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Bridges and Hub announce sustainable property developments in the UK

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Published: 20 February 2023

The organisations have obtained £108m forward funding for UK build-to-rent development in Leeds and are planning to develop a low-carbon aparthotel in London.

Bridges’ property funds focus on sustainable and impact-driven real estate investments | Photo: Latitude Blue scheme project in Leeds, Bridges Fund Management

Impact investor Bridges Fund Management and community-focused developer Hub have announced two joint projects for sustainable residential and hotel developments in the UK. 

The organisations have obtained £108m of forward funding from Canadian property investment company Realstar to build 488 sustainable, low-cost build-to-rent homes in Leeds on the site of an old iron and steel works.  Separately, Bridges and Hub also plan to retrofit a building in central London to create a low-carbon aparthotel.  

In Leeds, the Latitude Blue development follows on from Latitude Purple, a development on adjacent land, which Bridges, Hub and Realstar agreed to develop in 2021. The two sites will provide 951 homes in total as part of efforts to spur regeneration in the northern English city. The homes will be marketed under Realstar’s residential rental brand Uncle.  

Hub announced in early February it had awarded a £82m contract to RG Group to build Latitude Blue, which consists of two towers of 26 and 31 storeys. In response to the priorities highlighted in public consultations, the development will involve extensive landscaping designed to make the most of nearby features, such as a canal frontage, and improve pedestrian and cycle access to the city centre.  

Bridges, Hub and Realstar have previously worked together on two north London build-to-rent developments. The partnership has now completed £370m of forward funding deals, with 1,446 homes either completed or under construction, according to Bridges. 

Simon Ringer, partner and head of Property Funds at Bridges Fund Management, said the forward-funding partnership was evidence of continued strong institutional demand for high-quality, highly sustainable residential assets. Damien Sharkey, Managing Director at HUB, said his organisation expected further deals in the sector to emerge over the next few months. 

Sustainable aparthotel 

Meanwhile, Bridges said its Bridges Property Funds arm had also teamed up with new Hub subsidiary HubCap to acquire a 12,000 sq ft site in Ludgate Hill, central London.  

They plan to use their expertise in sustainable development and low-carbon design to retrofit the existing building as a “highly sustainable” aparthotel to cater for London’s sizeable short-stay tourist market. HubCap has been created to focus on developing low-carbon, city centre co-living and aparthotel projects. 

“Globally, the existing building stock accounts for a huge proportion of carbon emissions, so we’ve always been interested in finding ways to retrofit underused buildings to make them more sustainable and economically useful,” said Bridges’ Ringer. 

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