By Kristy Dorsey

Environmental upgrades for some of Glasgow’s most historic office and retail buildings have been built into a £30 million refinancing package secured by their owner.

The Victorian red sandstone Baltic Chambers near Glasgow Central railway station is one of 10 city centre properties that owner Dunaskin has put up to secure fresh funding through the Bank of Scotland’s Green Lending Initiative. In addition to Baltic Chambers, originally built in 1899 by Duncan McNaughton, others such as Central Chambers and Ingram house will also receive green re-fits.

The properties are managed on behalf of Dunaskin by Stelmain. The refinancing includes a term loan along with revolving credit that will give the business flexibility to trade assets and fund capital expenditure across the portfolio through the current economic downturn.

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The terms include green deal covenants that require Stelmain to spend £1.2m on sustainability improvements to meet a range of energy performance certificate (EPC) targets across the portfolio.

Harvey Freeman, managing director of Stelmain, said the refinancing discussions set in motion wider plans for a clear sustainability strategy across the business.

More than 700 tenants occupy Stelmain’s office and retail buildings, which also include Turnberry House, 120 Bath Street and 111 Union Street.

“We know how important being more sustainable is, but laying the foundations for a wider plan is vital,” Mr Freeman said. “Bank of Scotland helped us put in place the practical measures needed to achieve our aims through the expertise and experience of its team.

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“As is natural with deals of this nature, challenges emerged. With our sector and the wider economy grappling with the challenges posed by Covid-19, we have a supportive banking partner which remains steadfast in its commitment to help us achieve our ambitions.”

Alan Brennan, head of real estate and housing at the bank, said being greener has its challenges, particularly in older and listed buildings.

“Despite the challenges posed by coronavirus, Stelmain is aware of the long-term importance of sustainability," he said.