November 26, 2020

Ask secures funding for landmark Newcastle office scheme

Ask Real Estate has secured funding through Canada Life Asset Management for the development of One Strawberry Lane in the St James’ area of Newcastle City Centre.

The asset manager will invest circa £30 million to back the development of the six storey office building and BAM Construction is due to start work on site later this month. The 70,000 sq ft building will form the new headquarters for north-east based housing association, Home Group. Ask have worked with Home Group to deliver a next generation office building which satisfies the tenant’s long term workspace requirements whilst also delivering a sustainable and flexible building.   

Michael White, Head of UK Property for Canada Life Asset Management said: “We are thrilled to be funding this project as we continue to invest in the North East. As Grade A office space One Strawberry Lane offered us the chance to support the development of a property which meets the highest standards in sustainability, efficiency and use.”

Home Group is one of the UK’s largest providers of housing, health and care with 2,600 colleagues supporting over 125,000 customers across 55,000 properties in England and Scotland.  The Group will take a 30 year lease to occupy the building. 

Earlier this year Newcastle City Council approved plans for the six storey building which is designed by Ryder Architecture and the funding deal will enable work to start immediately with estimated completion in April 2022.

Home Group, which is one of the UK’s largest housing associations, appointed developer Ask Real Estate to secure funding and to deliver its purpose-built new home at One Strawberry Lane. As well as delivering One Strawberry Lane, Ask Real Estate is also behind the proposed £260m arena-led NewcastleGateshead Quays re-development and a 245 unit residential scheme at Tower Works in Leeds city centre. 

John Hudson, Chief Financial Officer at Home Group, said: “We are delighted to work with partners who have such a strong track record in delivering on key projects and look forward with great excitement to the day we take occupation of the building.”

Commenting on securing the investment deal John Hughes, Managing Director of Ask Real Estate said: “Canada Life Asset Management’s investment is great news for the region and is a clear indicator of its commitment to funding prime Grade A offices such as One Strawberry Lane.  We have worked closely with all parties to achieve a timely completion to the transaction and look forward to starting on site imminently.”

The Manchester office of JLL acted as investment agent and legal representatiion was provided by CMS. 

Canada Life Asset Management was represented by agents CBRE and Avison Young and Taylor Wessing acted as legal representatives.