Bank to provide finance to existing SME housebuilders to unlock development

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Santander is set to launch a £100m scheme to support SME housebuilders and increase development.

The bank’s corporate and commercial division has announced a scheme to help give the SME housebuilding sector availability of finance after it was identified as one of the primary constraints for the sector.

The fund, which will launch on March 25, is aimed at existing housebuilders with a successful track record and will be headed by Andrew Whelan, managing director of regional real estate at Santander.

Steve Pateman, Head of UK Banking at Santander, said: “We are aware that many small housebuilders struggle to raise the equity required to support conventional bank debt; by allocating part of our Breakthrough Growth Fund to this sector, we will be able to bridge some of this gap with a tranche of mezzanine finance that will hopefully allow many of these small housebuilders to build out their land banks and from there go on to develop more sites.

“This will benefit not only the housing market but also the broader UK economy.”