Freeths advises Porterbrook on £66m redevelopment of Bletchley Depot

National law firm Freeths has advised Porterbrook on financing the redevelopment of Bletchley depot for West Midlands Trains (WMT). Porterbrook is the UK’s leading rolling stock financier and asset management company.

The £66m upgrade programme will enable Bletchley to become the principal maintenance base for WMT’s newly procured Class 730 Aventra fleet. These electric fleets are essential to the UK’s plans for a net-zero railway. The programme will be completed in the autumn of 2025.

The Freeths legal team brought together experts from the Transport, Real Estate and Construction teams. Real Estate Partner and Head of Transport Michael Bray and Managing Associate Danielle Sinclair led the firm’s real estate advice, while Rail Finance Partner Tom Johnson advised on the financing aspects with Senior Associate James Urmston, with support in relation to construction matters from Managing Associate Uzma Raja.

Commenting on the deal, Michael Bray said: “This is an important project delivering private finance into a regulated rail depot environment, bringing a disused rail depot back into use, improving transport for customers and helping WMT and Britain’s railways achieve their net zero targets.”

Stefan Rose, Chief Investment Officer at Porterbrook, added: “We’re delighted to fund the redevelopment Bletchley needs to service the modern fleets joining the network. Through private finance, we can maintain and enhance essential rail infrastructure like this to continue to play an important role in the railway for many years to come.”

This project was led out of the full-service Freeths Transport and Rail teams - a team of specialists covering all relevant aspects of this deal including heavy rail, depot infrastructure, rail operations, construction, finance, depot access and connection, and rail regulatory. 

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