THE COMPANY behind recently announced house building scheme in Rossendale have shared how the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has impacted the market.

OakNorth Bank, whose North West operations are overseen from its Manchester office, are one of the fastest growing companies in Europe and specialise in lending to small and medium sized businesses, particularly in the property development sector.

With 30 new homes planned for Rossendale, the company have said that residents can expect development to continue apace despite the pandemic and that small and medium sized businesses in need of finance should keep them in mind.

Senior director Chris Swarbrick said: “We’re looking to assist in all kinds of lending and we’re actively looking to lend more in the North West, we can lend against residential developments, commercial properties and many other areas besides that.”

He added: “We’re in a new reality and nobody knows what the future is going to look like but we are very much open for business.

“We’re not just a funder of house builders, we’re interested in investing in all kinds of small and medium sized enterprises.”

Since 2015 the company has financed the building of around 16,000 houses across the UK, with the new Rossendale homes only amongst the most recent.

In this case, a 2.5 acre rural site around Johnny Barn Close in Cloughfold, Rossendale, has been set aside for the homes, which the company and local partners Hurstwood Holdings hope will be ideal for commuters driving into Manchester, Bury, Blackburn and Burnley.

This development stands out however as one that was announced long after businesses across all kinds of sectors had to adjust to the pandemic situation.

However OakNorth has said it has largely been able to take the crisis in its stride and has approved over £1.3bn in new loans including around £450m via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme since the start of lockdown in March.

Such schemes have been crucial to local economies absorbing the devastating impact of the pandemic.

Mr Swarbrick said: “I don’t think the situation is going to change the stark reality that there is a shortage of housing and that people will need somewhere to live.”

For small businesses interested in financing opportunities, visit: