Funding deal enables Manchester property developer to expand into the new build market

Photograph: (Left to Right) Paula Jones and Robert Harrison

A £50,000 funding deal from Reward Finance Group is providing the catalyst for a Manchester-based property developer to expand into the new build market and stay on track to quadruple revenues in the next two years.

Affordable Property Let (APL), the rental development arm of Middleton building firm Harrison Construction, has used the working capital from Reward to establish a property portfolio that will provide the springboard to move into new build schemes across northern England.

Reward, which supplies SMEs with tailored business finance loans and asset based solutions of between £50k and £5m, has provided around £300,000 of funding to APL over a five year period, to help the business finance bridging loans on three house in multiple occupation (HMO) properties. The latest being a £50,000 facility to purchase and complete the major refurbishment of a HMO in Castleton Moor near Rochdale.

APL is now setting its sights on significant growth within the new build market, with planning approval secured on three luxury homes in Hebden Bridge and a commercial property in Oldham. In anticipation of this, APL has hired three new staff and two apprentices from Hopwood Hall College in Rochdale, with plans to increase the workforce further when the construction begins on the new builds later this year.

The business is owned by Robert Harrison a Manchester-based entrepreneur who started out as an apprentice joiner over 15 years’ ago before becoming a sole trader, taking on joinery and carpentry subcontracting work for several major housing developers. He then set up Harrison Construction in 2013 to focus on high-end newbuilds extensions, loft conversions and structural services where he learnt his craft.

In addition to APL and Harrison Construction, he also successfully runs Robert Homes Property Group and Hadas Architectural Service to cover the full breadth of construction, architecture and property development.

Robert Harrison, Director for Affordable Property Let, said: “Having been in the building trade for over 15 years, it’s always been my dream for the business to move into the new build space. I knew to achieve that aim, we would need to establish a property portfolio and proven track-record of purchasing, refurbishing and letting homes to a very high standard.

“That is why the funding from Reward has been so critical. The speed and flexibility of its lending has enabled us to be agile in the market and quickly acquire and refurbish a series of successful HMOs, culminating in the finance to secure our latest property near Rochdale. We’re now on a really exciting growth trajectory and have big plans for several new build developments across the north of England.”

Paula Jones, Regional Operations Manager for Reward Finance Group in the North West, added: “It’s been fantastic to see the progress Robert and the team at APL have made in establishing and sustaining a property letting portfolio that now unlocks opportunities in the new build market.

“It’s a brilliant example of how the right type of commercial finance can be transformative for SMEs that have ambitious growth plans, but need the working capital to react and capitalise on market opportunities when they become available. We’re looking forward to seeing what this next exciting chapter has in store for APL.”