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Expanding Igloo looking for new architect talent following fund buyout

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Sustainable developer Igloo said it was on the lookout for fresh architectural talent after its regeneration fund was bought by one of the UK’s largest housing companies

Places for People has snapped up the Igloo Regeneration Partnership Fund’s assets, joint venture holdings and ongoing property interests. 

The new deal marks the beginning of a second phase for the successful Igloo fund, which first launched in 2001.

Chris Brown, executive chairman of Igloo said: ’The announcement of the Places for People Capital partnership is an exciting development for Igloo continuing the pipeline of projects in the igloo Regeneration Fund, our original fund dating back to 2002, with a new funding partner who shares our purpose driven vision.’

’The igloo company status remains unchanged with the team set to grow over the coming months to help deliver our wider portfolio of community led, custom build and public private partnership projects.’

Chief Executive Peter Connolly said he was ’excited’ about the expansion and acceleration of Igloo’s operations following a ‘period of slowdown’ as it came to the end the first fund’s life, managed by Aviva Investors. 

Now the deal has been finalised, it will allow the release of a number of ‘pent-up projects’ that had been waiting in the pipeline, Connolly said.

’We’ve got access with a partner that shares our values and beliefs and is keen to see what we do expand. We are going to do great things’

The developer, and its subsidiary Blueprint, are known for working with architecture firms like Ash Sakula in Newcastle, Studio Egret West on the Nottingham Science Park and Marsh Grochowski on the Meadows in Nottingham.

Asked whether Igloo would continue in this vein, Connolly said: ’We think there is a massive amount of talent and its often quite difficult to find them. We do feel that it is important to unearth that talent and stand by the principles of good design.

’We’re going to be looking at putting forward new schemes and we are looking for new designers. We will be looking to select interesting architects who can demonstrate their abilities to work with us through their portfolios, imagination and experience.’

Over the past 17 years the fund has invested £300 million in developments including eco-friendly homes and commercial space at The Malings in Newcastle and low-energy homes at Trent Basin in Nottingham.

Ongoing schemes include Nottingham Waterside, Ouseburn Valley Newcastle, Maryhill Lock Glasgow and Ironworks Leeds.

Under the new deal, Places for People will acquire 50 per cent of the Blueprint Regeneration Partnership and 50 per cent of BIGG Regeneration.

Igloo Regeneration will retain its role as development manager, with PfP Capital acting as the investment manager. 

Chris Jones, Managing Director at PfP Capital, said the acquisition of Igloo’s regeneration fund was an ‘exciting opportunity’ to strengthen its position as a ’leading responsible real estate fund manager’ across a variety of housing tenures.

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