New crowdfunding scheme seeks to develop Sheffield homes


Crowdfunding organisation UOWN has launched a bid to fund a development in the Castlegate area of Sheffield, as a part of a wider regeneration project being driven by Sheffield Council.

It’s a 12- apartment project on the old Stantons Bakery and Cafe plot, and is expected to be finished by the start of 2020, and featuring one-bedroom properties made available exclusively to first-time buyers. It is estimated that 200 people will invest into the project together using the UOWN platform.

Providing affordable housing to the people of Sheffield is an important aim of the regeneration project, and as such the twelve properties on the Castle Street development will be made available to local people and first-time buyers as a priority. The UK has been the subject of widespread foreign investment in property and UOWN wants to help give British people the chance to buy their own property and help with the ongoing housing crisis in the UK.

UOWN was launched in 2016 with the aim to democratise property investment and allow more people to join what is seen as the safest route for investment in the UK. UOWN offers a crowdfunding service where customers can choose to invest as much as they want per month, from as little as £1, to earn returns of roughly 15% per project. Since launching, UOWN has raised over £1m and completed conversion projects.

Castlegate Programme Director Simon Ogden, who has been driving the project for Sheffield Council and Castlegate Partnership said: “We wanted to work with local business partners, people with a real interest in building on its unique character and who share our vision. UOWN have an interesting new model for helping people to invest in the local Sheffield economy, we have big ambitions for the Castlegate area and the Castle Street project is an important example of fresh thinking on how to unlock the potential of the former Stantons Bakery and Cafe – one of the most distinctive buildings in the quarter.”

Shaan Ahmed, co-founder of UOWN, said: “At UOWN we are committed to finding new and innovative ways to help people on to the property ladder, through our service we have helped over 2500 people to begin their own journey. We are pleased to announce the Castle Street development funding process, which will be a part of an exciting regeneration project in Sheffield. We feel that the plans the council are putting into place will help the area thrive, the potential new business and recreation services make for a great place for people to live and work.”

Haaris Ahmed, co-founder of UOWN added, ‘We are always looking for interesting opportunities for our UOWN customers, working with Sheffield Council to regenerate the Castlegate area was a no-brainer. The old Stanton Bakery building is a classic piece of architecture, and our plans will sympathetically update the building. Once completed, these beautifully finished apartments will be made available for locals and first-time buyers, meaning no foreign investors buying them all up, making sure we are giving Brits a chance to start their own property journey.”