UK railways pension scheme Railpen is funding the redevelopment of an existing mental health facility in Northern England.

The £37bn (€42bn) pension scheme said it will fund the redevelopment and extension of an existing mental health facility in Sunderland for the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

The redevelopment will replace an existing building at Monkwearmouth Hospital, and create a 35,000sqft facility.

Railpen said the NHS Trust has signed a 30-plus year lease on the site, delivering long-duration inflation-linked returns for Railpen’s members.

Julian Allport, investment manager at Railpen, said: “The creation of new mental health facility to provide greater and better support to patients is a key initiative for the Sunderland community and one that meets all of Railpen’s strategic investment criteria.

“The new facility will help more people than the one it replaces, create a much-improved environment for staff and patients, and deliver long-term returns for our members. It is exactly the type of socially responsible and sustainable investment we are seeking.”

James Duncan, chief executive at Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Railpen’s investment in the new facility will ensure that our vital services, supporting people of all ages with their mental health needs, can continue to be delivered safely and effectively in the heart of the community in Sunderland.”

The redevelopment is being undertaken by Monkwearmouth Development, a joint venture between Argon Property Development Solutions and Sir Robert McAlpine Capital Ventures.

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