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Build to Rent fund loses more than half of first phase developers

More than half of the developers shortlisted for the first phase of the government’s Build to Rent fund have dropped out of the scheme.

Eighteen developers representing 20 schemes have been named in a new PRS shortlist for the first round of Build to Rent funding published by the Homes and Communities Agency.

There were originally 43 developers on the first phase announced in April 2013.

The 18 developers, including housebuilders Crest Nicholson and Bovis Homes as well as contractors Bouygues and Kier, are in the process of proceeding to contract or have already started construction.

A development by Bovis Mill Group was also added to the new shortlist.

Contracts that have been signed include the Bovis Mill Group, the Three Towers in Manchester by CS Capital Partners and the Centenary Quay scheme in Southampton with Crest Nicholson.

The Three Towers and Centenary Quay schemes are under construction.

Bovis Homes also announced today that it had signed two PRS deals, with one of the agreements struck using the government’s Build to Rent fund.

The fund was launched in 2012 by former housing minister Mark Prisk and was split into two funding phases.

It was designed to help developers build large-scale quality homes specifically for the private rented sector.

After an overwhelming response from the sector to the fund, which was initially set at £200m, the chancellor increased the funding available to £1bn in last year’s Budget.

Round one was significantly oversubscribed, with £1.4bn-worth of bids received for £700m of funding originally made available.

A total of £300m of funding was then set for the second phase of the scheme.

The HCA has since changed the funding envelopes after the significant f in developers for the first phase of the scheme.

The government is now offering £300m to developers for the Build to Rent fund’s first phase and £700m for the second phase.

It announced at the start of March that 36 schemes had qualified for the second round of its Build to Rent fund, with developments in Kirklees, Liverpool, London and Manchester among those to benefit.

Picture: Willmott Dixon’s private rented sector arm will build 132 new homes near Hayes & Harlington in west London

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