Statistics quoted in video
1. In 2014 80% of residents wanted to leave Acton Gardens, 2 years later 80% of residents wanted to stay. (Source: Countryside Properties)
2. Countryside Properties achieves 88% of its sustainability objectives. (Source: Countryside Properties)
Of course, real estate is never just about geography or square footage. For Countryside it’s about creating “places people love.”
“Anyone can throw up an apartment block,” says Rebecca Worthington, Group Chief Financial Officer at Countryside Properties. “That doesn't create a place and it doesn't create a community.”
Countryside’s mission is known as “placemaking” and it encompasses everything from building sustainably to creating green spaces to incorporating youth centres, medical facilities and shops into building plans.
Brendan Jarvis believes Barclays plays an important role in supporting and financing this mission. “We're not just a bank out to make a profit and pay dividends. The bank is at the heart of the community,” he says.
Countryside’s Acton Gardens development in West London is a great example of urban placemaking in action. “It was an 1,800-home social housing estate,” says Worthington. “The buildings were often incredibly poor quality, there was a lot of crime. It wasn't safe to walk on the streets at night.”
We’re not just helping a client that happens to be a housebuilder. We’re thinking about social responsibility.Brendan Jarvis, Managing Director, Barclays
Countryside is now five years into its 15-year urban regeneration project at Acton Gardens. Upon completion, those 1,800 socially rented homes will have been replaced with nearly 3,000 mixed tenure homes, half of which will be affordable.
The response from residents has been overwhelmingly positive. At the start of the project, 80% of residents surveyed said they wanted to leave Acton Gardens. Two years later, 80% of respondents wanted to stay.
Against the backdrop of Brexit, Barclays co-led the IPO for Countryside, helping to frame Countryside’s potential to investors.