The funding package, announced earlier this week by Radius Housing CEO John McLean and Barclays Relationship Director Joanna McArdle, is one of the largest in the social housing sector in recent years and will support Radius Housing’s development plans between now and 2020.
Radius was formed in April 2017 with the merger of Fold and Helm Housing Associations and is already rolling out ambitious development plans. These include the completion of 330 new homes in the last year and a recent planning approval for a £35 million mixed use development at the former Visteon site in Belfast. This site includes 244 social, affordable and private homes together with 60,000 sqft of employment space, community facilities and open leisure spaces.
Radius was also chosen to lead regeneration projects in Hope Street, Belfast and St Patrick’s Barracks Ballymena, with a combined potential for up to 400 more new homes. This new funding facility will enable Radius to commence more than 800 new social and affordable homes on site by 2020.
Speaking at the announcement, John McLean, CEO of Radius Housing said: “The funding we are announcing today will not only help tackle housing stress in areas of high demand but will also address employment and wellbeing needs, making communities more resilient in these challenging times. The Radius Board is keen to see us maximise our positive impact throughout Northern Ireland. Our developments are supporting the local construction and building supply industry, protecting local jobs and creating apprenticeship opportunities. We intend to bring up to 300 permanent jobs to West Belfast through our Visteon project.
“We value our partnership with Barclays, whose working knowledge in this sector meant they have understood our vision for diverse and vibrant communities. With their expertise, we were able to agree this funding package within a very tight time-frame and can now focus on bringing our ambitious plans to life.”
Joanna McArdle, Relationship Director, Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “Barclays has a long history of supporting social housing in Northern Ireland and our clear commitment made us uniquely positioned to secure this landmark deal. It is one of the most significant in recent years, bringing a much-needed boost to two of our most vital sectors, construction and housing.”