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Continuing investment in strategic sites around Cambridge

— 11.04.17

Urban&Civic announces that it has acquired a one third partnership stake in a 400 acre (162.3 hectares) site at Wintringham Park, St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, from two Nuffield charitable trusts (the “Trusts”).  The total land area is allocated but not yet consented for the development of up to 2,800 residential units, 63,500 sqm of employment space, a district centre with ancillary uses and two primary schools.  The Trusts comprise the Nuffield Dominions Trust and the Nuffield Oxford Hospitals Fund which are dedicated to supporting medical research and teaching at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, and within the Medical Sciences Division of the University.    

The purchase consideration is £13.3 million, which is phased over the next four years with provision for early payments to fund the Trusts’ share of accelerated infrastructure investment.  The transaction values a hundred per cent interest in the project at £40 million, or the approximate equivalent of £14,000 per unserviced residential plot. Urban&Civic has been appointed Master Developer and will take forward the delivery of the site as a whole, together with the sale of fully serviced land parcels adopting its now proven model.   Current new house prices in the local area are around £285 per sq ft.  It is anticipated that infrastructure provision will commence from early 2018.
 
Wintringham Park is a key strategic site within Huntingdonshire District Council as an adopted eastern extension to St. Neots.  The land is bordered by the East Coast Main Line to the west and the A428 to Cambridge to the south and east.  Alongside Alconbury and Waterbeach, the project represents the third major holding for Urban&Civic with ready access to Cambridge.  Express buses to Cambridge run every 30 minutes and there are 104 weekday trains to and from King’s Cross and St. Neots with the fastest journey time now 35 minutes.   

The land at St. Neots has been in the ownership of one or both Trusts since the 1940s and forms a major part of their bequest from the late Lord Nuffield.  The Trusts are able to draw upon significant expertise in health and innovation which will be incorporated within the broader contribution that a large well-planned development at Wintringham will make towards accelerated housing supply and improved well being.
 
The investment reflects Urban&Civic’s policy to act as Master Developer and owner/ investor on large projects in affordable areas of high population growth.  The sub regional increase in population in and around Cambridge over the past ten years is around 15 per cent.  Accommodating such growth requires large sites to be brought forward more quickly but with an emphasis on improved quality.  Collectively the three Urban&Civic projects in Cambridgeshire will deliver 15,000 homes, four million sq ft of business space, eight primary schools and at least two new secondary schools.  
 
In describing the potential for the future partnership Nigel Hugill, Chief Executive of Urban&Civic, said:
 
"The real thrill for us is in the prospect of taking our Master Developer model and deploying the Nuffield experience of creating healthier lifestyles to show just what well planned new large scale projects can achieve.   We are aiming for accelerated housing delivery in which improved well being is made a priority from the outset."  
 
Sir Andrew Dilnot, Warden of Nuffield College, Oxford and Chair of the Nuffield Dominions Trust added:
 
"The trusts are committed to furthering medical research and teaching. We have owned the site for 75 years and high quality development in the context of all that the Nuffield name stands for remains our absolute priority.  We are determined that our partnership with Urban&Civic will provide an appropriate financial and environmental legacy."

For further information, please contact:

Urban&Civic plc                                                               020 7509 5555                                                          

Nigel Hugill/David Wood

FTI Consulting                                                                  020 3727 1000                                                        

Giles Barrie /Ellie Sweeney /Dido Laurimore

Notes:

About Urban&Civic plc

Urban&Civic plc is an established UK property development and investment company listed on the London Stock Exchange's main market (UANC), with total assets valued at over £450 million (30 September 2016).

Headquartered in London and with a network of regional offices, Urban&Civic’s team is led by Nigel Hugill, CEO, and Robin Butler, Managing Director. The Company has significant in-house expertise across site assembly, planning, project management, delivery, community engagement and sales.

Strategic land constitutes the core of Urban&Civic’s business model where, as Master Developer, it owns or has the stewardship of over 4,000 acres across four sites located close to Cambridge, Huntingdon, Newark and Rugby. These sites will deliver more than 20,000 new homes, over six million sqft of business space, and at least eleven primary and three secondary schools over the next 15 to 20 years.

Proud to be defined by the quality of its projects, Urban&Civic is distinguished by its emphasis as Master Developer on the leveraged benefits that can be delivered from Strategic Sites.  These include the creation of new jobs and enhanced skills as well as the delivery of real opportunities for local communities and stakeholders.

About the Nuffield Trusts

Lord Nuffield was the major benefactor to Oxford medicine.  His generosity in this area effectively created the modern University Medical School and came in many forms, over an extended period.  His key gifts included the purchase of the Radcliffe Infirmary and Observatory sites from St Johns College, the founding from scratch of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital, and endowing the widening of the scope of the University's Medical School, the Nuffield Medical Research Institute, the Nuffield Dominions Trust (whose purpose is to promote the progress of medical knowledge by co-operation between the Oxford Medical School and certain overseas universities), and the Nuffield Oxford Hospitals Fund whose purpose is to fund investments in Oxford hospitals that support the University’s teaching and research activities.  (For the avoidance of doubt, these benefactions are completely independent from the Nuffield Trust private hospital group, the Nuffield Foundation and Nuffield College itself.)

Wintringham Park has since the 1940s formed a major part of the bequests from the late Lord Nuffield to the Nuffield Dominions Trust and Nuffield Oxford Hospitals Fund and to Oxford medicine in general.   It is important for the Trusts to both maximise value and quality in its delivery.  Nuffield have significant expertise in health, innovation and education which it seeks to see taken forward within the vision for Wintringham Park.