A MIDDLESBROUGH businessman is set to revitalise a series of stalled Teesside regeneration schemes after assembling a multi-million pound war chest.
Guy Brudenell says he has raised at least £14m and plans to drive forward projects including a large residential scheme in Stockton and a mixed-use property development in Middlesbrough.
The funds are being supplied by a wealthy individual, whose identity is being kept under wraps.
It is a welcome development for Mr Brudenell, who last year filed for bankruptcy after his assets were frozen following the break-up of his marriage.
However he is expecting his shareholdings and directorships to be re-instated in full on the basis that he now has the money to pay off creditors.
Around half of the £14m will be used to pay off creditors and the rest will fund his regeneration projects.
He said: “When I had the assets frozen, the parties negotiating the finance pulled out and left me destitute. I’m glad we can get things moving again.”
The property entrepreneur plans to convert premises on Middlesbrough’s Linthorpe Road into 9,000 sq ft of retail space and a 250-bed student accommodation block.
He also wants to convert a large building in Stockton into a non-student residential scheme.
Other schemes in the pipeline include a 350-bed facility in York and a luxury townhouse development in Helmsley.
Mr Brudenell said it was a good time to re-enter the property sector, which appears to have turned the corner after a difficult recession. House prices dropped by more than a fifth from their 2007 peak, but recent data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed new buyer inquiries had picked up to their best level since the end of last year.
The organisation also said 30% more of its members in Britain reported a rise in rents rather than a fall during the three months to April.
“Property has had a terrible hammering but it will recover - perhaps not this year but certainly within four or five years,” said Mr Brudenell.
He is targeting the student letting market, where rising unemployment is pushing more people into higher education and boosting demand for rented accommodation. Mr Brudenell was also responsible for the conversion of Teesside House in Middlesbrough into accommodation for up to 386 students.