26th January 2022

A major investor has committed £130 million to fund a cornerstone residential project at Wirral Waters.

Wirral Waters CGI image,

Pension Insurance Corporation plc (PIC), a specialist insurer of defined benefit pension funds, has completed the investment in Wirral Waters One (WWO), a residential scheme which forms part of the broader development of Peel L&P’s Wirral Waters, a 500-acre brownfield site and former dockland.

Working in close partnership with Peel L&P and Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, PIC is the sole investor for the development of a build-to-rent scheme. It will comprise 500 one- and two-bedroom apartments, with an affordable housing component of 100 homes.

Rents on the affordable units will be a maximum of 80 per cent of open market value.

Hayley Rees, head of investment strategy at PIC, added: “Our investment in WWO is another step in the development of our purposeful investment strategy and ultimately is a model for how long-term investors can play a key role in the levelling up agenda.

“We need secure long-term cashflows to back the pensions of our 300,000 policyholders and so seek to invest in assets with a high degree of social value, because what makes sense for society helps us achieve our purpose over decades.”

Peel L&P has launched a 30-year strategy which will see the wider Wirral Waters site become the largest regeneration project in the UK. It will create up to 20,000 permanent jobs.

James Whitaker, executive director of development at Peel L&P, said:

“This project is a great example of partnership working that will not only deliver this development but will act as a model for other schemes in the future. The combination of an experienced regeneration company, a long-term investor, and a progressive local authority will deliver real value for all our collective stakeholders.”

Cllr Tony Jones, chairman of Wirral Council’s economy, regeneration and development committee, added: “Already this year with this announcement we are seeing another major step forward for Wirral’s Left Bank with the delivery of this latest significant development.

“The council has worked closely with both Peel L&P and PIC to bring forward this project which will be delivering jobs and affordable housing for people in Wirral.

“With Peel L&P taking the occupational and delivery risks, this Build to Rent development will be able to provide a long term revenue income stream to the local authority which could support wider service delivery and future investment. It is also another key moment in the continuing wider regeneration in the borough, tying in with the work well underway in Birkenhead to drive forward the town’s renaissance and showing the increasing confidence of investors in the plans for Wirral’s future.”

Wirral Waters is supported by central government as a key part of its levelling up strategy. It was designated Enterprise Zone status in 2011 and has been supported by Homes England.

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26th January 2022