Real Estate -
Arbuthnot Latham Commercial Banking helping build the homes of the future
Arbuthnot Latham Commercial Banking have been working with innovative eco home builder, Project Etopia on the first phase of their Priors Hall Park development in Cambourne, just east of Corby, Northamptonshire.
Project Etopia combines energy, construction and intelligent technology to build smart homes of the future. The development in Priors Hall Park is their first major project in the UK and Arbuthnot Latham was there to help them get the project off the ground.
Project Etopia combines energy, construction and intelligent technology to build smart homes of the future.
The development in Priors Hall Park is their first major project in the UK and Arbuthnot Latham was there to help them get the project off the ground.
The company’s approach - as a new player in construction with a novel proposition - meant they required a lender who took the time to understand their requirements.
Project Etopia founder, Joseph Daniels explains: “Modern methods of construction enable products to be tested rigorously beyond a current norm or current mean, and that has taken a bit of time for traditional banks to understand.”
“Fortunately working with Arbuthnot Latham, they were able to take this knowledge, working seamlessly with my team to understand the quality of the product and work together to enable this development to get the finance it needed.”
For Mark Cotter, Director, Real Estate, working with Joe and the team meant taking a slightly different approach:
“This had more technical aspects to it than a standard traditional build. There was the underground heating system, the energy efficiency, the build techniques which were all new to what we’d seen previously.”
The team from Arbuthnot Latham were able to understand through the meetings they had with Etopia what they were trying to achieve.
Mark explains: “We felt there was a way that we could provide a package that could assist them in financing the project as a whole.”
“While it was a new technique, we did a lot of work behind the scenes studying it, understanding it and believing that the risk factors that we would normally see in any type of development weren’t far reached from that.”
“It was very much a team effort from both sides, I was very impressed with the technical knowledge that the Etopia team had, so any of the queries or questions I had, they were able to answer very quickly and very succinctly.”
Being a new enterprise, Project Etopia were able to call upon Arbuthnot Latham’s expertise to guide them through the first few months.
Joe Daniels explains how the relationship developed: “There’s a lot of moving parts and there’s a lot of procedures and complexity to it and it’s refreshing to be able to work with Arbuthnot Latham and their team to really integrate and understand and help us create process.”
For Mark, it’s been a rewarding journey: “When I first came up here it was nearly a blank piece of land and now we see around us the progress that the guys have made. They are doing what they said they were going to do and they’ve done it efficiently and the work is excellent, the quality is fantastic.”
Projects led by forward-thinking entrepreneurs are exactly the sort of propositions that Arbuthnot Latham are interested in.
David Mill, Head of Real Estate: “The important part of any relationship is understanding what everyone wants. We want to do lending, we are a growing bank and innovative businesses are who we are looking to work with.”
“When we meet people like Joe, with his way of thinking, this is what we need to buy into. We see that there are lots of opportunities for us to support existing borrowers, new borrowers in whatever they want to do, whether it’s development or investment; we feel we’re perfectly placed to do that.”