© Photo by The Kent Messenger Group

Hemmens Contracts

Maidstone, Kent ME14, UK

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A property redevelopment helped to get a town centre regeneration plan off the ground, by transforming a derelict, historic building into 14 attractive new homes for rent.

How town centres should adapt to change has been a topic of debate for some time, well before the disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. Local authorities are leading the response to this challenge, working with developers and other partners to revitalise spaces for the local community.

The refurbishment of Lenworth House, a disused late Georgian building in the county town of Maidstone, offers a prime example of the benefits of this approach. Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) had prioritised the redevelopment of this site, to help meet the demand for rented accommodation and enhance the area's appearance.

With the help of a loan from CAF Bank, client Hemmens Contracts Ltd purchased the site, converting the existing property and constructing a new three story building to the rear. Soon after the building work was completed, MBC acquired the development from Hemmens. All fourteen of the well-located apartments are now rented by the council to private tenants.

Rob Hemmens, Director of Hemmens Contracts, said: “It’s fantastic being involved in this project and helping to replenish the housing supply in the area. It’s great to be involved in something bigger than us, and be a part of boosting the local economy and making an impact for the local community.”

William Cornall, Director of Regeneration and Place at MBC, said: “[The development of] Lenworth House was a key priority for the Council, as it signals a statement of intent in continuing to grow our market rented portfolio and create new sources of income to support core services.
“The regeneration of Lenworth House is not just about growing our housing stock, it’s about place-making and enhancing the town centre for the local community.” 



Through a unique benefit of the CAF Bank loan, Hemmens Contracts have donated one third of the loan arrangement fee to charitable causes of their choice, totalling just over £7,000.

This donation has funded the life-saving work of major charities, Cancer Research UK and Great Ormond Street Hospital. What's more, a £4,000 contribution to CAF's £6.5 million Coronavirus Emergency Fund has helped to support many small charities and communities affected by the pandemic.


Type of project  Property refurbishment and new build - Housing for rent
 Loan amount £1,548,591
 Loan to Cost 77.5%
 Loan to GDV 61%
 Development loan % 68% of purchase price and 100% of development costs
 Location of development Maidstone, Kent ME14
 Charity beneficiaries CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund, Cancer Research UK and Great Ormond's Street Hospital

It's great to be involved in something bigger than us ... to be a part of boosting the local economy and making an impact for the local community.

Rob Hemmens
Director, Hemmens Contracts Ltd


Connor Baxter, Client Relationship Manager at CAF Bank, highlighted the project's benefits:

“Lenworth House lay empty and unloved for 20 years or so, blighting an area near Maidstone town centre.  We were delighted to help Hemmens transform the site, before the property was sold back to the local authority. All 14 apartments are now leased to tenants at affordable rents, in line with our aim to support development projects with a social purpose".

If you're looking for loan finance to purchase, redevelop or refurbish a residential property, talk to our loan experts.


Maidstone, the county town of Kent, has attracted significant investment in recent years, with further projects planned totalling over £300m.

The area has also benefited from a redevelopment project around Maidstone East railway station, coupled with plans for a new Thameslink train service to speed up commuting times.

The development at Lenworth House is the first to be completed under the council's five-year Housing Development and Investment Plan. The building is made up of a mixture of one, two and three bedroom apartments – all of which are now occupied.

CAF Bank loans are non-regulated products.

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