Livingway backs out of Upperbanks deal

Date published: 16 November 2023

The Manchester-based operator Livingway will no longer be taking on the running of the new Upperbanks development in Rochdale town centre, following a deal collapse, with the apartments now to remain under the control of Rochdale Borough Council.

Earlier this year, the council announced that the 242-apartment complex had been acquired by Livingway, after the company agreed to purchase the development from Rochdale Borough Council.

However, it now appears the two organisations were still in negotiations and the deal was not complete at that stage.

However, according to Place North West, the deal collapsed on 13 November after “the council and Livingway failed to reach an agreement on certain aspects of the deal.”

A spokesperson for Livingway told Place North West that it was “extremely disappointed” to withdraw after “Rochdale Council did not comply with a technical matter in our agreement,” adding that the company had “no alternative but to terminate” as ‘Rochdale Council wasn’t satisfied when Livingway offered several different methods of progressing with the transaction’.

Livingway has been contacted for comment.

A spokesperson for Rochdale Borough Council said: “We are extremely disappointed to see it reported that Livingway has suggested the council is in some way responsible for the collapse of the deal to purchase the Upperbanks development. This is not an accurate account of the overall position and the council must therefore set the record straight.

“The council entered into an agreement with Livingway in May 2023. The purchase was due to complete in late September but shortly before that Livingway made a request to delay the purchase for 12 months. The council was prepared to consider this request but expected the resulting additional costs from the delay would be met. Livingway, however, was not prepared to agree to this.

“The variation that Livingway was seeking was not in line with the contractual agreement that had previously been agreed by them and could therefore not be accepted. Livingway was entitled to terminate the agreement on a technical matter and did so following the council’s unwillingness to delay the purchase and accept additional costs.

“The council, alongside its recent investment in the adjoining Hilton Hotel and in consultation with a specialist market-leading operator, has taken the decision to retain the apartments and bring forward a high-quality scheme for the benefit of Rochdale. 

“This sits in line with Rochdale Council’s continued commitment to bringing forward exciting new changes to the town centre and delivering new first-of-its-kind offerings for the Rochdale community.

“We firmly believe that Rochdale is a perfect location for such a high-quality build-to-rent accommodation and we look forward to welcoming tenants to the scheme.”

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