OakNorth Bank to advance the £5m required to complete Side by Side’s new school building

OakNorth Bank – the UK bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs has agreed to advance £5m to enable Side by Side, the special needs school and integrated nursery catering for the Jewish community, to complete its building work whilst its fundraising continues apace.

Side by Side’s new school premises is scheduled to open for pupils in September 2022, with an increased capacity from 80 to 130 and new state of the art facilities designed to meet the specific needs of every child. The school, which carries a “Good” rating from Ofsted, welcomes students from across London with range of special needs. Specially designed programs, customised to each level and ability are implemented by a cadre of staff headed by Gerald Lebrett.

The new £11m school project has raised more than half the required funds locally and it is always a challenge to ensure that the building work must continue as funds come in.

Israel Moskovitz, Founder of Avon Group and Trustee at Side by Side, said: “I have worked closely with special needs school, Side-by-Side, for several years now, and I continue to be blown away by the immense generosity of the local community.

It was an honour and a privilege to work with OakNorth Bank to ensure the project can move forward quickly. The new school will make a huge difference to the children and their families. I hope that we will now be able to reach our goal of opening next year.”

Jacob Sorotzkin, chair of Governors at Side by Side said: “The generosity of our community is astounding, and we are immeasurably grateful to those individuals who have secured this facility from OakNorth Bank. Our building work continues, our fundraising efforts continue but OakNorth’s advance will ensure that we will meet our target and open as planned next year.”

Ben Barbanel, Head of Debt Finance and Greg Manson, Associate Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, continued: “Side by Side has self-funded its growth extremely well, through charitable events and fundraising activities but cash flow for the building works is imperative. We at OakNorth Bank are truly proud to have been able to provide the necessary finance and we look forward to becoming partners with the wonderful Side by Side team.”

Read more here: Side by Side new school building to be completed thanks to £5m loan – The Jewish Chronicle (thejc.com)

Buyer demand remains high across the housing market

Many sectors have suffered dramatically during the past 12 months, but one that continues to bounce back stronger than before is the housing market. Recent figures by Rightmove’s monthly House Price Index show that, even during a pandemic, new records have been set within the industry, with the average price of property jumping up by 1.8% (£5,767). With the market continuing to experience extremely high buyer demand and an appetite for larger homes, one thing is true — confidence in the market continues to be at an all-time high.

It is no surprise, really. With people having spent more time in their homes in the last year than ever before, we’re experiencing a growing trend of people looking for more space and better surroundings, leading to frequent moving becoming the norm. This need for ‘better’ has seen a boom across the industry, so much so that the prices of homes in the north of the country have seen double-digit increases, with prices up by 11.1% in North West and 10.5% in Yorkshire. This section of the country has had the greatest potential for growth for many years now, and the change in buyer’s needs (more working from home, less commuting), means a spotlight has been shone on this part of the market.

Many will look at the extension of the stamp duty holiday, paired with the continued low costs of borrowing as the real savior for keeping confidence in the housing market. In some ways, they may be right, but it is clear that confidence has been there long before this. With Nationwide reporting that three-quarters of the homeowners they surveyed at the end of last month saying they would have moved even if the stamp duty hadn’t been extended, we have to appreciate that the market is already in an extremely buoyant place.

On that same thread, 25% of homeowners surveyed by Nationwide said that they were either in the process of moving or considering a move as a result of the pandemic, the expectation is that the industry will continue to accelerate in the coming months. If the month-on-month house prices remain flat, it is thought we might even see its annual rate of growth reach double digits — a continued welcome boost to our economy.”

‘Buyer demand remains high across the housing market’ first appeared on my Medium profile.