As timescales for many of the region’s large commercial scheme are pushed back as the credit crunch continues to bite, one landmark project has been given a financial boost after its developer won a national competition.
Birmingham-based Stoford Group beat off competition from the likes of Barwood Developments Ltd, Birmingham Development Company – the company behind The Mailbox and The Cube – City & Country Group and The Duncan Group, to win the Midlands and East Anglia territory final of the Bank of Scotland Corporate £30 million Search for property entrepreneurs.
The prize for winning the regional final is a funding package of £10 million that comes interest free and with no charges for the first three years and Stoford have vowed to plough the money into its £75 million flagship office and mixed-use regeneration project at All Saints in West Bromwich.
Chris Lea, chairman of Stoford Group, said: “The £10 million funding package will bring one of the Midlands’ biggest regeneration projects to fruition and help create over 1,000 jobs. Having already secured a pre-let to BT, the All Saints development will transform the skyline of West Bromwich and create an exciting new business quarter for the town centre.
“In our first ten years, we have evolved from a small office to a prime headquarters in Birmingham city centre with more than 20 staff. It is the excellence of our people that has enabled us to become one of the Midlands’ leading commercial property developers. We have completed more than £550 million worth of projects that have helped regenerate five million square feet of the Midlands and this interest-free funding will ensure that we can continue to grow and to be a prime mover in regenerating disadvantaged areas.”
Stoford Group goes through to the national final in December where they will compete against the winners from two other territories across the UK for the chance to be named Property Entrepreneur of the Year and get the opportunity to benefit from four days mentoring from Nick Leslau, one of Britain’s most successful property entrepreneurs.
To win the award Stoford presented their business case to a judging panel featuring Kevin McCabe, Chairman of Scarborough Property group and John Cutts, Chairman and founder of Parkridge Holdings. They were joined on the panel by senior representatives from Bank of Scotland Corporate and Deloitte.
John Cutts said: “All the presentations were of a very high quality and as judges we had a very difficult decision to make. With Stoford Group, Chris Lea has built a sustainable business that has been punching above its weight and more importantly it demonstrated that it has big plans for the future that we could see and back.
“Winning this £10 million funding package will catapult Stoford into the next stage of their urban renewal development which is vital for the region and for the next generation of talent.”