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Man on a roof

The owners of one of the first Build-to-Rent (BTR) properties in Edinburgh is embarking on a major drive to improve energy performance across its flagship development as it looks to enhance its sustainability credentials while reducing energy bills for residents.

Kingsford Group has secured a dedicated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Improvement Loan from Secure Trust Bank (STB) Real Estate Finance to achieve a minimum EPC rating of C across a number of luxury apartments at its historic Kingsford Residence.

The Edwardian building, which was converted into 74 luxury apartments in 2017, boasts a gym, roof garden and co-working business space.

Following the sharp rise in energy costs and a desire to protect residents, Kingsford Group commissioned an EPC assessment to establish the measures that would need to be introduced in order to raise energy performance of the building.

The EPC Improvement Loan from Secure Trust Bank will fund the installation of secondary glazing in collaboration with Perth-based Glaze & Save, specialists in bespoke magnetic secondary glazing for listed buildings. Once upgraded to an EPC C-rating, further measures will be introduced such as solar panels, community battery and heat pump technology.

The partnership between STB and Kingsford Estates dates back to 2018, with STB Head of Origination, Matthew-Blaine Young and Kingsford Group's CEO, Alex Watts agreeing the 12-month EPC loan off the back of a strong working relationship. A testament to the like-mindedness of the pair, the deal took just two weeks to complete, with the wheels already in motion on retrofitting the upgrades to the property.

Alex Watts, CEO of Kingsford Group, said: "The loan we've agreed from Secure Trust Bank is essential to our ambitions to transform the energy performance of The Kingsford Residence towards fully renewable net-zero operation. As a landlord you have the ability to make a difference. Fundamentally, our team and clients care about the future of the planet and this means exceeding minimum standards wherever possible.

"Matthew at Secure Trust Bank understood my desire to make the right decisions for people and the planet, which is why there was no doubt in my mind that the EPC Improvement Loan was the best option. Not only do we want to continue leading the way in the Scottish BTR market, we want to do it in an environmentally positive way - changing the industry through changing opinions on the value of eco-friendly development."

Secure Trust Bank's EPC Improvement Loan, which is available to the bank's existing customers, is designed to help residential landlords remediate their property portfolios with energy-saving solutions. The new product is an extension (top-up) to existing loans, providing fixed sums of £6,500 and £13,000 for EPC D and EPC E-rated assets respectively.

Matthew-Blaine Young, Head of Origination at Secure Trust Bank Real Estate Finance, added: "Given anticipated regulatory changes and pressure on residents' living costs, we want to help landlords prepare and overcome associated challenges. Our commitment to environmental responsibility is why we were one of the first banks to offer an EPC-specific product, and Alex epitomises the kind of property developer we love to work with in every way."

Find out more about Secure Trust Bank Real Estate Finance.