Together funds major Exeter development project – home to ex-England flanker Tom Johnson’s new leisure club

Sharks are set to play Exeter Chiefs at the AJ Bell on Friday 26th February. And while we may be fierce adversaries on the pitch, we wanted to share a story of working in partnership off it.

Former Exeter Chiefs and England International flanker Tom Johnson has formed, with his business partners, a new brand called VIDA. VIDA will offer a range of well-being and lifestyle services, including newly opened boutique personal training studio ‘Number 6’ and Winslade Manor Bar and Restaurant. In 2022 a new £5million gym with swimming pool and beauty spa will open under the VIDA brand. The facilities are being built as part of Burrington Estates’ new 86-acre development at Winslade Park on the outskirts of Exeter.

The funding for the project has been provided by Sharks’ shirt sponsor, Together, who routinely help property developers and investors, big and small, to finance their ambitions. Together have provided Burrington with a £15million loan facility, which will help to deliver not only the leisure facilities but office space and homes.

The first stage of the development opened earlier this month. Grade II-listed Winslade Manor, which dates back to the late 18th century, stands at the centre of the huge development and officially opened following its £2million refurbishment. Its first commercial tenants have moved in following the impressive refurbishment, which was completed on schedule in under a year despite two national lockdowns.

Renovation work to restore the building to its former glory has included the skilled restoration of historic features including a stunning atrium ceiling, original staircase and balustrades, plus a new marble hallway floor.
Winslade Manor Restaurant and Bar will open as soon as Government guidelines allow, with Chef director Matt Mason creating a ‘casual elegant’ dining experience with a menu of local, seasonal produce. In the meantime, Matt’s providing ‘a taste of what’s to come’ – a kerbside collection and delivery service.

Paul Scantlebury and Mark Edworthy, founders of Burrington Estates, and the property group’s Commercial Managing Director, Matthew Bennett, were joined by Ritchie Watson, Together’s Lending Director, and the finance group’s Commercial CEO, Marc Goldberg, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Mr Watson said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to cut the ribbon at Winslade Manor, marking the first stage of this fantastic development.

From the outset, we were impressed with Burrington’s plans and it’s great to see them starting to come to fruition. The refurbishment of the Manor has been completed to a superb standard and it makes us even more excited to see what happens next.”

The project’s next phase will include refurbishing existing offices on the site and providing additional health club and wellness facilities. Plans for new homes at Winslade Park are currently at detailed planning stage, with building work due to start later this year.

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