With our city skylines constantly changing and technology further disrupting our lives, preserving a tangible link to history and iconic landmarks is increasingly important to communities as citizens seek a sense of belonging.

Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor, head of private markets at Hermes Investment Management

This is why we adopt a different approach with our big regeneration developments and see placemaking and community engagement as equally important to stable financial returns.

We have a duty to deliver holistic returns for our clients that go far beyond the financial and consider the impact of our decisions on society, the environment and the wider world. Boasting a long history of developing assets that benefit local communities, we remain committed to creating places where people want to live, work and play.

While recognising the importance of preserving each of our development sites’ unique history by creating desirable and community-focused assets, we also have a strong track record of implementing large regeneration projects with an eye to the future.

What sets us apart from other institutional investors is our focus on ensuring that social and environmental factors are at the heart of a responsible and sustainable investment strategy.

Industrial Workers

Source: Pixabay

Our commitment to sustaining long-term financial returns allows us to invest in assets that can have a positive societal and environmental impact. This affords the scope to create what we term a “meaningful city”, combining a sense of belonging for local communities and citizens, while creating the right environment for attracting and retaining talent and in turn securing global capital.

Preserving history

A stellar example is NOMA in Manchester, one of the UK’s largest heritage-led regeneration projects, which is taking shape on the site where Sir Richard Arkwright opened Manchester’s first steam-powered cotton mill in the 1780s. Our dedication to the history of the site can be seen in the careful restoration of the Victorian buildings, through which we are saving the architectural lineage of post-industrial Britain for future generations.

This is not the only example of our attempt to stay true to a site’s historical roots. The Paradise Birmingham development presented a unique opportunity to reclaim buildings lost to the barbarism of 1960s urban development. Key to this development is the civic pride established by our Victorian and Edwardian ancestors.

Since 1945, a number of buildings have been shrouded in concrete. This project offered an opportunity to remove a host of undesirable buildings and create desirable public realm and greater accessibility.

NOMA, Manchester

NOMA in Manchester is one of the UK’s largest heritage-led regeneration projects

This approach is also visible at Wellington Place in Leeds, which contains one of the city’s biggest public spaces, with the historic Lifting Tower at its heart. Built in 1850, it was used to hoist wagons between the viaduct and ground-level goods yard when the old Central Station was still in use – today it stands as a lasting reminder of the city’s industrial past.

All these assets reflect our investment strategy of building long-term value, which we believe can be achieved by becoming intimately involved with our developments and preserving links with the past. We remain committed to curating long relationships with not only the development managers across all our assets, but also the wider community which ultimately benefits from the projects.

Simply deploying capital on its own into these developments is not an option if you are creating spaces where people want to work, live and play. By taking this approach, we are invested not only in a financial sense, but in the sense of the community, environment and wider society.