Real estate manager AEW has raised £171m (€202m) for its UK value-add urban retail fund.

The manager said the Urban Real Estate Fund (UREF) secured the equity commitments from leading institutional investors, adding that the fund has also secured an initial £30m debt facility.

The fund targets underutilised retail assets located in urban areas in the South of England and major UK conurbations.

AEW said UREF has so far invested £133m in nine retail assets and is in talks to acquire three more assets worth £16.2m in total.

Nick Winsley, AEW managing director and senior portfolio manager, UREF, said: “As the UK high street accelerates its shift away from retail towards mixed-use units, there is an opportunity to repurpose assets and support the regeneration of town centres.

“We are delighted with the take-up from investors and would like to thank them for their strong support as we work with local authorities and explore options to ensure that these assets continue to meet the changing needs of the town centres in which they are located.”

Charlie Royle, AEW director and portfolio manager, UREF, said: “We are excited by the opportunity that currently exists in the sector and the ability to support social change in the urban environment, working with local authorities and key stakeholders.

”Through careful investment and diligent asset management we aim to secure the fund’s target returns for our investors, whilst addressing the needs of local communities.”

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