villages is the incumbent provider of student accommodation at the University of Salford and has been operating residences John Lester, Eddie Colman and Bramall Court since 2008. The accommodation had been designed to provide sustainable student living for students with a BREEAM Excellent rating, alongside the best in student community living with generous reception area, social spaces – including TV and games room, gym, group study lounges, demonstration and private dining kitchen, launderette and a cinema room.
Geoff Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Equitix said: "Equitix are very pleased to be investing further into university student accommodation and this project expands our presence in this sector having recently completed construction on the University of Essex student accommodation. Equitix continue to combine excellent accommodation and facilities that have a beneficial impact on the students, with sustainable and environmentally favourable designs."
Tomatin Distillery reduces its carbon emissions by over 80%
Local MP Danny Alexander and UK Green Investment Bank Chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin, visit distillery to see its new carbon saving biomass boiler
Tomatin Distillery, located 16 miles south of Inverness, has become the first Scottish distillery to install a new, state of the art, sustainable biomass boiler. This new renewable energy boiler displaces the distillery's previous heavy-fuel oil usage and produces both heat and steam for the whisky making process.
The installation of the new biomass boiler as part of an Energy Supply Contract (ESCO) has immediately improved the distillery's energy efficiency, cutting carbon emissions by 80% or over 4,000 tonnes CO2 each year, equivalent to taking 1,200 family cars off the road.
The ESCO was part-financed by the UK Green Investment Bank, through its fund manager Equitix, and Balcas. Balcas is the largest manufacturer of wood pellets in the UK with production sites in Northern Ireland and in Invergordon, Scotland, 35 miles north of the distillery. This plant alone produces 100,000 tonnes of sustainable biomass pellets annually.
In cutting its carbon emissions by 80%, Tomatin Distillery is the first distillery in Scotland to achieve the Scotch Whisky Association's target for 2050 - 37 years ahead of schedule.
Robert Anderson, chief executive of Tomatin Distillery and Ernest Kidney, managing director of Balcas provided Danny Alexander MP and Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of GIB, with an overview of the environmental and economic benefits of the new biomass fuelled steam boiler when they visited the distillery.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of GIB said:
"Every one of us can do more to save money and reduce our environmental impact through a greater commitment to energy efficiency. Tomatin Distillery has taken a lead and shown the very real gains that businesses of all sizes can make by investing in energy efficiency. They have provided a great example to other small and medium sized businesses that I hope others will follow."
GIB awarded a mandate in August 2012 to Equitix to invest £50 million via the fund Energy Saving Investments, matched by private investors, to drive investment into the non-domestic energy efficiency (NDEE) sector. Equitix has also established EEEF to make investments into the energy efficiency sector, including as co-investors alongside ESI.
Equitix have moved offices
Equitix have moved offices and are now located at:
10 – 11 Charterhouse Square
All email and telephone numbers remain the same.
Equitix Fund II Commits Remaining Capital to a Secondary Acquisition
Equitix Fund II is now fully committed, having acquired 75% of the Carlisle Northern Development Route (CNDR) and 65% of the A30/A35 road from Balfour Beatty.
The CNDR Project includes the design, construction, O&M of 8.25km new carriageway to the west and north Carlisle, UK and the Operation and Maintenance of 148km network of existing county principal roads and detrunked roads in Cumbria. The project is fully operational with the new road construction completed in February 2013.
The A30/A35 project includes the construction of 31km of new highways involving the A30 Honiton to Exeter dual carriageway improvement and A35 Tolpuddle to Puddletown bypass. Works were completed in March 2000.
The two roads projects have provided a number of benefits including: reduced congestion and shorter journey times; improved economy and employment prospects in the area by helping attract new jobs.
Both projects have a 30 year concession period from date of Financial Close.
Nick Parker, Chief Operating Officer, commented that "The addition of these two roads projects to Equitix’s portfolio cements our presence as a leading investor in the UK Highways sector and complements the balance of Equitix Fund II’s assets. As an investor, Equitix is committed to investing where the community benefits and we are pleased to be contributing to the improvement of the local economy."
The new Hub South West Scotland website
The new Hub South West Scotland website has been launched:
The Meadows Student Accommodation is Unveiled
Uliving and the University of Essex are proud to announce the official opening of The Meadows, a new student accommodation scheme in Colchester.
Uliving at Essex, is a consortium made up of Equitix, Bouygues Development and housing provider Derwent Living. The scheme is part of the University’s commitment to providing high quality on-campus accommodation. As part of this investment Uliving will also manage the existing accommodation at University Quays for a 50 year period.
The new student complex situated off Boundary Road, provides an additional 648 student bedrooms for the Colchester Campus and is made up of 19 town houses for 228 students plus en suite cluster flats for a further 420 students. There is also a social pavilion housing a common room, a launderette and a ‘grab and go’ shop. The scheme, which includes a mix of concrete, steel and timber frames, was designed by architects Lewis & Hickey with construction carried out by Bouygues UK, beginning in early summer 2012.
An event to celebrate the formal opening of The Meadows was held in the central courtyard of the new development on Tuesday 24th September. The occasion was marked by the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by senior representatives from the University of Essex, Uliving, and Becky Fisher, President of the University of Essex Students’ Union.
Equitix Fund III Reaches Final Close within Three Months of Receiving First Commitments
Equitix have wrapped up their fundraising for Equitix Fund III, hitting the hard cap of £500m within circa. 3 months of its £350m First Close: the Fund was oversubscribed by over £100m. Their investors are mostly European corporate and local authority pension funds, with a number of investors re-upping from their previous investments with Equitix. As with Funds I and II, Fund III will typically invest in UK PPP infrastructure assets for the concession durations of circa. 20 - 25 years. Hugh Crossley, the CIO commented that 'Equitix has a good pipeline of primary and secondary projects and has already earmarked approximately £150m of Fund III to assets where Equitix is at Preferred Bidder/exclusive stage, including North Tyne Extracare and its Scottish Hub pipeline'.
Separately, Equitix is in the process of raising a UK energy efficiency infrastructure fund, that will invest alongside the fund Equitix manages where the Green Investment Bank are cornerstone investor. The energy efficiency fund has held its First Close, and has made three investments to-date. This fund invests in small-scale demand reduction and renewable generation infrastructure assets in commercial and government related properties.
Evercore Private Funds Group acted as the exclusive global placement agent for Equitix Fund III; Ashurst provided legal support and Deloitte provided tax advice.
Green Investment Bank announces funding for biomass boiler at whisky distillery
Deal estimated to save c.96,500 tonnes of C02 over project lifetime
The Equitix managed fund, Energy Saving Investments (ESI), in which the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is a cornerstone investor, has today announced an investment of £576,733 for the financing of the installation of a biomass boiler at Tomatin Distillery near Inverness.
This £1.2 million investment, GIB’s first in Scotland, mobilises a further £600,274 of investment from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF). The investment is being made by ESI in partnership with Balcas Limited, a leading UK manufacturer of wood pellet biomass.
The boiler installation at Tomatin Distillery, located 16 miles south of Inverness, produces steam utilised in the production of whisky. The boiler, manufactured by a leading European manufacturer, replaces a high maintenance, inefficient oil fired boiler. The new boiler will replace 80% of the heat load usually generated by the oil fired boiler.
The boiler will be fuelled by sustainably sourced wood pellet fuel and as a result, CO2 emissions are expected to be cut by over 96,500 tonnes over the 20 year life of the investment. In addition to supporting the green economy and reducing carbon emissions, switching to a biomass boiler will save Tomatin a significant amount on their energy bills.
It will use sustainable EN plus A1 Standard pellets, manufactured by Balcas using renewable electrical and thermal energy and raw materials sourced from local, sustainably managed forests by Balcas at their plant at Invergordon. This will provide local jobs and support the local supply chain.
The whisky produced at the distillery is used in a range of blends and its single malts are currently sold in over 40 export markets. The site has been distilling whisky since the 15th century.
Geoff Jackson, Equitix chief executive officer said:
“This is the second deal that Equitix has closed in which GIB has invested with the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund as the private sector co-investor. We are pleased to be able to add a positive economic and environmental impact to this area in Scotland. Equitix continue to source a pipeline of high quality opportunities for investment by GIB and expect to deploy further capital in this region in the near future.”
Shaun Kingsbury, UK Green Investment Bank chief executive officer said:
“I am pleased to be able to announce our first Scottish investment. As well as significant emission reductions, the project will provide a boost to the local economy. We have a strong pipeline of investments in Scotland and hope to be able to announce further investments in Scottish distilleries, as well as other projects, very soon.”
The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said:
“The whisky distillery has always used a perfect blend of innovation and tradition. Today’s investment from the Green Investment Bank, funded by the UK Government, will continue this proud tradition.
“By funding a new biomass boiler, we are helping Tomatin to become more energy efficient and high-tech. This money will also help secure local jobs and support the local supply chain.
“Despite tough international conditions, whisky exports have done very well. The industry is to be applauded for its achievements. I want to make sure we continue its success as we rebalance the economy and create wealth outside of the south east of England.”
Equitix Fund III Announces First Close, exceeding Its Target of £350 million
Equitix is delighted to announce a First Close exceeding its target of £350 million for Equitix Fund III, Equitix’s third UK focused core infrastructure fund. The capital has been raised from 13 UK and European corporate and public institutions.
The successful First Close of Equitix Fund III is reflective of investor confidence in the UK core-infrastructure opportunity and of the Team’s ability to source, execute on and successfully manage infrastructure opportunities on their behalf. The close included a tranche of re-ups from Fund I and Fund II investors (1.a) and new investors (1.b)
Equitix has proven its ability to source compelling opportunities and deploy capital at a consistent rate, having committed close to £450 million into over 50 UK core infrastructure projects since inception of Equitix Fund I in 2008. Equitix Fund I closed in the Spring of 2010 and is fully invested (£104 million), while Equitix Fund II held a Final Close in May 2012, and is close to being fully committed (£333 million). Through these funds, Equitix has compiled a diversified portfolio of UK core infrastructure projects including Cambridgeshire BSF, Sheffield Highways, Leeds Housing and West Yorkshire Police Accommodation.
Equitix Fund III will follow in the footsteps of its predecessor funds, and has a strong future pipeline of infrastructure projects including a number of Preferred Bidder positions, presenting some interesting, near-term opportunities for Equitix Fund III to deploy its capital.
Hugh Crossley, CIO of Equitix said, "Equitix continues to grow from strength to strength, providing investors with stable inflation linked returns, investing in conservative risk-return infrastructure projects. Fund III will stay loyal to our strategy adopted and being delivered across Funds I and II. We believe in the UK government's commitment to UK infrastructure and the role the private sector has to play in delivering public sector projects."
The Team expect to hold a Final Close on Equitix Fund III in Q3 2013.
Evercore Partners is acting as exclusive global placement agent and Ashurst LLP is providing legal support.
Equitix is an infrastructure manager focused on making investments in core infrastructure in the UK. Equitix sources deals from construction companies, banks and its own development arm and aims to act as a partner with its government clients for the length of the concessions. The team typically invest in projects with availability based revenue streams across the healthcare, education, social housing, highways & street lighting, offshore transmission and government accommodation sectors. Equitix Fund I closed in March 2010 on £104 million and is invested across 21 UK PFI investments diversified by sector. Equitix Fund II closed in May 2012 on £333 million and is close to fully committed across 30 PFI and PPP projects diversified by sector. In addition, Equitix is raising an Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Fund alongside capital from the Green Investment Bank. Equitix employs 37 team members and is headquartered in London. For further information, please see www.equitix.co.uk.
About Evercore Partners
Evercore Partners is a leading independent investment banking firm. Evercore’s Investment Banking business advises its clients on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, restructurings, financings, public offerings, private placements and other strategic transactions and also provides institutional investors with high quality research, sales and trading execution that is free of proprietary conflicts; Evercore’s investment management business comprises wealth management, institutional asset management and private equity investing. Evercore serves a diverse set of clients around the world from its offices in New York, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., London, Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico. More information about Evercore can be found on the Company’s website at http://www.evercore.com/ www.evercore.com.
INTERESTS IN EQUITIX FUND III HAVE NOT BEEN REGISTERED UNDER THE US SECURITIES ACT OF 1933 AND MAY NOT BE OFFERED OR SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES OR TO U.S. PERSONS ABSENT REGISTRATION OR AN APPLICABLE EXEMPTION FROM REGISTRATION.
The Equitix Consortium Close the First Wrapped Bond for a UK PPP Transaction since 2008
The consortium comprising Equitix, SWIP Infrastructure Funds and Keepmoat have successfully closed a £101.8 million wrapped bond issued by the “Sustainable Communities for Leeds (SC4L)” consortium to finance the redevelopment of the Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck areas in Leeds. The public listed bond was oversubscribed following a successful roadshow. The Bond will be wrapped by Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd.
The social housing project based close to the centre of Leeds, involves the refurbishment of 1248 Properties (comprising flats, houses and bungalows) and the new build of 388 flats and houses. The regeneration of this area will also see new parks and play areas, improving community facilities for local residents.
The SPV will be responsible for the provision for a period of twenty years from financial close of operational services comprising: maintenance and lifecycle replacement, estates and environmental maintenance, caretaking and cleaning to communal areas and pest control. The operational services will be provided to the existing dwellings until refurbishment.
Nick Parker, COO of Equitix, commented:
"Equitix continue to lead the way in the infrastructure market, finding the best possible financing solutions for the client, partners and tax payers benefitting the communities at the heart of the projects. The resurgence of wrapped public bonds, demonstrates the appetite for alternative solutions to the more recently traditional debt financing by the banks and we anticipate seeing similarly financed projects in the market once again."
Miller Construction & Equitix reach financial close on £50m Inverness College UHI campus
Miller Equitix, a joint venture between Miller Construction and investment partner Equitix, has reached financial close on the new £50m Inverness College UHI campus project.
The new College will be the first and largest development at the multi-stakeholder Inverness campus site, which is currently being developed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise on the outskirts of the city. The 13.3 acre development when complete will provide state-of-the-art facilities and modern learning environment for over 8,500 students.
Inverness is the first Further Education College to use the Non Profit Distributing (NPD) financing model. NPD ensures that private sector returns are capped, that there is no dividend bearing equity, and any surplus is directed in favour of the public sector.
Financial close has been achieved in a 17 month period, which is unprecedented given the size and complexity of the project. Equitix has entered into a 25 year commitment as 50% investor with funds coming from local authority and UK pension funds. Miller Construction will provide its full end-to-end services offer in the delivery of the new College. The company has entered into a 25 year commitment as a 50% co-investor; Miller Construction will provide integrated design and build services and on-going facilities management for 25 years delivered through Miller Asset 24.
"We are extremely pleased to have now signed the contract to develop and deliver this project which will bring employment initiatives benefitting the local community as well as the students of the Highlands and Islands."
Nick Parker of Equitix
Senior Debt funding will be provided by Aviva. Harper Macleod LLP acted as exclusive legal advisor to the Miller Construction and Equitix consortium on the deal.
300 jobs will be created during the construction phases of the project. Miller Construction will deliver a wide range of employment and community benefit initiatives including: targeted recruitment of local people, providing supply chain opportunities for Highland companies and providing apprentice and training places over the lifetime of the project.
Diane Rawlinson, Principal and Chief Executive at Inverness College UHI, said: “The new Inverness College UHI will be a state-of-the-art facility offering one of the best education environments in the country. It will play a core role in the economic growth of the Highland economy. We are pleased the finance and legal agreements are now in place and very much look forward to work starting on site soon.”
This latest project capitalises on a six year relationship between Miller Construction and Equitix - investors in infrastructure on behalf of pension funds throughout the UK - who together have worked on a number of projects.
Nick Parker, Equitix Chief Operating Officer, said: "We are extremely pleased to have now signed the contract to develop and deliver this project which will bring employment initiatives benefitting the local community as well as the students of the Highlands and Islands."
Work is expected to start on site immediately and will be completed in time for the beginning of the 2015 term.
GIB backed Equitix Fund Signs First £10m Energy Efficiency Investment in Roundwood Energy Limited - Deal will fund the conversion of smaller scale heating systems to sustainable biomass boilers
The Equitix managed fund, Energy Saving Investments (ESI), in which the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is a cornerstone investor, has today announced an investment of £4.9 million into its first energy efficiency project. This investment mobilises a further £5.1 million of investment from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF). The project will see inefficient heating systems, in both public and private community facilities, replaced with biomass boilers.
The £10 million investment is being made through Roundwood Energy Limited (Roundwood), an energy services company responsible for financing, installing, maintaining and fuelling the new renewable heating systems for up to 20 years. Roundwood is supported by its technology partner, Woodpecker Energy Limited, a well-established UK based manufacturer of wood pellet and wood chip biomass boilers. Roundwood will transform heating systems installed across the UK by replacing old, high maintenance and inefficient equipment that use fossil fuels with the latest biomass boiler technology.
The ESI fund forms part of GIB’s allocation of investment into one of its priority sectors, non-domestic energy efficiency (NDEE). GIB awarded the competitive fund mandate to Equitix to invest £50 million, matched by private investors, to drive investment in small-scale low carbon infrastructure requiring less than £30 million of financing. Equitix has also established EEEF to make investments into the energy efficiency sector, including as co-investors alongside ESI.
The investment announced today could fund over 60 projects, benefitting a varied mix of public and private sector organisations including include care homes, leisure centres, schools and other local authority properties, together with a range of commercial facilities. In addition to supporting the green economy and significantly reducing carbon emissions, switching to biomass boilers could save customers up to 30% on their energy bills. Applications are now open and customers will not need an upfront capital investment to make the switch.
The boilers will be fuelled by sustainably sourced wood pellets and as a result CO2 emissions are expected to be cut by around 150,000 tonnes CO2 over the 20 year life of the investment. They will use sustainable ENplus A1 standard pellets, manufactured in the UK. These pellets produce the least amount of ash and fulfill the highest European requirements. Woodpecker is based in Yeovil, Somerset and it manufactures its core range of pellet boilers in Northern Ireland.
Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive, UK Green Investment Bank, said:
“The Green Investment Bank is helping to fund energy efficiency measures for everyone from our largest companies, to individual households through the Green Deal. Today’s announcement will provide a low-cost and straightforward way for a range of organisations like schools, leisure centres and local businesses to switch their old, inefficient and high emission boilers for new energy efficient biomass ones; saving energy, cutting emissions and saving them money.”
Geoff Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Equitix said, “Starting this programme demonstrates the viability of these projects to commercial customers who wish to achieve energy savings and a reduction in carbon emissions. The growing pipeline of similar future projects makes this an attractive sector for our investors.”
Paul Hughes, Director of Roundwood Energy said, “We are delighted to have received the support and backing of both the UK Green Investment Bank and Equitix. This backing allows Roundwood to offer a groundbreaking long-term solution for customers to reduce their energy bills and their carbon emissions without the need for up-front capital investment. This is good for customers and good for the environment”.
For more information please see the following: http://www.greeninvestmentbank.com/media-centre/press-releases/green-investment-bank-announces-funding-for-small-scale-biomass-boilers.html
Equitix Acquires a 50% Shareholding in the Garrett Anderson Centre
Equitix is pleased to announce the acquisition of a 50% stake in the Prospect Healthcare (Ipswich) Limited, Garrett Anderson Centre from Kier Project Investments Limited. The scheme reached financial close in March 2006 and achieved practical completion in April 2009.
The Garrett Anderson Centre is located within the grounds of the Ipswich General Hospital site and provides a multi-functional healthcare facility that includes: an Accident & Emergency Department with 19 adult treatment rooms, 4 children’s treatment rooms, a resuscitation room, 2 X-ray rooms and a 22 bed Critical Care Unit. The facility also provides a day surgery with 4 theatres including adult and paediatric bays and a 40 bed short stay ward.
Hard FM services are provided by Kier Facilities Services and include mechanical, electrical, public health and building fabric maintenance and the provision of Grounds maintenance, Helpdesk Management, Utilities Management and Pest Control.
Equitix Acquires Stake in Wigan Joint Services Centre
Equitix have acquired a 50% stake in the Wigan Joint Services Centre PFI Project from Community Solutions for Leisure Limited, a subsidiary of Morgan Sindall Investments Limited. The scheme reached Financial Close in June 2009 and construction completed in December 2011.
The PFI scheme is a leisure, health, learning and information complex that includes a one-stop shop for all public services. The development comprises a community of spaces grouped around a central organising hub, with an objective of revitalising the town's civic heart. The state of the art facility has retained its original 1930's terracotta north facade, preserving and upholding Wigan's rich heritage. The facilities include a 14,563m² Healthy Living Zone and 5,358m² Information and Learning Zone. The former houses a 25 metre public swimming pool with moveable floor and separate learning pool. The Information and Learning Zone includes a central library with separate children's and teenage libraries, open-plan administration offices and piazza.
FM services are provided by Hochtief Facility Management UK Ltd.
Equitix’s Stake in Inverclyde Schools Increased to 85%
Further to the acquisition of a 60% stake in the Inverclyde Schools Project in January 2012, Equitix has acquired a further 25% stake from Semperian. The project comprises two primary schools and two secondary schools to the West of Glasgow city. Equitix Fund II attained Sweett Group’s 19% share holding and Millers 41% share of the project in January 2012 leaving FES with the remaining stake in the assets.
The new schools in total accommodate up to 2724 pupils in the Greenock area and have seen the amalgamation of a number of different primary schools and nurseries into two primary schools and four secondary schools into two sites. Construction was completed by Miller and FM is provided by FES FM Limited.
Equitix Chosen as Preferred Bidder for North Tyne Housing Project
The Equitix led consortium, Solutions 4 North Tyneside comprising Equitix, Miller Construction and Keepmoat, has been selected as the preferred bidder to deliver the £300 million partnership to regenerate North Tyneside’s sheltered housing. The consortium will be responsible for delivering state-of-the-art sheltered housing, designed to meet the future needs of the local population and includes 900 apartments across 10 new and 16 refurbished sheltered housing schemes. The initiative will be a major construction project for the region, creating up to 500 jobs.
Miller Construction and Keepmoat will carry out the refurbishment and construction work. Lovell Respond will be responsible for the Facilities Management cleaning, repair and maintenance over the 28 year contract.
It is expected work will start on site later this year and all the schemes will be completed by autumn 2016.
Fiona Stokes, Bid Manager for Solutions 4 North Tyneside stated “The consortium have worked together with North Tyneside Council for the last 5 years and are committed to delivering the best possible schemes to the local residents.
“The initiative is an significant project for the region and will not only benefit the residents inhabiting the homes but as it is expected to be the largest housing project in the region over the next 3 years, it will also provide a major opportunity for the local work force giving a great boost to the economy.
“We are very pleased to be part of this exciting scheme.”
‘Topping Out’ the Portway Lifestyle Centre
A topping out ceremony has marked a major milestone in the development of the £18m leisure, health and wellbeing centre in Oldbury, West Midlands.
The Centre is the result of a partnership between the Sandwell Council, Sandwell Leisure Trust, the PCT and Sandwell LIFTCo, aided by the £1.5 million awarded from Sport England from its Olympic legacy programme, Iconic Facilities. It will offer people access to state-of-the-art sport, leisure and health facilities, including a GP surgery – Portway Family Practice, which will replace the Tividale Family Practice.
There will be a four-court sports hall to be used for various sporting activities, a hydro-therapy pool for rehabilitation and other therapeutic purposes, a sensory room, a climbing wall, dance studio, fitness suite and a full-sized, all-weather pitch for senior, junior and 5-a-side football. In addition, a life trail for gentle exercise will be created for those requiring gentle exercise and re-ablement. There will also be a café and ample parking on-site.
Sandwell LIFTCo are building the centre which is due to open to the public in September 2013. It will be fully accessible to the disabled and non-disabled and will be operated by the leisure trust, ensuring a real lifeline for the people of Sandwell. Portway Lifestyle Centre is a real example of the vision and commitment of public and private sector partners working together to deliver excellence for local communities.
Sandwell Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for strategic resources, Councillor Steve Eling, said: “This is an exciting moment for the borough as we pass another major milestone on the way to the Portway Lifestyle Centre’s first day of opening. “The lifestyle centre will provide state-of-the-art leisure, health and social care facilities and be a major asset to people in Sandwell and the wider area.
“It is a key part of the massive regeneration programme which has taken place in the borough in recent years and shows we can deliver even in tough economic times.”
Equitix/Miller Consortium selected as Preferred Bidder for new Inverness College UHI
The Equitix and Miller Construction consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder to build and maintain the new £60 million Inverness College University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) campus facility. Inverness College UHI, has more than 8,500 students and is one of 13 partners in theUHI network of colleges and research centres. The College is moving from Longman in Inverness to the new campus on the outskirts of the city.
We are extremely pleased to have been selected as the preferred bidder to develop and deliver this project ...
Nick Parker of Equitix
Nick Parker of Equitix said: "We are extremely pleased to have been selected as the preferred bidder to develop and deliver this project which will bring employment initiatives benefitting the local community as well as the students of the Highlands and Islands."
All being well, construction is expected to start on site in May 2013 and will be completed in time for the beginning of the 2015 term, whereby the maintenance and lifecycle services will commence.
Equitix Led Consortium Chosen as Preferred Bidder for Brunswick Social Housing Project
Manchester City Council has chosen the Equitix led consortium, Solutions 4 Brunswick (S4B) as their preferred partner to deliver the £113 million regeneration plans in the area, which will start once planning permission has been agreed later in the year.
S4B is made up of four specialist organisations that will work together injecting their own skills and expertise in different areas.
1. Equitix, contract manager who will oversee the project to make sure each of the organisations deliver a good service to Brunswick people.
2. Contour Homes, one of the North West’s largest social housing and regeneration providers, will manage the council homes and look after the neighbourhood for the next 25 years,
3. Mears, a maintenance company will refurbish existing council homes and manage repair work for the length of the contract,
4. Galliford Try, a construction firm which will build new infrastructure and homes for sale and rent. The 25-year regeneration project will bring large investment to the area that has seen development postponed for several years, but this decision opens the door for plans to be finalised.
Brunswick's regeneration plans will include:
- more than 650 council homes enjoying extensive refurbishments that will exceed decent homes standards,
- up to 500 high quality new homes will be built for rent or purchase,
- an improved neighbourhood design – including new road layouts and safe open spaces,
- a new retail area will provide shops and amenities, along with a new neighbourhood office and a 60 bed sheltered accommodation facility.
As part of the regeneration plans for the area, S4B will also offer a wide range of opportunities for residents and locals. These include jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities, as well as work experience and the prospect of working with community groups in the area.
In the coming months, S4B will continue to consult with residents while preparing and submitting a planning application for the development, before the government consider the plans for approval in spring.
Andy Rymer, General Manager for S4B, said: “We have been dedicated to developing deliverable and vibrant plans for the Brunswick area for the last five years, so to be chosen as preferred partner is fantastic news for the whole team. "Brunswick benefits from a strong sense of community and enjoys a great location on the city centre’s doorstep. The area deserves and needs substantial investment to bring the homes and environment up to decent modern homes standards set by the government. We look forward to speaking directly to residents and local stakeholders to give them a real insight into our plans, which we believe will transform the neighbourhood and provide a legacy for future generations."
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