Affordable housing scheme completes in South Ayrshire

(from left) Colin Campbell (site manager, Keepmoat Homes), George Laing (clerk of works, Hanover Scotland), Mark Farey (director of asset management, Hanover Scotland), Cllr Philip Saxton (housing & customer services portfolio holder, South Ayrshire Council), Jim Kennedy (architectural manager, Keepmoat Homes), Kirsty Stillie (sales executive, Keepmoat Homes), Michael Harding (contracts manager, Keepmoat Homes), Jim Curran (development officer, Hanover Scotland)

Keepmoat Homes has been working in partnership with Hanover Scotland to deliver 10 affordable homes as part of the new 42 house Lyons Gate development.

The development at Heathfield Road, which received £763,000 investment from the Scottish Government through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme, comprises of eight cottage flats and two semi-detached houses for rent, and responds to local demand for quality and affordable housing in the town.

Sandy McBride, regional managing director for Keepmoat Homes, describes how the extensive regeneration of the area has been a key part in attracting interest from local people.

He said: “Before we even began the construction of new homes at Lyons Gate, we invested heavily in ground improvement works and consulting with the local community to ensure we delivered the right product.  Over recent years the demand for new housing in the area has continued to increase and we are pleased to be working in partnership with Hanover Housing Association and South Ayrshire Council to be able to meet this demand.

“It was important that we not only brought new homes for sale to the market, but we incorporated social housing within the scheme, as this underpins our commitment to transforming communities and supporting customers at all ends of the market.

“With our sales office now open – we encourage people to drop in and take a look at the new homes we have on offer and get an exclusive glimpse of the lifestyle available at Lyons Gate.”

Mark Farey, director of asset management at Hanover Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be working with South Ayrshire Council and Keepmoat Homes to bring modern, affordable homes to the area. This is a perfect example of how Hanover Scotland is working closely with local authorities to ensure Scotland delivers on its ambitious affordable housing target, providing high quality affordable homes suited to the needs of the local community.”

Councillor Philip Saxton, housing and customer services portfolio holder for South Ayrshire Council, added: “These homes are a fine example of what can be achieved through partnership working. South Ayrshire Council will continue to work closely with Hanover Scotland and other Registered Social Landlords to provide affordable housing that meets the needs of our communities.”

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “I am delighted to see the completion of the Lyons Gate development, which will bring great benefits to the area. It will not only provide high quality, affordable accommodation, but breathe new life into the community.

“Supported through our Affordable Housing Supply Programme, it is a great example of how the Scottish Government is helping provide the right homes, in the right places, and to a standard anyone would be proud to call home – a core part of our drive to make Scotland a fairer and more prosperous country.

“We are committed to delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes over this Parliament – backed by £3 billion of investment. As this project shows, working together with housing associations and others, I am confident that target can be achieved.”

Keepmoat named preferred housing developer for next phase of £250m Sighthill regeneration

Sighthill new 2Glasgow City Council has announced the appointment of Keepmoat Homes as its preferred developer for the provision of more than 800 new homes through the residential development at the Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA) in the city.

The residential development will feature 826 new homes (628 for sale, 198 for mid-market rent), as well as retail units and a commercial development over the next decade to complete the regeneration of Sighthill.

The new mid-market rent homes will be built by Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) and let and managed by GHA’s partners in Wheatley Group, Lowther Homes, with the private homes, retail unit and commercial development being delivered through a development agreement between Keepmoat Homes and Glasgow City Council.

Sighthill 2When complete, the regeneration of Sighthill, the biggest such project in the UK outside of London, will deliver almost 1000 (141 new GHA homes are already built and occupied) new high-quality homes for sale and rent; a new community school campus; a new footbridge across the M8, creating a ‘street in the sky’ to connect Sighthill to the neighbouring city centre; a new road bridge across the railway to link Sighthill and Port Dundas; as well as improved parkland throughout the entire area, active travel routes to and from the city centre, allotments and public spaces.

Keepmoat Homes became the preferred developer after a competitive dialogue process, with two excellent final bids submitted in August before the final decision in late September.

Councillor Kenny McLean, city convener for neighbourhoods, housing and public realm, said: “This is a historic day for Sighthill and Glasgow. The appointment of Keepmoat Homes as our preferred developer to deliver new homes, shops and a commercial development in Sighthill marks the next step for the regeneration of Sighthill. This area, immediately to the north of the city centre, has fantastic potential, and I am sure it will become an example of regeneration to follow in the years to come. I would like to thank all those organisations involved in the process, and I am delighted with the quality of the proposals put in front of us. This quality gives me great confidence in the future success of this project.”

Sighthill newTom Barclay, Wheatley Group director of property and development, said: “The new mid-market development helps us increase the supply of much-needed affordable homes in the city and will be a key part in the transformation of the area. It’s an exciting time for Sighthill and we’ll be working closely with the local community and our partners at the city council and the Scottish Government as the plans progress.”

Sighthill and Glasgow will also gain from this regeneration project through a community benefits programme from Keepmoat Homes that will deliver 62 new jobs through modern apprenticeships, graduates and new entrants; 45 new jobs on the construction project; support for 46 existing apprenticeships; and 82 work placements.

This community benefits programme will also involve education and training support; a commitment to a minimum value in sub-contracts to SMEs and social enterprises; events to support the supply chain; the support of 10 disadvantaged groups over a seven-year period; and a commitment to spending at least £20,000 on local engagement through community initiatives, digital inclusion and a local development trust.

Sighthill new 3At present, the most visible sign of Sighthill’s regeneration are the 141 modern, spacious, energy-efficient homes built by GHA in 2015, and the demolition of the high-rise blocks across the site.

Other key dates to note regarding key elements of the project include the imminent completion of remediation work; the delivery of infrastructure works – including new utilities, public realm and the public park – by late 2019; the building of a new community campus school by October 2019; the construction of a new road bridge across the Glasgow-Edinburgh railway line, to be complete by late 2018; and the delivery of the M8 pedestrian bridge by late 2019.

The regeneration of Sighthill is being delivered by Transforming Communities: Glasgow, a partnership between Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Housing Association and the Scottish Government, with additional funding from the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Keepmoat well placed to deliver growth after strong year

keepmoatHousebuilder Keepmoat has increased its revenue by 25% with underlying profits up by more than 30%.

Keepmoat, which is headquartered in Doncaster and established a new Scotland division in 2015, increased revenue to £423.2 million in the year to 31 March 2017, up 25.7% on the previous year’s total of £336.7m.

Excluding the £32.5m profit from discontinued operations, profit before tax was largely unchanged at £25.4m (2016: £25.0m).

Following the sale of its Regeneration division to Engie this year, Keepmoat Homes is now the Group’s principal business.

Keepmoat sold 2,924 homes during the year, up 21% on the previous year (2,416) and the average selling price increased from £139,000 to £145,000.

The number of plots in the company’s land pipeline increased by 19% to 28,544.

Peter Hindley, chief executive of Keepmoat Homes, said: “The business performed in line with expectations in the light of continued strong demand for new housing and despite significant shifts in government policy. Good progress has been made in developing growth opportunities.

“During the year, we continued to build our presence in new geographies and develop propositions for new sectors which will fuel further growth in the future.”

“In FY17 we continued our regional expansion programme with the new Scotland region already firmly established, and the splitting of our two largest regions, Yorkshire and Midlands, completed.

He added: “In addition, the group strengthened its capacity in the North West with the acquisition of M.C.I. Developments Limited, in January 2017, which is an established business building high quality homes for registered providers.

“Enabled by our strong reputation for partnership working, we are developing opportunities in two new sectors.  The private rented sector is a growing market and financial institutions are keen to invest in this long term revenue stream.

“We are developing relationships with a number of investing institutions who are keen work in partnership with developers such as Keepmoat to build significant portfolios of private rented homes.”

James Thomson, executive chairman of Keepmoat Homes, added: “The sale of the Keepmoat Regeneration business for £330m earlier this year has significantly strengthened our balance sheet and we are well placed to support and deliver growth.

“We are targeting to deliver over 4,000 much needed high quality, affordable homes for the UK during the next financial year.”

North Sighthill to be transformed with £35m mixed tenure housing development

North Sighthill Keepmoat 2Enabling work has started for the construction of 316 new homes in North Sighthill after Keepmoat Regeneration finalised contracts with the City of Edinburgh Council.

The development of the derelict site at Calder Road / Broomhouse Road in the south west of the city will see 96 new affordable homes for social rent and 88 affordable homes for mid-market rent for the council as well as a further 132 affordable flats and house marketed directly for sale by Keepmoat Homes.

The Scottish Government’s Help to Buy Scheme will be applicable to first time buyers and existing homeowners, providing help of up to 15% of the purchase price of an affordable new build flat or house.

All 316 energy efficient homes shall be constructed to the latest Scottish Building Regulations, creating an exemplar of urban design and a cohesive, high quality public realm that benefits from well-considered open spaces connecting to Sighthill Park.

During the lifetime of the development project, Keepmoat Regeneration will provide access to certified training for new entrants and candidates facing traditional and historical barriers to employment via an ambitious Community Engagement Plan.

North Sighthill Keepmoat 1An employability & training programme shall deliver a minimum of seven modern apprentices and 24 employability programmes while a structured programme of curricular and extra-curricular support shall be provided for local schools and colleges.

Social enterprises and 3rd sector organisations, community groups, volunteers and charities shall all benefit from development and funding support as well as a programme of access, inclusion and participation in community and public events.

Eamonn McGarvey, regional managing director, said: “Now that North Sighthill has been cleared of low demand high rise flats, our proposals shall create a development that Keepmoat Regeneration and the City of Edinburgh can be proud of.

“This highly important new project is an exemplar of urban regeneration built to high environmental standards. It’s a prime opportunity to showcase exactly how Keepmoat Regeneration is perfectly placed to deliver major mixed use developments that restore civic pride and offer a variety of homes for market sale, as well as private or social rent.

“We are once again delighted to be working with the City of Edinburgh Council and supporting their vision of sustainable housing and neighbourhoods fit for the 21st century.”

North Sighthill Keepmoat 3Housing and economy convener, Councillor Gavin Barrie, said: “North Sighthill is one of the largest new house-building projects in Edinburgh – a key part in the council’s coalition pledge to deliver 20,000 affordable and low cost homes over the next ten years.

“We are very pleased to be working with Keepmoat on this development which is now part of a larger programme already delivering new affordable homes in Leith, Newhaven, Craigmillar, Pennywell, Gracemount and Chesser in one of the most ambitious council-led housebuilding programmes in the UK.”

Work on the new development at North Sighthill is expected to progress over three years.

Why women are shying away from a career in a progressive field

RLOWith women only accounting for 11% of the construction industry, a ground-breaking new survey has exposed how legacy perceptions are still influential in deterring women from entering a field that is bustling with progressive career opportunities.

In an effort to understand why the industry is still saturated with men and recognise what is holding women back; housing and community regeneration specialist Keepmoat commissioned research which spoke directly to 16-25 year olds, who are facing the pivotal years of career selection.

Of those interviewed, just 13% of females said they would consider a career in the construction industry, compared to 21% of men.

A massive 46% of females listed the limitations for women to progress as the key driver behind that decision; while 47% noted the high proportion of men in the business makes it intimidating.

One of the more surprising findings, was that nearly a third (29%) of women, think that roles are limited to on-site work; while a further 30% viewed the field as ‘strenuous’.

Dave Sheridan, chief executive of Keepmoat, said: “It’s concerning that in 2017, nearly a third of women still view a career in construction as hard hats, digging or bricklaying. Yes that’s a major part of the production – and one which we still encourage women to consider – but there are endless opportunities in design, land and planning, surveying, sales, business development or marketing; the list goes on.

“The housing crisis is at the fore of the Government agenda and this ultimately means there has never been a better time to consider a career in construction.  In order to meet the recommendations, we need to work hard to eradicate the looming skills crisis our industry is facing; and that means taking the time to identify what is holding people back – particularly females.”

The research participants were also offered exclusive insights into the field and the majority of females interviewed (56%) were surprised to learn that the industry employs a significant number of women at executive, manager and director levels.

After hearing of the opportunities available, 72% of those who were questioned were in agreement that the industry needs to be doing more with schools and forming partnerships to highlight the benefits of entering the field.

Dave added: “This research campaign has offered the perfect platform for us to start looking at our own offer and make serious considerations about how we can maximise the appeal for women; so they can take advantage of the great career prospects we have.

“We as an industry need to come together to change these dated perceptions and ensure we have a thriving and diverse workforce that can deliver the new homes and infrastructure our country so desperately needs.”

Keepmoat to sell off regeneration business for £330m

Keepmoat chief executive Dave Sheridan will join Engie

Keepmoat chief executive Dave Sheridan will join Engie

Keepmoat Group has signed an agreement to sell its regeneration arm to French energy and services provider Engie in a deal valued at £330 million.

Specialising in the design, build and refurbishment of buildings and places, the Keepmoat regeneration business specialises is expected to be sold in a few months.

Keepmoat chief executive Dave Sheridan will transfer to Engie at completion, together with the entire Regeneration division’s infrastructure and all 2,500 employees.

Engie already employs 17,000 people in the UK and is a major provider of property services and energy management, including district heating, to local authorities and businesses.

Keepmoat’s venture capital owners, TDR and Sun Capital, who acquired the company in 2014, said that they will continue the growth strategy of the Keepmoat Homes business, which works with local authorities, registered providers and public sector land owners creating mixed tenure homes throughout the UK.

The Homes business, which has doubled in size since 2014, has an ambitious target to build more than 3,500 homes in FY18.

The highly experienced management team remains in place and continues to be led by Peter Hindley, who said: “Keepmoat has grown significantly by serving the huge demand for quality new homes that are well designed and offered at prices people can afford. We have the investment and sites to build more homes than ever before, and help yet more people secure a place of their own. Keepmoat will keep growing strongly.”

Keepmoat chief executive Dave Sheridan, who will join Engie, said: “The regeneration business has exciting prospects as part of Engie. It is very clear that Engie shares our belief that by working in partnership with local authorities and registered providers we can help cities and communities improve the places where people live.”

Wilfrid Petrie, CEO of Engie in the UK & Ireland, added: “Engie aims to be the number one partner for cities and places in the UK and with the Keepmoat regeneration business we are extending and deepening our relationships with local authorities right across the country.

“By combining our energy expertise with an expanded services capability we can make a bigger impact as we help to improve lives of the communities we serve. Today, buildings account for 30% of UK carbon emissions and our investment in Keepmoat’s regeneration business underlines our long-term commitment to the UK as it transitions to a lower carbon economy. This transaction will also support our growth ambitions for decentralised energy networks and our home energy business as the regeneration activities will bring us closer to the end customer.”

Keepmoat wins £35m Sighthill regeneration contract

North Sighthill Keepmoat 2A derelict piece of land in North Sighthill is to be completely transformed after the City of Edinburgh Council finalised contracts with Keepmoat for a £35 million regeneration scheme that will also provide investment in the wider community.

Work is due to start on site in February 2017 and will comprise 96 new family homes for social rent, 88 homes for mid-market rent and 132 sustainable family homes for sale.

The major mixed tenure development will be built in compliance with the latest Scottish Building Regulations, Housing for Varying Needs and Secure by Design.

The Scottish Government’s Help to Buy Scheme will  be applicable to first time buyers and existing homeowners, providing help of up to 15 per cent of the purchase price of an affordable new build home.

North Sighthill Keepmoat 1Housing and community regeneration specialist, Keepmoat, will construct all 316 new energy efficient homes and will offer substantial employment and training opportunities for local people via a Community Engagement Plan, centred on Employability & Training, Education & Outreach, Enterprise & Business, Funding & Development and Community Cohesion.

There will also be access to certified training for new entrants and those facing traditional and historical barriers to employment, where Keepmoat will deliver a minimum of one modern apprentice, six craft apprentices and employability programmes for 24 candidates throughout the duration of the contract.

Eamonn McGarvey, regional managing director for the Regeneration division at Keepmoat in Scotland, said: “Now that North Sighthill has been cleared of low demand high rise flats, our proposals shall create a development that Edinburgh can be proud of; benefitting from a cohesive, high quality public realm and seamless tenure that generates a sense of community and civic pride that helps to create jobs and improve the area’s social and economic prosperity and attractiveness.

“This highly important new project is an exemplar of urban regeneration built to high environmental standards. It’s a prime opportunity to showcase exactly how Keepmoat as a business is perfectly placed to deliver major mixed use developments that offer a variety of homes for market sale, as well as private or social rent.

“We also face a well-documented skills crisis in the construction industry and this project offers an ideal opportunity to upskill a new generation in varying construction disciplines.  We shall engage enthusiastically and positively with local schools and colleges to encourage young people to consider careers in the construction industry.

“We are once again delighted to be working with the City of Edinburgh Council and supporting their vision of sustainable housing and neighbourhoods fit for the 21st century.

North Sighthill Keepmoat 3Housing leader for City of Edinburgh Council, Cllr Joan Griffiths, said: “North Sighthill is one of the largest new house-building projects in Edinburgh, after the regeneration of Pennywell in the north which is well underway. This development is a key part the council’s commitment, working with housing associations, to deliver 16,000 affordable and low cost homes and nearly £2 billion investment over the next ten years.”

Work on the new development at North Sighthill is expected to progress over three years.

MSP visits Greenock to discuss dangers on development sites

(from left) Maurice Corry – regional MSP West Scotland, Malcolm MacLeod – regional director NHBC Scotland, John McColgan – senior site manager (Keepmoat)

(from left) Maurice Corry – regional MSP West Scotland, Malcolm MacLeod – regional director NHBC Scotland, John McColgan – senior site manager (Keepmoat)

Conservative MSP for West Scotland, Maurice Corry, visited a new build housing development in Greenock to assess the measures being taken by the National House Building Council (NHBC) to ensure construction standards are being maintained on all New Build Housing sites.

In order to provide an overview of the NHBC and their role in developing and maintaining standards in new build housing construction, NHBC Scotland extended an invite to all recently elected MSPs to visit developments within their constituencies

Community regeneration and construction specialist Keepmoat played host to Mr Corry at the firm’s Garvald Street development, which is delivering 45 new homes in partnership with Oak Tree Housing Association.

Mr Corry was accompanied on the tour by NHBC Scotland director, Malcolm MacLeod, who discussed the NHBC’s role in assessing and monitoring construction sites, and how they ensure standards are maintained notably in relation to risk management, health and safety and technical standards for design, materials, and workmanship.

Keepmoat’s site staff guided them through the site, and outlined how they were working to NHBC guidelines, and the assessment and inspection regime that NHBC deploy on new build sites.

Malcolm MacLeod said: “We were delighted to be able to show Maurice Corry around the Garvald Street development by Keepmoat. It was a great opportunity to show him first-hand the new homes that are being built in Greenock and the role that NHBC plays in ensuring those homes are of high quality for his future constituents.

“As the UK’s leading insurance and warranty provider of new homes, NHBC works closely with housebuilders to support the delivery of high quality homes. We also work with Parliamentarians to develop and promote good housing policy.”

(from left) Nichola Gray – assistant site manager (Keepmoat), Maurice Corry – regional MSP West Scotland, Malcolm MacLeod – regional director NHBC Scotland, John McColgan – senior site manager (Keepmoat)

(from left) Nichola Gray – assistant site manager (Keepmoat), Maurice Corry – regional MSP West Scotland, Malcolm MacLeod – regional director NHBC Scotland, John McColgan – senior site manager (Keepmoat)

Regional managing director for the Regeneration division of Keepmoat in Scotland, Eamonn McGarvey said: “Keepmoat prides itself on being a responsible housebuilder, and will always take the full and unique needs of both our staff and the communities in which we are building, into consideration.

“It was great for the site team to welcome Mr Corry and the NHBC to showcase our commitment to health and safety and how we assess risk – an issue which is vital to all developer’s nationwide.

“We have a responsibility– particularly those entering the field – to maintain standards and so it was very apt that the Garvald Street development was selected for this visit.  As part of this project, we have worked with Oak Tree to deliver considerable training opportunities to help eradicate the skills shortage in construction and so were able to instil these standards at the earliest opportunities.”

Mr Corry added: “It was great of the NHBC and Keepmoat to invite me to the development in Greenock.

“It proved useful to see the work that is being done to ensure that the quality of housing provided to residents in the West of Scotland is of the highest possible quality.”

Keepmoat to explore PRS and retirement sectors amid 3.5 per cent revenue jump

Keepmoat useHousebuilder and regeneration group Keepmoat has reported a 3.5 per cent increase in group revenue despite a “year of consolidation” in its Regeneration division.

Releasing its financial results for the year ending 31 March 2016, Keepmoat said it performed in line with expectations in the face of significant shifts in government policy and continued strong demand for new housing.

Group revenue increased to £1.13 billion (FY15: £1.09bn) reflecting strong growth in its Homes division in which revenue increased by 28.3 per cent to £337 million (FY15: £262m).

The number of homes sold increase 13.3 per cent to 2,416 at an average selling price of £139,000, up 13 per cent, while the number of plots within its land bank increased by 14.5 per cent to 18,437.

During FY16, the Group also established a new Homes region in Scotland.

This success was offset slightly by a decline in its Regeneration division largely reflecting changing market conditions. Turnover at £803m was a 3.6 per cent reduction on the previous year (FY15: £830m).

Going forward Keepmoat is developing opportunities in two new sectors.

The firm is building relationships with a number of investing institutions who are keen work in partnership with developers to build significant portfolios of private rented homes.

In addition, it is developing proposals to expand its experience in the Extra Care market into the broader retirement living sector.

Dave Sheridan, Keepmoat chief executive, said: “Despite a year of changing government priorities, Keepmoat’s focus on working in long-term partnership to deliver community regeneration has continued to deliver growth. Our Homes Division has capitalised on growing demand for high quality homes at affordable prices and the future pipeline of projects provides a platform for continued growth. Our Regeneration Division has experienced a year of consolidation as Local Authorities and Housing Associations reassess their priorities in the face of reduced rental incomes.

“In light of this, we are utilising our core skills to deliver innovative solutions into the private rental and retirement living sectors, complementing our core offering to Local Authority and Housing Association clients. We are excited by these new opportunities and their potential to deliver further growth.”

Keepmoat hires consultant to maximise regeneration and efficiency

Ian Baird

Ian Baird

Community regeneration and housebuilding firm Keepmoat has appointed Ian Baird as part of its commitment and expansion of new build housing in Scotland.

As partnering solutions consultant, Ian’s role will focus on identifying new business opportunities, working with local authorities, councils and housing associations to help maximise regeneration and efficiency within local communities.

Keepmoat’s partnership approach allows the company to work with organisations and landowners to deliver a range of mixed tenure housing including affordable rent, mid-market rent, market rent and low cost home ownership.

Commenting on his new role, Ian said: “I am delighted to be joining Keepmoat at a time when there is a growing demand for all forms of housing in Scotland. The amount of housing that’s been built has reduced dramatically since 2007. The need for new homes in the rented and ownership markets is steadily increasing and Keepmoat is determined to identify and develop a wide range of projects that can deliver high quality affordable housing.”

Originally working as a chartered quantity surveyor in Edinburgh, Ian joined the Miller Group within its Urban Regeneration Division, working on projects across Scotland. This is where his interest in community regeneration, and his career, took shape. He also worked for Mansell Partnership Homes and Bett Partnerships before setting up his own affordable housing consultancy in Perth.

Ian added: “I knew quite early on in my career that I wanted to be involved in regeneration and sustainability. I’ve been fortunate to work for some big players and run my own business but I’m really looking forward to joining the Keepmoat team and helping develop their new business strategy and identify housing regeneration projects that will really benefit local communities in Scotland.”

Regional managing director for Keepmoat’s Regeneration division in Scotland, Eamonn McGarvey, said: “Ian’s track record speaks for itself. He has excellent experience in the sector and we are delighted to have him come on board at Keepmoat. We’ve had a really busy start to the year and we are looking to keep this momentum going with Ian involved.”