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Sat April 13 2024

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Muse venture scales up for more work

27 Feb ECF, formerly the English Cities Fund, is set top double in size thanks to a funding injection.

Salford Central, an ECF project
Salford Central, an ECF project

ECF is a public-private partnership of Homes England, Legal & General and Morgan Sindall subsidiary Muse set up as the English Cities Fund in 2001 with £100m of investment to take on urban regeneration projects.

The partnership has now expanded with the injection of an additional £100m of equity from the partners, to be matched by an additional £100m of debt. This provides capacity for ECF to grow to £400m to take on more, and larger, projects.

By 2036 ECF is expected to deliver more than a million square feet of commercial space to support education and 17,000 new homes.

Since its first investment in Liverpool in 2001 ECF has completed mixed-use regeneration projects in Liverpool, London, Plymouth, Salford, and Wakefield worth a total £1.2bn, delivering 2,150 new homes and 1,150,000 sq ft of commercial space.

Existing locations include Salford Crescent, Manor Road Quarter in Canning Town, Stockport 8 and St Helens. 

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Muse managing director Phil Mayall said: “ECF has, and continues to, deliver complex, impactful, and sustainable regeneration. Working in partnership with Homes England and Legal & General, ECF is unique in its ability to deliver challenging regeneration over the long term. 

“ECF’s expansion is testament to the team’s success over two decades, with a track record of delivery. With greater resources, we will have an even greater impact on places and communities. Our team will work with new and existing partners, across all the regions in which we operate, to realise this potential in a way which delivers genuine social value.”

Bill Hughes, head of LGIM Real Assets at Legal & General, said: “ECF is a prime example where the public sector, institutional investors, and sector experts can work hand in hand to deliver much-needed social infrastructure that supports locations which may have been left behind. We’re sure that the next decade of regeneration projects will bring further successes, positive social and environmental impact and like-minded new partners to invest capital alongside us into projects that can help to drive financial returns with positive social and environmental outcomes.”

Homes England chief executive Peter Denton said: “Spanning two decades, the English Cities Fund has a track record of delivering truly transformational places in areas that need it the most. This expansion will support ECF’s strong project pipeline, continuing the work of this long-standing partnership and creating vibrant new places, jobs, homes and opportunities across the country.”

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