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£1.5m loan refinance means solid future for Heritage Trust for the North West

Press Releases Published: September 2, 2015 7:26 am

A £1.5m refinance package from challenger bank, Unity Trust Bank has helped Heritage Trust for the North West continue to protect and conserve many of the key cultural heritage sites in Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and Cumbria.

The Trust has saved many well-loved local heritage sites from demolition and disrepair, such as Lytham Hall, Pendle Heritage Centre and Higherford Mill, which now also serves as office space for those working in the creative industries. Through finding appropriate uses for the buildings the Trust secures visitor access, continued conversion of workspaces, and other community benefits for the sites.

Initially established to focus on restoration, The Trust now develops projects across the region. It has formed two trading companies that generate funds for the charity: a building and repairs company, and a catering and retail service, both of which operate in various Trust sites as well as within the wider community.

John Miller, Chief Executive of Heritage Trust for the North West, said of the financial decision to refinance its mortgages: “The refinance enables our short-term lending from the Architectural Heritage Fund to be paid off and converted into long-term loans with Unity Trust Bank. This gives the Trust greater flexibility in terms of rental incomes and mortgage payments on our buildings.

“We came to Unity following a recommendation from the Co-operative Bank, and I’ve been truly impressed by the support we’ve received from the bank, and particularly from our relationship manager, Margaret. We’re the only Trust in the area dedicated to preserving and conserving wonderful cultural heritage sites that can become real assets for local communities and hope we can implement the sustainable re-use of many more historical buildings in the future.”

Margaret Porter, North West Relationship Manager at Unity Trust Bank, said: “I’ve worked with John and The Trust to establish a long-term financial strategy and the ten year term loan refinance, to strengthen the charity’s profit making ability. As a bank, Unity aims to support organisations creating positive social value to also create sustainable business returns. Which, in the Heritage Trust’s case, means increasing its enterprising ability through the subsidiary companies and traditional building services.”

As well as restoring buildings and running visitor centres, Heritage Trust for the North West restores housing and converts rented workspace, as well as managing holiday lets and curated museum displays. The trust is headquartered at Grade II listed Higherford Mill in Barrowford near Nelson, which it saved from demolition a decade ago.

For information and advice on sustainable finance and banking services, please contact Unity Trust Bank at or visit its website at: 


Notes to editors

About Unity Trust Bank

Unity Trust Bank is a bank for organisations and businesses that create social, community or environmental benefits as well as sustainable returns. The bank seeks to put positive social impact at the heart of everything it does. It provides tailored day-to-day banking and finance to charities, social enterprises, co-operatives, CICs, voluntary and community organisations, trade unions, councils, housing associations, commercial businesses, and more.

Unity Trust Bank is a Living Wage accredited employer. The first bank to do so, this illustrates Unity’s commitment to its employees. It also holds the Fair Tax Mark in recognition of its fair and transparent accounting approach. For more information, visit:

About Heritage Trust for the North West:

Heritage Trust for the North West (Charity Number: 508300) is a Building Preservation Trust registered with the Architectural Heritage Fund.  Its aims are to restore and find appropriate new uses for Buildings at Risk in the North West.  Its headquarters are at Higherford Mill (Grade II listed), Barrowford near Nelson, which it saved from demolition a decade ago; the Mill featured in the BBC TV Restoration Series in 2006. For more information, visit:

For further information, please contact Unity Trust Bank PR consultants:

Anna Hollis: / 020 8533 8893

Rachel Pidgeon: / 020 8533 8893


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