Liverpool Developer, Legacie Developments, Secures £60m Loan for Transformation of Heap’s Rice Mill

Image of RWinvest Director Michael Gledhill, Legacie Developments Founder John Morley with construction workers

Legacie Developments, a prominent Liverpool-based developer, has achieved a significant milestone by securing a £60 million development loan from the Merseyside Pension Fund’s ‘Catalyst’ vehicle. The funding will play a crucial role in the ambitious redevelopment of Heap’s Rice Mill, situated in the heart of Liverpool’s city center, into a prestigious mixed-use development encompassing residential apartments and premium commercial spaces. This transformative project, boasting an estimated gross development value of £140 million, aims to create 200 local jobs and training opportunities, perfectly aligning with the fund’s objective of driving economic growth in Liverpool.

The expertise of CBRE’s Lending team, operating within its Capital Advisors business, proved instrumental in facilitating this significant financing agreement on behalf of the Merseyside Pension Fund’s ‘Catalyst’ Fund. This deal marks the first loan between the fund and Legacie Developments and represents the largest funding arrangement the developer has secured in Liverpool to date. Notably, this achievement propels Legacie’s institutional finance portfolio to over £120 million within the first four months of 2023.

Legacie Developments has ambitious plans for the site, intending to construct 620 units across five distinct phases, effectively rejuvenating the Grade II listed building that once housed Joseph Heap & Sons Ltd, renowned for its rice grinding operations for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. As part of the redevelopment, a luxurious underground spa will also be incorporated, paying homage to the mill’s historical association with Liverpool’s docklands.

Partnering with Legacie Developments to promote the scheme is RWinvest, an esteemed international sales agent. The project has already generated remarkable demand, with an impressive 85% of units pre-sold.

John Morley, Founder and CEO of Legacie Developments, expressed his excitement regarding the collaboration with the Merseyside Pension Fund, emphasizing the profound impact the investment will have on revitalizing this historic Liverpool landmark. Morley also underlined the significance of securing support from such a prestigious pension fund, underscoring the company’s dedication to delivering much-needed new homes and amenities for the city.

Henry Randolph, Senior Director at CBRE Capital Advisors, lauded the partnership, highlighting Legacie’s proven track record in successfully developing large-scale placemaking schemes to the highest standards. Randolph emphasized the project’s appeal, showcasing exceptional design, world-class amenities, and an enviable location in close proximity to Liverpool’s most coveted areas.

Councillor Pat Cleary, Chairman of the Merseyside Pension Fund’s Committee, acknowledged the pressing housing shortage in Liverpool and emphasized the importance of developments with strong environmental credentials, such as Heaps Mill, in addressing the ongoing housing crisis. The project’s commitment to sustainability, incorporating innovative features like air-source heat pumps, MVHR systems, and the preservation of the historic building’s fabric, aligns with the overarching goal of creating environmentally friendly housing options.

The loan agreement represents a significant milestone in the redevelopment journey of Heap’s Rice Mill, underscoring Legacie Developments’ steadfast commitment to preserving Liverpool’s rich heritage while contributing to the city’s economic growth and meeting the demand for high-quality housing.

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