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Redwood Bank’s ethos and speed of delivery applauded by Nicholson Group CEO

23/03/2020 12:08:58
Case study Our people
A pioneering UK property group has revealed how it arranged a finance package, with legal completion, secured within 16-days of being introduced to Redwood Bank by Peter Leonard of Whiterose Finance.

Acclaimed CEO and founder Paul Nicholson explained that the fast turnaround was required to enable the group to purchase its next pioneering and ground-breaking property redevelopment, within an agreed, tight, timescale.


Nicholson Group was about to finish a prestige development comprising two commercial units and 12 residential one-bedroom apartments in the centre of St Helens, known as Nicholson Plaza. The development had been funded from the Group’s own resources and, with the development nearing completion, funds were needed to be raised against the completed project in a time-critical manner.

Due to the borrower’s understanding of exactly what the market in St Helens required, both the commercial units were already let and were generating an income, with the residential units all pre-let prior to completion. The asset was therefore generating income from day one.

Mr Nicholson made a direct approach to respected commercial broker Peter Leonard of Whiterose Finance, with whom Mr Nicholson had previously worked with on the Group’s other completed developments in St Helens.

Following an initial conversation, and with a complete proposal document, Mr Leonard made an approach to Redwood Bank’s business development manager, Mark Dolphin, who had recently visited Whiterose Finance as part of his regular contact programme and broker network. Mr Dolphin immediately expressed the bank’s willingness to consider a transaction of this quality and type.

A detailed synopsis was provided by the broker, which enabled Mr Dolphin to provide Heads of Terms within 24-hours, alongside the confirmation that Redwood Bank would be able to complete the valuation and legal due diligence within the agreed timescale, giving both the broker certainty and client peace of mind. The formal credit sanction was received within 48-hours, which evidenced Redwood’s strong desire to work to the client’s timescale.


To ensure the client was able to release the maximum amount available from the re-development, Redwood Bank agreed to split the facility into two separate facilities – a 20-year facility in connection with the commercial units and a 30-year facility in connection with the residential units.

The above is a great example of how Redwood Bank is keen to find a solution which matches the client’s credit appetite, whilst ensuring the facility meets the Bank’s own credit parameters.


L-R: Mark Dolphin, Business Development Manager, Redwood Bank, Gary Wilkinson, CEO and Co-Founder, Redwood Bank, Paul Nicholson, CEO, Nicholson Group, Alan Brown, Chief Risk Officer, Redwood Bank, Peter Leonard, Whiterose Finance, Graham Reynolds, Chief Development Officer, Redwood Bank


The deal was not without its challenges, but by communicating clearly with all parties these challenges were quickly dealt with to the satisfaction of all. Mr Nicholson commented: “The overall speed of delivery, from initial contact with the broker to sanction and ultimately completion was highly impressive. Given the current climate and uncertainty over the UK economy, it is very encouraging to experience how pro-active a lender such as Redwood Bank is in the property market.”

Nicholson Group is now viewing Whiterose Finance as its ‘go to’ commercial broker and Redwood Bank as its long-term funding partner. The Group plan to embark on very ambitious, yet highly scalable, plans for its property development pipeline in 2020 and beyond, which will see them move towards its target of achieving a £50m portfolio value within the next two years.

Mark Dolphin said: “In an industry which has the benefits of latest technology, transactions can still take a seemingly inordinate amount of time to complete. It just goes to show that if you have willing parties on all sides, a deal can be executed in a timely manner.”