Edinburgh-based Build to Rent developer Kingsford Group is embarking on a major drive to improve energy performance across its flagship development – and one of the first Build to Rent properties in Edinburgh – as it looks to enhance its sustainability credentials while reducing energy bills for residents.
Kingsford Group has secured a dedicated EPC Improvement Loan from Secure Trust Bank (STB) Real Estate Finance to achieve a minimum EPC rating of C across numerous luxury apartments at its historic Kingsford Residence. The Edwardian building, which was converted into 74 luxury apartments in 2017, features a gym, roof garden and co-working business space.
“The loan we’ve agreed from Secure Trust Bank is essential to our ambitions to transform the energy performance of The Kingsford Residence towards fully renewable net-zero operation. As a landlord you have the ability to make a difference. Fundamentally, our team and clients care about the future of the planet and this means exceeding minimum standards wherever possible. Matthew at Secure Trust Bank understood my desire to make the right decisions for people and the planet, which is why there was no doubt in my mind that the EPC Improvement Loan was the best option. Not only do we want to continue leading the way in the Scottish Build to Rent market, we want to do it in an environmentally positive way – changing the industry through changing opinions on the value of eco-friendly development.”Alex Watts, CEO, Kingsford Group
Kingsford Group commissioned an EPC assessment to establish the measures that would need to be introduced to raise energy performance of the building. The EPC Improvement Loan from STB will fund the installation of secondary glazing in collaboration with Perth-based specialists in bespoke magnetic secondary glazing for listed buildings Glaze & Save.
Once upgraded to an EPC C-rating, further measures will be introduced such as solar panels, community battery and heat pump technology.
“Given anticipated regulatory changes and pressure on residents’ living costs, we want to help landlords prepare and overcome associated challenges. Our commitment to environmental responsibility is why we were one of the first banks to offer an EPC-specific product, and Alex epitomises the kind of property developer we love to work with in every way.”Matthew-Blaine Young, Head of Origination, Secure Trust Bank Real Estate Finance
The partnership between STB and Kingsford Estates was stablished in 2018, with STB Head of Origination Matthew-Blaine Young and Kingsford Group’s CEO Alex Watts coming to the agreement on the 12-month EPC loan. Because of the strong relationship between the two companies, the deal took just two weeks to complete, with the wheels already in motion on retrofitting the upgrades to the property.
STB’s EPC Improvement Loan – which is available to the bank’s existing customers – is designed to help residential landlords remediate their property portfolios with energy-saving solutions. The new product is an extension (top-up) to existing loans, providing fixed sums of £6,500 and £13,000 for EPC D and EPC E-rated assets respectively.
Operating in Scotland for over 20 years, Kingsford Group is a market leading property developer and asset manager focussed on creation, management, and operation of design led exceptional and optimised workplaces and homes to rent.