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News: BMENational member to redevelop London hostel

BMENational member Irish Centre Housing, which provides accommodation and support for the homeless and vulnerable across London, has begun the redevelopment of one of its key hostels thanks to the financial support of Clydesdale Bank.

Working in partnership with the London Borough of Camden and with funding from the Homes and Communities Agency, Irish Centre Housing is pressing ahead with the redevelopment of Conway House in the north of the borough.

A site originally home to a 98-bed hostel providing help for homeless and vulnerable men with high support needs will soon be occupied by a 60-bed hostel with en-suite rooms. Also on site will be six affordable housing units varying from one to three bedrooms.

Originally founded in 1969 to provide housing for the large number of Irish immigrants arriving in London, the organisation now provides accommodation and support for the homeless and those with alcohol, drug and mental health issues, as well as affordable housing for those on local authority waiting lists.

In addition to Camden, it works closely with the London Boroughs of Westminster, Brent, Islington, and Hertsmere Council. It has its head office in Kentish Town and, other than Conway House, it has nine properties around London.

With no loans to its name and owning the freehold of all its properties, seeking private funding for the redevelopment of Conway House was a new venture, according to Chief Executive Tricia Durkan.

“We entered into early talks with five banks and studied their Heads of Terms before getting it down to two who we had serious negotiations with,” said Tricia.

“What we liked about Clydesdale Bank was that they were looking for a very close relationship. They could see the bigger picture in that they realised that while this was our first private finance there was the possibility of a partnership and further projects along the line.

“We were very impressed with the way the deal was brokered. They quickly had a clear understanding of our organisation, its aims and philosophy.

“Their relationship management is very, very good. We have a key contact, Adrian Charity, who is excellent and we know we can pick up the phone and talk to him whenever we need to.”

“We are delighted Irish Centre Housing chose to work with us for their first private funding,” said Adrian Charity, Business Partner at Clydesdale Bank’s Canary Wharf Financial Solutions Centre (FSC).

“The redevelopment of their Conway House site made them the perfect fit for our Investing for Growth programme which offers benefits such as loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments and extended loan and credit terms and is designed to help businesses take advantage of quality growth opportunities by providing investment finance, increasing cash flow and easing debt commitments.

“We would be delighted to talk to any organisations looking to find support for their growth plans.”

This article is reproduced courtesy of

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