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  • Writer's pictureJames Scott

Stories and ACP nominated for Deal of the Year at RESI awards 2024



Stories is delighted that its deal with Aviva Capital Partners to deliver purposeful projects has been shortlisted for Deal of the Year at the RESI Awards 2024. More on our submission below. Get in touch!


Aviva Capital Partners (ACP) and B-Corp developer, Stories, have formed a £100m JV to unlock and deliver development projects that will make a positive difference to the quality of life in communities across the UK.

 

ACP is Aviva’s in-house capital unit that uses Aviva’s own financial strength to create projects that improve the infrastructure of our communities. Aviva is the UK’s leading Insurance, Wealth & Retirement business, with 18.7million customers and £358billion AUM.

 

Stories is a socially responsible property development company and certified B Corp. Stories operates as principal developer, development manager and strategic advisor on projects that have a higher purpose than just financial returns.

 

The parties have committed £100 million in equity to partner with landowners to deliver projects that have a clear social purpose. We will engage across the full spectrum of the property development process. The JV is primarily intended to help unlock residential-led projects through partnership with long term and institutional landowners.

 

Why the deal was so ground-breaking, bold or innovative

 

The joint venture is the first funding commitment from ACP, itself a new entity formally launched in 2023.

 

The key innovation of our partnership is our fully integrated funding model, with the partnership funding all planning and pre-construction costs, before delivering construction with long term investment funding from Aviva Investors. The partnership takes on all planning and construction cost risk on behalf of its partners. Bringing institutional capital up the risk curve in development is a bold commitment by ACP.

 

By funding all stages of the project we are able to better manage development risk and therefore, whilst delivering appropriately risk adjusted returns to our investors, we are able to reduce the developer’s ‘commercial footprint’ on schemes, compared to alternative delivery models. This reduced commercial footprint directly flows to enhanced projects outcomes, in the form of affordable housing, sustainability targets and/or revenue for the landowner.

 

The approach of the joint venture means that long term, institutional capital is introduced at the project outset, ensuring full alignment to long term outcomes, including social and environmental, compared to short-term, high-return private equity typically required for planning costs. 

 

It is particularly impactful in the public sector where our model enables delivery of homes on public land without recourse to the public purse at a time of chronic funding issues within local government and still delivering 50% affordable housing, where other models are unviable. It keeps these assets in public ownership and generates revenue for the council. We take all planning risk, including underwriting and funding all planning costs, which the public sector cannot do. This removes the main hurdle to bringing sites forward for development and a key advantage over alternative, low-cost funding such as PWLB.

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