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New Kajima JV Buys Into Boris' Levelling-Up Agenda

Genr8's latest Rochdale plans: 238 apartments, a 146-bedroom hotel and new offices on land adjacent to Rochdale Riverside

Kajima Corporation of Japan, the $16B Tokyo-based construction and infrastructure giant, has formed a UK-wide joint venture to exploit Boris Johnson’s 'levelling-up' agenda for northern towns and cities.

The move deepens Kajima’s existing relationship with north west-based developer Genr8. The JV has delivered the £80M first phase of Rochdale’s 200K SF Rochdale Riverside retail and leisure scheme.

The new partnership is with Kajima’s UK arm, which manages more than 75 social infrastructure assets or buildings in the UK with a gross value of about £5B. The partnership will focus on town centre regeneration projects throughout the UK. The shrinking of retail in town centres will offer plenty of opportunities.

The move comes weeks after Rishi Sunak, the chancellor of the exchequer, announced a £4.8B Levelling Up Fund. The fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the country, aiming to support town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets.

The prospectus on how to submit bids for the fund has now been published and can be found here.

The new partnership is already in conversations with local councils and envisages as many as six new projects with values ranging from £30M to £200M.

“We believe that together, Kajima and Genr8 can bring both real expertise and financial resource to the Government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda, for the benefit of communities around the country,” Kajimia Partnerships Head of Development Kirk Taylor said.

Genr8 said the levelling-up fund presented a window of opportunity.

"The new focus on levelling up the regions provides an opportunity to get things done against the backdrop of government willingness to invest in areas which can provide some quick wins because there is already a can-do local authority and a developer on board,” Genr8 founding partner Richard Ingham said.

The two companies have now formally established Genr8 Kajima Regeneration Ltd with the intention of working with aspirational councils to deliver transformational regeneration projects alongside the government’s levelling up agenda.

The JV completed an £80M funding deal with M&G Investments to deliver the Rochdale scheme and the partnership is now on-site delivering the next phase, which will see an additional £50M investment and deliver 240 apartments along with a 146-bed Hilton hotel. 

As well as Rochdale Riverside, Genr8 is delivering the £200M Smithfield scheme, a new mixed-use quarter for the city of Stoke-on-Trent. Genr8 has already delivered a 200K SF office scheme, 151 build-to-rent apartments and a Genr8-owned Hilton Garden Inn Hotel.