BUILD April 2017

BUILD / April 2017 5 NEWS , This includes £12.5m worth of property traded on its resale exchange, where investors can trade their holdings. The number of investors on the platform has ris- en 57% to 10,361 in the last 12 months. The pioneering property invest- ment platform was launched in January 2015 and allows inves- tors to buy shares in a range of properties and benefit from rental income and any capital apprecia- tion on a diversified portfolio. The purchase, tenancy and man- agement are handled by Prop- erty Partner’s in-house team of experts, taking the hassle out of property investment. Investors benefit from increased liquidity through its resale exchange and also have the option to exit their holding at market value after five years, at fair market value. Investments are ring-fenced in Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and money held on account is protected by the Financial Ser- vices Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Property Partner’s ultimate goal is to bring to the residential property market the same level of liquidity present in equity markets while making it simple and hassle-free. The company is constantly in- vesting in its technology to boost the investor experience. The Combined In- vestment Fund (CIF), has provided £2.9m of loan funding to Barberry Develop- ments to assist with the specula- tive development of the 46,000 sq ft industrial unit on the old Tuck- ers Fastenings site at Walsall Road, Perry Barr. Barberry has purchased the site, with construc- tion expected to complete later this year and resulting in the crea- tion of around 75 new jobs. Cllr Izzi Seccombe, leader of Warwickshire County Council and WMCA portfolio holder for finance and investments, said: “I am delighted the CIF is able to play a part in bringing this site back into industrial use. Projects such as this are why the CIF was established, to help create the right conditions for industry and the jobs that are key to ensuring a prosperous future for the West Midlands.” Tucker Fasteners had been at the Walsall Road site since 1903 producing rivets, fasteners and other metal products, as well as building fighter planes during World War II. It closed in 2013. Barberry director Henry Bellfield said the 2.5-acre brownfield site occupied a prominent location on the A34 and was within minutes of Birmingham city centre and the M6 motorway. “This development is well posi- tioned to serve the local popu- lation and we expect it to be of interest from occupiers in the e-commerce, urban logistics ful- filment, retail, wholesale, and the trade and manufacturing sectors,” he said. Jon Robinson, development di- rector of Barberry added: “This scheme will provide much need- ed stock to the mid-sized indus- trial/warehouse sector, providing occupiers and businesses with the quality accommodation need- ed to expand, create jobs or re- locate their businesses within the West Midlands.” The CIF is a £70 million com- mercial development war-chest set up by the WMCA earlier this year to stimulate jobs, opportunity and growth. It is aimed at unlock- ing a further £1 billion in private sector investment over the next 10 years. It is managed by Fi- nance Birmingham and provides short-term loans to private sector developers to enable them to get schemes off the ground. Nick Oakley, senior investment director at Finance Birmingham, said: “We are delighted to be able to assist a well-established local developer with the speculative re- development of this key employ- ment site in Birmingham. It is an excellent location and will encour- age further inward investment into the city.” The latest innovation was the in- troduction of its Bid Engine, which allows investors to place bid or- ders for property shares in its resale marketplace at prices they are willing to pay. When the mar- ket moves in the same direction orders are filled automatically and the investor notified. Since launch Property Partner has returned a total of £1.24m in dividends, with an average rental yield of 3.5% (after all costs), and listed 375 buy-to-let properties. Dan Gandesha, CEO and founder of Property Partner, said: “This is a significant milestone for Proper- ty Partner and one that underlines the huge potential of this market and its growing investor appeal. “Not many investors want to give up the amount of time required to invest in residential property and that’s why I think the way we make it easy and accessible is gaining a lot of attention. “Traditional landlords spend months identifying, buying, up- grading and letting properties. We can get our investors to the same point in minutes with no stress or hassle. Even in a period of rela- tive political and economic uncer- tainty, growth in the numbers of investors using Property Partner has been strong, as has the level of investment.” £2.9m Investment Secured for For- mer Birmingham Factory Site N AWest Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) investment fund is backing the £5.5 million rebirth of a landmark former Birmingham factory site.