Gresham House progress update: high-speed broadband, VCT fundraise and affordable housing partnership

by | Jan 20, 2023

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Gresham House, the specialist alternative asset manager committed to sustainable investing, provides an update on recent activity across a range of asset classes that will support regional prosperity across the UK.

Highlights

 Wildanet, the Cornwall-based provider of ultrafast reliable broadband, and portfolio company within our British Sustainable infrastructure Fund strategy, has been awarded new contracts worth £36 million to connect c.20,000 hard-to-reach homes and businesses in South West and Mid Cornwall.

Baronsmead Venture Trust and Baronsmead Second Venture Trust (the Baronsmead VCTs), managed by Gresham House, have raised £17.3 million in the first 10 days of this latest fundraise. The VCTs are targeting a raise of up £40 million in aggregate, with over-allotment facilities to raise up to a further £10 million in aggregate.

 

Gresham House Residential Secure Income LP (ReSI LP), a limited partnership investing in UK shared ownership property, has agreed a £40 million deal with leading mixed-tenure developer Countryside Partnerships, to fund 167 new affordable homes in Chippenham, Wiltshire.

Wildanet

Liskeard-based Wildanet’s two contract wins, as part of the UK Government’s £5bn Project Gigabit (F20) programme, will connect 19,250 hard-to-reach homes and businesses and create 200 new skilled jobs in Cornwall.Wildanet is already investing more than £50 million in its high-speed broadband network across Cornwall and Devon, resulting in the creation of 150 skilled jobs in the area, following a £50 million backing from Gresham House’s Sustainable Infrastructure strategy in 2020.

 

A recent study found that for every £1 invested in Digital Inclusion, £15 is generated in economic, social, and environmental benefits for the Cornish region.The Project Gigabit contracts awarded to Wildanet bring the total number of contracts awarded under the programme, for high-speed broadband businesses supported by Gresham House, to four. In September and October 2022 Borderlink Broadband, which trades as GoFibre, and is also backed by Gresham House’s Sustainable Infrastructure strategy, secured a £6.6 million Project Gigabit contract to upgrade 4,000 homes and businesses in Teesdale and a £7.3 million contract to upgrade more than 3,750 hard-to-reach North Northumberland premises.

Baronsmead VCTs

The £17.3 million raised by the Baronsmead VCTs to date represents 43% of the total of £40 million targeted. These new funds will allow the VCTs to target new investment opportunities and further support the growth of existing portfolio businesses.

 

The Baronsmead VCTs are two of the largest on the market, with combined net assets of £420 million as at 30 November 2022. Taking a unique hybrid approach the portfolios are divided between AIM-quoted companies and unquoted companies, which helps increase diversification and adds liquidity to the portfolio.

Gresham House Residential Secure Income LP (ReSI LP)

ReSI LP aims to deliver social benefits by lowering the lifetime cost of housing for lower and middle-income people, while providing investors with secure, long-term, and inflation-linked income returns.

 

The £40 million deal with Countryside Partnerships, announced in January 2023, will provide forward funding for 167 new affordable houses and apartments at Langley Park in Chippenham, Wiltshire as part of a larger 340- home project.

The brownfield site in a former industrial area, located near Chippenham town centre, is being repurposed into affordable housing. 159 houses and apartments funded by ReSI LP will be shared ownership homes and will be delivered to the highest rating of energy efficiency (A).

Gresham House has now invested in more than 2,150 shared ownership homes across ReSI LP and its separate listed investment trust counterpart Residential Secure Income plc (LSE: RESI).

 

Tony Dalwood, CEO at Gresham House plc said:“These fundraisings and deployments continue to show the opportunity from the Gresham House platforms, enabling social and commercial benefits to the UK population over time.”

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