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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

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Major funding deal will allow Carlisle firm to build more than 1,000 homes

The Carlisle-based builder Story Homes hopes to build more than 1,000 homes over the next two years after securing £25 million in funding.

Fred Story photo
Fred Story

The deal with Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking will allow it to expand house building and build hundreds of homes over the next two years.

Founder Fred Story said they had maintained their growth during a challenging period.

“Over the past few years we’ve built up a strong portfolio of new sites, which we’re now ready to bring forward and with the support from Lloyds we can begin to unlock new areas of growth,” he said.

“Every decision we make is based upon delivering a first-class product for our customers.” A spokesman for the company added that the firm planned to bring forward developments on land it has acquired over several years.

Story expects to build between 150 and 160 homes in the current financial year, ending March 31, rising to between 250 and 275 in 2013-14, 400 to 450 the year after, and 500 to 600 the year after that.

Gary Chapman, relationship director for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking in north Cumbria and the north east, praised Story’s management, which is bucking the trend in the sector.

Profits doubled in the year to March 2012, up to £3.22m before tax from £1.49m in 2010-11.

Mr Chapman said: “Story Homes is a company with strong fundamentals including a great management team who are passionate about what they produce with a real ambition to grow their business.

“This is an exciting time for Story Homes.

“With Lloyds’ support it gives the company the liquidity it needs to unlock value from its existing land bank, increase the pace of build as well as acquiring further sites.”

Story Homes is renowned for the quality of its developments and has won several national awards.

Locally, it has ongoing housing developments in Carlisle, Wigton and Dearham, another at Appleby recently received planning consent, while other sites in Carlisle, Scotby and Dalston are in the pipeline.

Story Homes is also leading a £67.8m redevelopment of a former hospital in Lancaster.

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