Mactaggart & Mickel Group

Charity receives funding boost from Mactaggart & Mickel Homes

Edinburgh and Midlothian charity Home Link Family Support has received a donation of £1,000 from housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel Homes’ Building Communities Fund.

Home Link Family Support provides help to struggling families with young children who are not coping for a variety of reasons including poverty, disadvantage and family breakdown in Edinburgh and Midlothian. The services provided by the organisation include in-home support to families, counselling and antenatal support to women at risk.

The much-needed donation will go towards the Young Parents Service Midlothian, which provides specialised support to help young parents and families access services, build confidence in themselves, and improve interaction between parents and their children.

Mactaggart & Mickel Homes has a long history of supporting good causes. The Building Communities Fund was established to enhance the company’s ongoing efforts to help organisations and projects which enhance the lives of people within their local communities.

The fund is open throughout the year to applications from charities, community groups, sports teams and schools within a five mile radius of any Mactaggart & Mickel Homes development under construction, including Millerhill at Shawfair in Midlothian.

Applications for funding are assessed and awarded by a cross section of Mactaggart & Mickel employees.

Joanne Casey, director at Mactaggart & Mickel Homes, said: “The work that Home Link Family Support does has struck a chord with us all.  Young people and their children deserve every opportunity get the best start in life so that they and their family can succeed and thrive and it’s a privilege for us to be able to add our assistance.”

Paula Swanston for Home Link Family Support, added: “This grant from Mactaggart & Mickel Homes is wonderful news for struggling families with young children. Young parents may be struggling to cope for a variety of reasons but through dedicated volunteer support which comes to them in their homes, families can go on to thrive and children have a better start in life.”

For more information on the fund and to make an application visit www.macmic.co.uk/BCF.

Mactaggart & Mickel Homes to pay LBTT for first-time buyers in wake of Budget

A Mactaggart & Mickel Homes development at Millerhill

A Mactaggart & Mickel Homes development at Millerhill

Scottish housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel Homes has responded to the UK government’s announcement on stamp duty by announcing that it is following suit to help first-time buyers get on the housing ladder.

In his budget announcement on Wednesday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond made first time buyers in England exempt from stamp duty on the first £300,000 of the purchase price.

From today, Mactaggart & Mickel Homes said it will pay the LBTT, the Scottish equivalent of stamp duty, for first-time buyers purchasing homes priced at up to £300,000 until the end of April 2018.

According to the housebuilder, a family business with over 92 years of design and construction expertise with developments in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Glasgow, Ayrshire and the Clyde coast, a first-time buyer in Scotland can currently expect to pay £4,600 of LBTT on a £300,000 property.

Joanne Casey

Joanne Casey

Director Joanne Casey said: “Although the Scottish budget won’t be revealed until mid-December, we have taken the decision to act immediately and pay the LBTT for first-time buyers on homes priced up to £300,000. This will help more first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder, by saving them up to £4,600 when buying a Mactaggart & Mickel home.”

The firm’s announcement comes a day after a First Minister’s Questions session during which Nicola Sturgeon hinted that she would not copy the Chancellor’s move outright, but that alternative option was being examined.

She told MSPs: “As we finalise our budget in the next couple of weeks we will consider whether or not it is appropriate to give any further assistance to first time buyers.”

She indicated a tax break on purchases of up to £175,000 would help an equivalent level of first time buyers in Scotland as the £300,000 figure would in England.

The current threshold for paying LBTT is £145,000.

Blog: Learn the rules of engagement to help your business flourish

Marion Forbes

Marion Forbes

Given the current skills shortages in the construction sector, Marion Forbes outlines the key steps Mactaggart & Mickel Homes has taken to improve the recruitment and retention of staff.

The latest official employment figures for Scotland reveal a 4.7% drop in unemployment compared to the same period last year, with 88,000 more people in work compared to the pre-recession peak.

As the HR director of a successful housebuilder and developer, keeping an eye on employment trends is a key part of my role in ensuring that we recruit the best people, particularly in construction.

But just as important is how we engage the best talent in the business.

Most of us have come across organisations that talk about ‘valuing employees’ and the importance of ‘engagement’. But too often the discussion remains in the boardroom, however well intentioned.

This is surprising given that productivity levels in Britain are lower than in other developed western nations.

Tackling this issue is a complex one and there is no quick fix, but I believe that investing in a consistent programme of engagement and communication – something that values employees as human beings first and foremost – is at least part of the solution.

Why value and engage? Well, higher productivity for one, but it’s also about attracting the best talent in the first place. The best recruitment strategies focus on your ‘employer brand’ and the values that underpin this. For existing employees, engagement is about putting measures in place so that people want to do the best job they can. And if they flourish, so does your business.

Many of us remember the economic crash not so long ago. This slowdown prompted a realisation that Mactaggart & Mickel had to diversify, become more than a housebuilder. We took a long hard look at all aspects of our business.

A key finding was that communication could be better, so we began to consider the wider aspects of communication and its role in driving engagement. A first step was inviting colleagues working at all levels across the business to come up with ideas on how we could, collectively, improve.

That was several years ago and we have made good progress. The average length of service at Mactaggart & Mickel is 11 years. I’m proud of that figure – both as a director of a family-run organisation that genuinely cares about its colleagues, but also as a director of a successful company that wishes to continue to prosper.

But we are not resting on our laurels. We have just launched a new initiative to bring together everything we do to support and develop our people. It’s called Mactaggart & Mickel & YOU.

We chose the name carefully to highlight the importance we place on supporting, developing and caring for our colleagues to achieve their professional and personal goals. This is not just a great result for the individual, but also good for the company as we know from experience that supporting our people produces better company outcomes.

Our aim is to demonstrate the value we place on each member within the Mactaggart & Mickel ‘family’. We do our utmost to recruit the best people and we know they have a choice of where to work. We want them to choose us.

Mactaggart & Mickel & YOU covers four key areas; supporting staff not only in their career development but also to be happy and healthy; keeping them safe; ensuring mutual respect for customers and colleagues, and rewarding exceptional performance and commitment.

I’m not saying it’s easy, nor it is it cost-free, but here’s the thing: an effective engagement programme will start to show results within 12-18 months, especially when you compare the financial investment of the programme with the considerable cost of recruiting and training new staff. Far better to keep talented, dedicated people working for you, not the competition.

Today, our engagement programme is seen as part and parcel of the future success of the business, just as health screenings are good for the wellbeing of our employees. It’s no coincidence that we talk about the ‘MacMic family’. Because, when it comes down to it, it’s really all about showing that you care.

Mactaggart & Mickel Group announce increase in profit for fifth year in a row

Ed Monaghan

Ed Monaghan

Fourth-generation Scottish family housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel Group have today announced their financial results for the year to 30 April 2017 showing a rise in profits for the fifth consecutive year with profit before tax up 22 per cent to £12.7 million (2016: £10.4 million) and turnover increasing by 14 per cent to £74.3m (2016: £65.1m).

Mactaggart & Mickel’s flagship Homes division posted a robust performance.  Turnover increased by 12.7 per cent to £62m (2016: £55m) and gross profits rose to £15.1m (2016: £13.7m). The division sold 167 homes this financial year (2016: 169 homes) and saw its average house sale value climb to £351,000 (2016: £290,000) due to the development sales mix and careful targeting of high-quality locations. Two new developments were launched in Scotland this year: Red Lion in Newton Mearns and Millerhill at Shawfair in Midlothian.

One of the main drivers behind the Group’s impressive results is continued investment in their English Strategic Land business. Promoting these developments and successfully securing residential consents has proven beneficial in terms of this year’s land sales where turnover has increased to £4.7m (2016: £0.8m).

Mactaggart & Mickel Group’s long-term goal to expand into the English house building market reached a major milestone this year with the purchase of two sites for development in Oxfordshire, both expected to begin in 2018. This cements the Group’s ambition to expand and grow the company before a UK audience.

Chief executive Ed Monaghan said: “These results show that we have delivered an excellent financial performance, continued to grow the business and increased profits and turnover.  This has been achieved against a backdrop of investment in the development of our employees and continually improving and evolving the business.

“Realising our strategy to expand into the English house building market has been a significant milestone for the Group this year, and this focus will continue in the years ahead.

“Earlier this year we won the highly acclaimed Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village, as part of the City Legacy consortium – an enormous achievement for the whole team. I’m equally proud that we continue to be recognised for the top quality build projects that we deliver. Ultimately, client satisfaction drives our success and we have achieved a 5-star rating for customer satisfaction from the Home Builders Federation for the fifth year in a row, together with our full sales team securing accreditations from the Institute of Customer Service.

“The Group is in strong financial health and outlook remains positive for 2018 as we broaden our geographical reach and invest in new markets.”

Operational highlights include: 

  • Homes – turnover increased to £62m (2016: £55m)and gross profit to £15.1m (2016: £13.7m) with 167 units sold (2016: 169 units). Two brand new developments were launched this year – Red Lion in Newton Mearns and Millerhill at Shawfair in Midlothian.  The upcoming Homes England business made significant progress with the purchase of two sites in Oxfordshire, expected to begin in 2018.
  • Timber Systems – turnover at the Timber Systems division remained steady at £6.3m
    (2016: £6.3m)with gross profits relatively steady year on yearThe year saw an increase in the number and variety of external contracts, and the development of new products, plus the introduction of a new backshift at the factory, increasing operational efficiency to meet growing demand.
  • Contracts – the Contracts team has progressed plans for more developments of affordable homes and currently have over 100 units in the pipeline for upcoming sites at Symington, Killearn, Malletsheugh and Millerhill at Shawfair.
  • Commercial Property – the Commercial Property team achieved a turnover of £2.5m; their best year since establishment in 2009. They invested approximately £6.2m on two new acquisitions; a portfolio of four Iceland stores and retail units in the heart of Edinburgh with redevelopment potential.
  • Private Rented Sector (PRS) – the PRS division plan to grow their £60m portfolio in Scotland and England with continued investment in the London lettings market; their investment in this portfolio in 2017 almost doubling during the year to £10.3m.
  • Strategic Land– the Group’s Strategic Land division had an excellent year, realising their most profitable site to date in the village of Kingston Bagpuize, Oxfordshire, and several more sites continue to be progressed through the planning system. This reinforces their strategy to diversify into markets and geographical areas where opportunities remain strong.
  • Investment – £20m was reinvested in the year in new land in both Scotland and England as well as new commercial property assets and an expanding London residential property portfolio.  The Group’s Investment Fund made investments in the year in private equity, start-ups and growth companies while maintaining healthy debt and gearing levels.

Over 500 new homes on track at new Midlothian community

(from left) James Palmer, associate director, Shawfair LLP; Joanne Casey, homes director, Mactaggart & Mickel Homes; Fraser Conn, sales director, Bellway; Neil Gaffney, area sales & marketing director, Miller Homes

(from left) James Palmer, associate director, Shawfair LLP; Joanne Casey, homes director, Mactaggart & Mickel Homes; Fraser Conn, sales director, Bellway; Neil Gaffney, area sales & marketing director, Miller Homes

A trio of housebuilders have outlined plans to deliver more than 500 new homes at the Shawfair community in Midlothian.

Bellway and Miller Homes are to build 358 new homes for sale or affordable rent to complement a nearby development of 170 new homes by Mactaggart & Mickel Homes.

Bellway’s contribution of 236 three, four and five-bedroom homes wide range of semi-detached and detached house styles will be located west of Shawfair railway station. The first homes are being marketed now with move in dates from summer 2018.

Miller Homes, meanwhile, is to pre-launch its adjacent site on October 28 from the ESPC showroom in George Street, Edinburgh, providing a further 122 three, four and five-bedroom family homes from May 2018.

Mactaggart & Mickel Homes’ development launched in April this year, with properties ranging from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom detached villas and an additional 32 affordable homes. The first residents moved in this summer.

As well as the much-needed homes, Shawfair will have schools, offices and retail outlets plus acres of landscaped outdoor space and cycle paths.  In time, an attractive town centre will create a focal point for the whole community.

LM_New_Homes_Shawfair_Community_011 lo resJames Palmer, associate director of Shawfair LLP, said: “Over 500 new homes signals a major step forward in making our vision for Shawfair a reality. New housing is desperately needed and I am delighted that Shawfair has attracted housebuilders of the highest calibre to help us achieve that vision.

“Properties are already selling well, with lots of interest from people who are attracted by the benefits of country living.  Shawfair is just 15 minutes from Edinburgh by train, and offers fast transport connections further afield. This is hugely positive news for the area, creating scores of jobs across the three sites.”

When complete, Shawfair will be the fourth largest town in Midlothian, roughly the same size as Cupar, Dunblane or Linlithgow.

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for housing, Councillor Stephen Curran, added: “It’s exciting to see the new town of Shawfair beginning to take shape.  That said, we realise it is a huge undertaking building a new town from scratch. It’s vital therefore, that surrounding communities are onboard every step of the way. We want to make sure local people feel listened to, that they understand what’s happening and how they can share in the benefits this new urban expansion will bring.

“This is an unprecedented development with a total value of £1.2 billion, able to support an estimated 6,500 jobs.

“The 20-year project, which includes 4,000 new homes – 20% or more of which must be affordable – represents the biggest urban expansion in Scotland in modern times. It will potentially pump almost £100m into the local economy each year once completed. That’s not just good news for Shawfair, that’s good news for the surrounding communities, Midlothian and Scotland as a whole.”

Mactaggart & Mickel Homes celebrates NHBC regional best site manager award

Stuart Gillespie

Stuart Gillespie

Housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel Homes is celebrating after the quality of four of its site managers was recognised at the NHBC Pride in the Job Regional Awards held in Glasgow last week.

Stuart Gillespie, senior site manager at Mactaggart & Mickel Homes’ Greenan Views development in Ayr, was named Regional Winner for the medium housebuilder category as well as receiving a Seal of Excellence Award. Paddy Malone, who manages the housebuilder’s Polnoon site in Eaglesham, also took home a Seal of Excellence Award.

Alongside Stuart and Paddy, Garry Henderson (Braemore Wood, Troon) and Mike Loughran (Millerhill at Shawfair, Midlothian) were named in June as having been awarded NHBC Pride in the Job Quality Awards. All four were presented with these at the luncheon before the Seal of Excellence and Regional Winner awards were announced.

Regional Winner Stuart Gillespie started with Mactaggart & Mickel Homes as an apprentice nearly three decades ago and has progressed through their ranks to become one of their most senior site managers. Having received numerous site manager awards over the years, this is Stuart’s eighth regional title, and his 32nd Pride in the Job Award.

Ed Monaghan, chief executive of Mactaggart & Mickel Group, said: “My warmest congratulations to Stuart and Paddy, as well as Mike, Garry, and the wider site teams who have all contributed to the smooth running of our projects.

“At Mactaggart & Mickel Homes we pride ourselves on the superior quality of our homes, which are delivered by our exceptionally trained and committed staff. We’re honoured to be acknowledged for this through the NHBC Pride in the Job Awards.”

Following the conclusion of the NHBC Pride in the Job Regional Awards ceremonies, the winners of the UK Supreme Awards will be announced at a gala ceremony in London in January 2018.

Mactaggart & Mickel takes milestone step into English housing market

Construction 2 imageMactaggart & Mickel Homes’ plans to expand into England have taken a step forward with the submission of detailed planning permission for a housing development at Milton-under-Wychwood in Oxfordshire.

With outline planning consent currently in place for 62 new homes, the development marks a major milestone for the business and its plans to broaden its geographical reach.

Having completed its five year plan with a fourth consecutive rise in profits, 2016 figures for the housebuilder, which is part of the Mactaggart & Mickel Group, revealed an increase in turnover to £55 million and in profit to £13.7m.

Construction 1The company already has a strong land bank in England and have been involved in strategic land development south of the border since 2008, securing over 1200 acres across the north west and south west of England, with a further 250 acres under offer.

Another reserved matters planning application is expected to be lodged for a second English site in East Challow over the coming weeks.

Andrew Mickel

Andrew Mickel

The expansion into new markets comes as fourth generation family members and cousins, Andrew and Ross Mickel take over the reins in running the family business from recently retired, Bruce Mickel, who has been at the helm of the business for over 40 years.

Group director Andrew Mickel said: “It’s an exciting time for Mactaggart & Mickel Homes England Ltd as we begin our long term ambition to expand and grow the company in front of a UK wide audience. Our English strategic land business has been very successful in identifying and promoting viable sites, so building our own housing developments south of the border is the next natural step.

The Mactaggart & Mickel Group currently employs 279 members of staff and anticipate this will rise over the coming year with the expansion.

Athletes’ Village consortium honoured with Queen’s Award win

(from left) Calum Murray, CCG; Ed Monaghan, Mactaggart & Mickel; Lord Leuitenant Eva Bolander; John Gallacher, Cruden; Martin Kiely, WH Malcolm

(from left) Calum Murray, CCG; Ed Monaghan, Mactaggart & Mickel; Lord Leuitenant Eva Bolander; John Gallacher, Cruden; Martin Kiely, WH Malcolm

City Legacy Homes, the consortium that built the Athletes’ Village for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, has been honoured by the city to celebrate winning the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development.

Glasgow City Council’s Lord Provost, Eva Bolander, in her role as Lord Lieutenant, hosted the civic reception where she presented the crystal Queen’s Award for Enterprise to directors of the City Legacy consortium – Calum Murray of CCG, John Gallacher of Cruden, Ed Monaghan of Mactaggart & Mickel and Martin Kiely of WH Malcolm, at the city chambers.

The Queen’s Awards are the highest official UK awards for British businesses. Each year they are presented to companies to recognise outstanding achievements in the categories of innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility.

City Legacy now joins an elite group of organisations which have received, and are permitted to bear the Queen’s Award emblem. This also marks the 25th accolade that the Athletes’ Village has won for its high quality design, energy efficiency and sustainability.

The Athletes’ Village has been a huge success story in the role it has played in regenerating the east end of Glasgow. Comprising 700 homes and a 120-bed care home, it first provided accommodation for 6,500 athletes and officials during the 2014 Commonwealth Games before being converted into residences as part of the overall project. Demand for the homes was unprecedented, selling out two years ahead of schedule.

In July, City Legacy directors Ed Monaghan and Calum Murray attended a reception for this year’s Queen’s Award winners at Buckingham Palace which was hosted by HRH The Queen.

Martin Kiely, MD of WH Malcolm, and director of City Legacy, said: “It’s been a rewarding and inspiring journey from idea to delivery on the Athletes’ Village, and this award really belongs to the staff at all four companies – CCG, Cruden, Mactaggart & Mickel and WH Malcolm – who worked tirelessly for years to ensure the success of the project. We are grateful, too, for the excellent working partnership we enjoyed with Glasgow City Council throughout delivering the project.

“We knew from day one that The Village would offer a lasting legacy for Glasgow’s East End, and with a decision on planning permission for the second phase of this development expected in the coming weeks, we hope to begin the next chapter of this amazing success story.”

The Lord Provost Eva Bolander said: “Lord Provost Eva Bolander said; “One of the great legacies of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games was the Athletes’ Village, home to the athletes in that fantastic summer and now the site of 700 homes that has won widespread acclaim. The council’s partner in delivering the Athletes’ Village was the City Legacy consortium, and I am delighted that their work has been recognised by this Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development. The Athletes’ Village was key – along with the Emirates Arena and the Clyde Gateway route – in the regeneration of Dalmarnock, which now has a new community centre, nursery, woodland park, and care home, with a new primary school on the way.”

Infrastructure contract signed for Shawfair urban expansion project

Shawfair LLP and Crummock,

Shawfair LLP’s James Palmer (left) with Jim Donaldson from Crummock

The development of the largest urban expansion project in Edinburgh and Midlothian has taken a major step forward with the signing of a multi-million pound infrastructure contract.

The deal, worth over £4 million between Shawfair LLP and Crummock, is for a wide range of infrastructure works that are essential to the ongoing delivery of the new community at Shawfair. These include upgrades to local roads, new street lighting and the construction of new footpaths and cycle-routes.

The announcement comes on the back of the news that Bellway and Miller Homes are to bring forward more than 350 new homes at Danderhall South, with both hoping to be on site and commencing construction this Summer.

Speaking about the deal with Crummock, Nick Waugh, director of Shawfair LLP, said: “This deal is significant for Shawfair, and marks a period of real progress for the project. The creation of new footpaths and cycle routes will significantly improve the linkages throughout Shawfair, making this already well-connected site even better, whilst encouraging active travel that is central to our carefully considered masterplan approach.”

Jim Donaldson, construction director for Crummock, said: “Crummock is proud to be part of this prestigious project, which will be a major economic boost to the area. At peak works, we will be employing around 45 people on site, many of whom live locally. This project will also contribute to us hiring nine apprentices this year.”

The development of the new community at Shawfair, through a joint venture between Buccleuch Property and Mactaggart and Mickel, will deliver 4,000 homes, new schools, business spaces and public amenities over the next 20 years.

The development will be built around a thriving town centre and railway station connected by the Borders Railway and providing direct access to the capital in 15 minutes.

Minister visits Polnoon to see ‘conservation area of tomorrow’

(from left) Andrew Mickel (Mactaggart and Mickel), Kevin Stewart MSP and Bruce Mickel (Mactaggart and Mickel)

(from left) Andrew Mickel (Mactaggart and Mickel), Kevin Stewart MSP and Bruce Mickel (Mactaggart and Mickel)

Kevin Stewart MSP, minister for local government and housing, has visited the award-winning Polnoon neighbourhood in the village of Eaglesham in East Renfrewshire to see how the design of this unique housing development is making a difference to the lives of its residents.

Polnoon is an innovative development of 124 high-quality, energy-efficient one- to six-bedroom homes which was the result of a collaboration between Mactaggart & Mickel Homes, architects Proctor and Matthews, roads engineers Waterman Boreham Transport, East Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Government.

The aim of Polnoon was to take the Scottish Government’s design advice, as outlined in their ‘Creating Places’ and ‘Designing Streets’ policies, and turn it into reality in order to champion good design.

Polnoon has been designed to be a safe place where pedestrians have priority over cars. The development features interconnected shared areas which include streets, lanes, courts, a central square and children’s play parks, encouraging interaction between neighbours and creating a community feel. Whilst Polnoon is a modern development, its design is in keeping with the architecture of the historic village of Eaglesham. It has scooped several housing design awards, including a Saltire Design Award for Innovation in Housing and Best Medium Development at the Homes for Scotland Awards.

The development’s final phase is due for completion later this year.

Mr Stewart said: “It’s great to be here in Polnoon today to see first-hand what can be achieved in a residential development where the focus is on designing quality housing, streets and public spaces. The Polnoon project has taken Scottish Government planning policy and applied it to show how it can work successfully; the result is an excellent sustainable design which enhances the environment for residents.

“Thanks to the attention to detail that has been given to how the streets and houses relate to each other, Polnoon is a neighbourhood that feels spacious, welcoming and significantly different to most other housing developments. I am confident that Polnoon will eventually become one of Scotland’s ‘Conservation Areas of Tomorrow’, which is one of the aims of the project.”

Andrew Mickel, director of Mactaggart & Mickel, added: “We’re pleased to welcome the Minister to Polnoon, which is a development we are very proud of. It has been built to stand the test of time and is particularly unique, as it caters to the needs of pedestrians rather than vehicles. Polnoon showcases what can be achieved by taking a fresh approach to development design and focusing on community and sustainability.”