Shared Ownership Employment Units

Focus is a new affordable way of enabling business owners to purchase a business unit on a shared ownership basis.

On day 1 a percentage of the unit can be purchased by the business owner directly into their pension. The percentage they can purchase will depend on the amount of savings they currently have in their pension.

On the part they own they pay a market rent directly into their own pension (tax free) and on the remaining share they pay rent to the landlord.

The purchase agreement allows the owner to staircase and increase their share as and when they have adequate funds in their pension. Once they staircase to 100% they will own the unit outright and 100% of the asset in their pension.

The Focus product supports growth for rural job creation and allows local businesses the ability to continue to work in the community and create jobs for local people.

What is Focus?
  • A new way of purchasing a small employment unit
  • Enables people to use their pension pot to secure their future
  • Supports new/growing businesses to acquire a new commercial unit
  • Supports growth for rural job creation
National Context

Revised NPPF in order to support a prosperous rural economy states ‘Planning policies and decisions should enable support of ‘.. sustainable growth and expansion of all types of business in rural areas, both through conversion of existing buildings and well-designed new buildings..’
(Rural Home Working Statistics March 2015 Gov.UK) Revised NPPF 2018

25.5 million working people in England
3.8 million of which are home workers
34% of homeworkers are in rural areas
(13% in urban areas)
Demand for more homes is necessitation economic growth in the rural areas
How will it assist LAS & NPG?

Help to enable local employment opportunities that can support a thriving rural economy.

Help to enable the development of new homes, jobs and community infrastructure sufficient to meet local needs.

Help reduce rural isolation, provide jobs for residents of the immediate area reducing commuting, and foster vitality.

Help to enable bottom-up planning processes in local communities by supporting the delivery of neighbourhood plans.

Case Study

Mr P has been self-employed now for over 10 years. He works from home but has outgrown his home office and needs some workshop space, office space and a better meeting room to allow him to employ people and to meet clients in a professional environment and take the next step in the growth of his business.

Mr P does not want to move far from his home to go to work and ideally he would be best placed to own a commercial unit of circa 1250sq ft.

Unfortunately, there are very few commercial buildings and availability is scarce in rural areas. Units available are investor-owned and only available for rent. This would require him to commit to a lease of probably at least 10-years.

In an ideal world, there would be a unit that was going to be built that Mr P could already have registered his interest with the Local Authority. The problem for Mr P is that whilst he would rather own his unit and put it into his pension so his company could in effect pay rent to himself and build a pension for his and his families future, he has not been able to make enough pension contributions for his company to be able to afford and leverage debt under the rules around pensions borrowing capacity at 50% loan to value.

The solution that vision offers is that Mr P can own part of his unit with the capacity he has in his pension and rent the remainder from the fund. Mr P would have a legal option agreement that allows him to invest his pension contributions in future years and buy the unit over time in the same way shared ownership works for housing associations on residential accommodation. Mr P would be able to go on to employ more local people who will spend their hard earned wages in the local community.

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