Taylor Wimpey

Taylor Wimpey leads STEM sessions at Coatbridge school

STEM project brought to life by pupils from Bargeddie Primary School and a team from Taylor Wimpey West Scotland

As part of Bargeddie Primary School’s focus on STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – a team from Taylor Wimpey West Scotland took the opportunity to lead a series of practical sessions in school to outline the important part these subjects play within the housebuilding industry.

Using the four key subjects as the pillars of their task, the children were asked to build a model house in their groups.

The children had a variety of materials to choose from, and each completed model was judged against set criteria that included whether it was the strongest, tallest, coolest looking, best functioning, cheapest as well as the overall best design.

The STEM subjects contribute across a number of disciplines in the housebuilding industry. With the construction of new homes now underway at Taylor Wimpey’s local Burnside View development in Bargeddie, STEM week was a great opportunity for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland to give the children an insight into the industry and highlight the relevance of these subjects in real life.

Errin Hendry-Giles, technical management trainee for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, led the sessions and said: “When you consider the importance of the STEM subjects across a number of areas of our business, it’s crucial that we play our role in inspiring children to enjoy these subjects in order to future-proof our industry.

“Without Science we can’t explore new technology, design or investigate soils or materials. Technology is the cornerstone for creating new energy efficient homes to help us reduce the carbon footprint of each household and creating places where people want to live. Engineering is also a key part of designing and constructing our new homes. Finally, Maths makes it possible to be able to work out our costs and make sound business decisions.

“Our project to build a house from a range of fun materials against set criteria certainly got the children thinking and using these subjects in real-time to create some great models. With a number of learning outcomes across each of the core subjects, we were able to help the children reach the conclusion that all four STEM subjects are important because they help us to solve problems at work, school and everyday life.”

Lynn Logan, class teacher who organised STEM week at Bargeddie Primary School, added: “The STEM sessions provided by the team from Taylor Wimpey West Scotland were a fun and engaging way to bring each of the four subjects to life. Our children have enjoyed learning more about the housebuilding industry and Taylor Wimpey’s insight into the importance of STEM reminds us how crucial learning in these subject areas is for the future of many industries.”

Taylor Wimpey makes planning application for Linwood development

Typical four bedroom detached homes proposed by Taylor Wimpey West Scotland for Linwood

Taylor Wimpey West Scotland has submitted a detailed planning application to Renfrewshire Council for the provision of 110 new homes through the development of land at the former Johnstone Hospital site on Bridge of Weir Road in Linwood.

The 9.97-acre brownfield site is already identified for housing and the proposed development in Linwood represents a significant investment in the local area by Taylor Wimpey West Scotland.

It aims to deliver an impressive range of three and four bedroom homes in a variety of styles and sizes to appeal to a wide range of customers.

The proposal also includes plans for the creation of recreational space, a new footpath link, as well as the associated infrastructure needed for a development of this nature.

Stephen Andrew, technical director for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, added: “Taylor Wimpey is delighted to confirm that we have made a detailed planning application for the land off Bridge of Weir Road in Linwood.

“As well as an impressive range of new homes, our development would provide a range of economic benefits for the local Linwood area including jobs, as well as the attraction of new customers to local businesses.

“We believe this development would be a great addition to the local area and it also complements our other developments across the region.

“Our proposed development at Linwood would offer potential buyers access to a great place to call home that benefits from an exceptional range of local amenities.”

Taylor Wimpey gets green light to deliver 341 new homes in South Queensferry

Taylor Wimpey East Scotland has secured a Resolution to Grant detailed planning permission from the City of Edinburgh Council for 341 new homes at South Scotstoun, South Queensferry.

Situated on land off Kirkliston Road to the south of South Queensferry, the 35.35 acre site is identified for housing in the adopted Edinburgh Local Development Plan.

The development will deliver a range of two bedroom apartments, as well as a choice of two, three, four and five bedroom homes to ensure that it will appeal to a wide range of buyers.

As part of the latest 2016 Scottish Building Regulations and to contribute to Scotland’s carbon reduction plan, the roofs of all homes at the development will be fitted with Photovoltaic panels. This will allow homeowners to generate some of their own electricity from the sun’s energy for use in their home.

The development will include footpaths and cycle routes that connect to South Queensferry itself, and there will be a provision of 25% affordable homes. Section 75 discussions are ongoing with the local authority, which will see Taylor Wimpey East Scotland make community contributions of around £7 million towards education, health and local transport infrastructure.

As well as a choice of stylish and high-quality family homes, this decision will help the development at Scotstoun to provide a range of economic benefits for the local area that includes supporting around 40 jobs per year of construction and the attraction of new customers to local businesses.

Pauline Mills, land & planning director for Taylor Wimpey East Scotland, added: “We are delighted to confirm that a Resolution to Grant detailed planning permission has been secured for our development of new homes at Scotstoun in South Queensferry.

“Ultimately this will allow us to bring forward a development that offers buyers a great choice of new homes, and it also marks our commitment, investment and strong track record of delivering excellent quality developments of family homes across the local area.”

169 new homes in the pipeline at Greendykes South

A new deal between developer The EDI Group and housebuilder Taylor Wimpey is set to regenerate a key brownfield site in Edinburgh with 169 new homes for the capital.

Taylor Wimpey has submitted an application with detailed plans to build a mix of private apartments and terraced and detached houses at Greendykes South near Craigmillar.

In addition to the proposed residential development, the site will feature a small retail unit helping to meet the local needs of existing and future communities.

Work on the seven-acre development, situated in Greendykes between Craigmillar and the Bio-Quarter, could get underway as soon as autumn 2018 if the proposals are approved by the planning authority.

The scheme is part of the £200 million+ Craigmillar Masterplan which includes 1800 planned new homes, two thirds of which are completed or under construction, together with a town centre retail development and public realm improvements.

The regeneration has been led by The EDI Group for the past decade, helping to build a thriving community for people to live in the south of the city.

The new Greendykes South proposals will complement the adjacent development at Greendykes North and follows the recent opening of a Lidl supermarket and a Home Bargains store in the Craigmillar town centre development, another vital part of the area’s regeneration project.

Taylor Wimpey is currently completing a nearby development of 160 homes at Edmonstone Walk, off The Wisp, and the new proposals will neatly complement work in this area.

Pauline Mills, land and planning director at Taylor Wimpey, said: “We’re delighted to be working with The EDI Group to deliver some stunning new homes in this part of Edinburgh. The new retail facilities on the high street should serve to make this area even more attractive for purchasers, and based on our experience at our nearby Edmonstone Walk development, we anticipate very strong customer demand.

“As well as an impressive range of new homes, our development will provide a range of economic benefits for the local area which includes supporting construction jobs, as well as the attraction of new customers to local businesses.”

Mark Harris, head of development at The EDI Group, added: “It’s fantastic to have a company of Taylor Wimpey’s calibre building on the site’s success with a very attractive scheme, which fits perfectly with our ambitions for Greendykes.

“This development will be the next significant stage of Craigmillar’s regeneration and we’re pleased to be playing our role in helping create attractive places in Edinburgh for people to live and work.”

Taylor Wimpey marks benefits of investing in industry’s future as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week

(Left) – Claire Walsh (marketing executive) and (centre) Matthew Abbott (land negotiator) with some of Taylor Wimpey’s apprentices and trainees (l-r) Sean Morrison (apprentice site manager); Shannon Flynn (sales management trainee) and Fraser Martin (apprentice joiner)

Taylor Wimpey West Scotland’s Young Persons’ Forum is supporting Scottish Apprenticeship Week by highlighting how life changing an apprenticeship can be for young people in and the wider benefits they provide for the industry.

Running from Monday 5 to Friday 9 March, Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2018 aims to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and economy.

The Young Persons’ Forum – the first of its kind within Taylor Wimpey’s network of 24 regional businesses in the UK – ensures that the business is continuously engaging with its young employees. The Forum underpins Taylor Wimpey West Scotland’s commitment to recruiting, developing and retaining young people in its workforce and it is proud to have secured the Investors in Young People (IIYP) silver accreditation.

Caroline Proctor, senior land manager at Taylor Wimpey West Scotland and chair of the Young Persons’ Forum, said: “Our Young Persons’ Forum is passionate about presenting Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, and the wider housebuilding industry, as an attractive career opportunity for young people in our local community.

“We’ve got an energetic group of young people who are enjoying successful career paths thanks to the commitment shown to them by Taylor Wimpey, and they’re keen to share the word.

“Last year they supported Taylor Wimpey at seven events to promote the housebuilding industry and they engaged with over 600 young people at various school, career and STEM events – aiming to inspire the next generation to following in their footsteps.

“As part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week we’ve shared some of their profiles to showcase their journey so far with us, and we hope that it will encourage more young people to consider our industry.”

Taylor Wimpey, which is building new homes across the west of Scotland, said it is fully committed to supporting its young apprentices who enjoy the combination of working and earning whilst they are learning.

Willie Burns, managing director for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, added: “Our young people are a real asset to our business. By providing support, mentoring and funding to their apprenticeships, training and learning across many of our departments, we have invested in their future success and that of our business. It is also an important investment in the future health of our wider industry and the economy as a whole.

“As a business we are also keen to retain the skills that our young people have acquired, so it’s important that we support them through each of their transition stages as they develop their career, continue to offer them opportunities to continuously improve. Supporting Scottish Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity for us to showcase their first steps on the career ladder and share their ambitions for the next stage of their journey with Taylor Wimpey.

“We hope that our continued investment in young people will go some way to promote our industry as an interesting and dynamic place to work, which will in turn nurture the future of the housebuilding industry.”

Further information about Scottish Apprenticeship Week is available by visiting the website at www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk. Or join the conversation using #ScotAppWeek18.

Leasehold scandal hits profits at Taylor Wimpey

Taylor Wimpey has seen its profits take a £105 million hit due to the cost of addressing the leasehold scandal.

The housebuilder announced in April 2017 that it was setting aside £130m to compensate customers affected by onerous leaseholds on their properties. It transpired that Taylor Wimpey was one of a number of firms to have sold freeholds to third party investment companies who then increased the ground rents.

The exceptional charge led to stated profits falling 5.8% to £555.3m, but stripping this out profit was up around £60m.

The FTSE 100 housebuilder delivered a 7.9% increase in revenue in 2017, to £3.96 billion, with pre-tax profits up 10.7% to £812m. This was helped by a 3.5% increase in the average selling price, to £264,000. Completions for the group in 2017 were up 4.6% to 14,842.

Chief executive Pete Redfern said: “2017 was another strong year for Taylor Wimpey and we enter 2018 in a good position with positive forward momentum. We have been encouraged by early trading patterns at the start to the year and despite some wider macroeconomic uncertainty, consumer confidence remains robust and market fundamentals are solid.

“We grew volumes to nearly 15,000 homes during the year and are focused on delivering much-needed homes across the UK to the highest quality and standard. Importantly, we are pleased to see that our investment in customer service has resulted in a notable improvement in our customer satisfaction scores.”

Taylor Wimpey taps into future talent as part of Strathclyde Business School Management Development Programme

Taylor Wimpey West Scotland has teamed up with the undergraduate Management Development Programme (MDP) at Strathclyde Business School to create an industry case study that asks students to consider their approach to some of the key business challenges facing the housebuilding industry.

The move is part of the housebuilder’s commitment to being part of the conversation that influences the changes the industry should consider to address issues such as how it will attract new talent and how it will adapt to handle the skills and material shortages.

A team from Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, led by technical director Stephen Andrew has set out both the current and the future challenges that face the housebuilding industry, and over 500 second year business students have been challenged to provide their opinions on how the business can play its role in tackling these industry challenges. This project is a key part of the student’s graded course work that forms part of their overall study within MDP.

This is a unique way of engaging with a future workforce who are also likely to be customers or home owners as Stephen Andrew explained: “Our approach with Strathclyde Business School aims to provide our business with some fresh insight into the key challenges our industry faces, but we’re also hoping that our approach will generate interest in the potential of the career opportunities that exist within our business and the wider housebuilding industry.”

The industry case studies completed by the students will be marked by lecturers at Strathclyde Business School and reviewed by the team at Taylor Wimpey West Scotland.

Some of the best submissions will have a chance to pitch their ideas in a live boardroom session with the Taylor Wimpey West Scotland senior board team.

Exceptional ideas may even be passed onto the Taylor Wimpey UK board for consideration as Stephen added: “We’ve set the students some tough questions that mirror some of the issues that our business and wider industry faces. We’ve given them free reign to tap into their creativity to generate fresh ideas that might give us an innovative edge in the industry.

“And if we’re presented with strong ideas that we believe have some mileage we will consider them at UK level within our business. This is a great way for us to be part of the conversation that delivers the answers that we’re all seeking to future-proof our industry.”

The Management Development Programme is a core element of the undergraduate degree programme in the Strathclyde Business School. The programme is three years in length and provides students with a learning environment through which they develop business and commercial awareness alongside graduate employability skills.

The programme adopts a blended learning approach and is based on social constructivist and experiential learning principles. Students are exposed to the reality of business through industry engagement as well as development of knowledge and understanding through dialogue.

The MPD runs in each of the first three years of the BA degree. The entire class is driven by real business problems and is delivered by a team of lecturers from different departments who are supported by invited practitioners. The approach to learning is active problem-based, with students working in project teams.

MDP director Dr Nikos Danias welcomed the participation of Taylor Wimpey West Scotland to the programme, and said: “It is with great joy that we welcomed Taylor Wimpey to our campus for the second time. MDP is our flagship undergraduate programme and it provides students with many opportunities to test their skills and knowledge in real life scenarios and situations.

“Taylor Wimpey has provided us with a very interesting case study which challenged our students to think outside the box and reflect on the knowledge that they acquire during their studies. Learning from the expertise of the Taylor Wimpey staff contributes to interactive and constructive sessions from which the students benefit greatly, both in terms of increasing their business awareness and enhancing their analytical thinking but also in terms of reflecting on their employability, as they put themselves in the shoes of Taylor Wimpey executives.”

Work starts on new £150m community in Newton Mearns

Angus Murray, construction director at CALA Homes (West) (left) alongside Brian Henderson, production director at Taylor Wimpey West Scotland

Homebuilders CALA Homes (West) and Taylor Wimpey came together to break the ground and start works at the development of a new £150 million community at Maidenhill, Newton Mearns.

The initial works will create the framework of and access to the new community – which will be crucial for facilitating the 834 new homes, 209 of which will be affordable housing, as well as the new Maidenhill Primary school in the centre of the development.

Construction director of CALA Homes (West), Angus Murray, who will be leading the team as work commences, said: “We have spoken about Maidenhill as a new community for a very long time so it is great to be able to break the ground to mark work commencing. Our initial efforts will focus on creating the road network to facilitate access to the school and sports and recreation facilities.

“It will be some time before anyone sees houses on the development, but this is a real milestone for Maidenhill as it means we have taken the first real steps in turning the dream of this fantastic new community into a reality.”

Production director of Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, Brian Henderson, said: “We are at the very beginning of creating Maidenhill and as we forge on with the infrastructure, we are keeping our promise of delivering a fantastic new community with a mix of private and affordable homes as well as the community amenities, front of mind.

“We’ll be working closely with East Renfrewshire Council and the local community to ensure Newton Mearns reaps the benefits of our long-term investment in the area.”

As Maidenhill progresses, a raft of benefits for the Newton Mearns community, courtesy of the multi-million pound investment by the two housebuilders, will come to fruition.

These include:

  • The creation of a range of properties from one-bedroom flats to five-bedroom detached homes.
  • Land and funding to facilitate the construction of Maidenhill Primary – a brand new non-denominational school offering 444 primary school places as well as 120 nursery places.
  • Multiple pockets of land to facilitate the delivery of affordable housing.
  • A multi-use games area (MUGA) and 3G pitch within the school, and available for use by the wider community.
  • Generous public open space throughout the development – equivalent to around 19 football pitches – including a linear green corridor and host of pocket parks.
  • A contribution towards local community halls, sports grounds, sports halls and centres, libraries and community health and care provision.
  • Contribution of land towards a community religious facility.
  • Additional contributions towards off-site road improvements at Mearns Cross and sustainable transport.

159-home Perthshire development called-in by ministers

The Scottish Government will decide the fate of proposals for 159 new homes on the outskirts of Perth following concerns over the development’s transport links.

Councillors were poised to approve the Oudenarde development last week at a meeting of Perth and Kinross Council’s planning and development committee.

However, the Scottish Government seized control of the application at the eleventh hour following concerns that had been raised by Transport Scotland regarding how the proposed development would impact the nearby M90 Perth to Inverkeithing motorway.

Set on the site of the old Bridge of Earn hospital, the homes represent the next stage of an ambitious bid for a 1,500-home village. Hillcrest Housing Association has already built 109 affordable houses at Oudenarde.

The project is being spearhead by local construction firm GS Brown and was first announced more than 20 years ago. The Perthshire developer teamed up with Taylor Wimpey to submit an initial planning application for 159 two, three and four bedroom homes in Janauary last year.

Transport Scotland had raised concerns that the plan was about to be passed without paperwork in place to demonstrate how the new settlement will link safely to the M90.

The latest proposals went before councillors in October, but were due to return to the planning and development management committee for final approval.

Councillors were to be asked to withdraw a planning condition requested by Transport Scotland, calling for GS Brown to submit details of improvements for the M90/A912 junctions.

However, according to The Courier, Perth and Kinross Council’s legal team ruled this wasn’t a valid condition.

GS Brown chairman Geoff Brown said he received word about the Scottish Government’s intentions in an e-mail at 8.30am on Wednesday – less than two hours before the planning meeting.

“We’re really unhappy that this has happened so late in the day,” he said.

“We have – or had – a contractor in place to be on site by March. Obviously, what’s happened may have jeopardised this agreement and we will need to go back to the contractor and work something out.”

Mr Brown, who is also chairman of St Johnstone Football Club, added: “We have to make sure that this delay won’t impact on jobs.

“In my career, I’ve never known anything like this to happen before.”

Before last week’s meeting, a Transport Scotland spokesman said: “We have been in discussion with Perth and Kinross Council and developers for over 10 years in respect of developments at Oudenarde, and would be concerned about the potential removal of the previously agreed planning condition.

“We have sought to promote development in accordance with the published Masterplan, whilst meeting the clear need to maintain the safety and efficiency of the road network, and this remains our position.”

A Scottish Government spokesman added: “The application for Oudenarde in Bridge of Earn has been called in by ministers due to the proposal’s potential impact on trunk road infrastructure and road safety.

“This application will be considered and a decision will be issued by ministers in due course.”

Completions and profits up at Taylor Wimpey

Taylor Wimpey chief executive Pete Redfern has predicted a stable year ahead after the housebuilder continued to see good demand and trading throughout 2017.

In an end of year trading statement issued today Taylor Wimpey revealed housing completions increased 5% to 14,541 homes, with an improved operating profit margin of 21.2% (2016: 20.8%).

The company has £512 million net cash in the bank (compared to £365m this time last year) even after paying out £450m of dividends to shareholders in 2017 (2016: £356m). This year it plans to give £500m back to shareholders.

Mr Redfern said that its 2017 financial results, to be published next month, would be in line with expectation and the momentum was continuing into 2018.

He added: “We achieved a strong financial and operational performance in 2017 and are continuing to deliver against our strategy. Despite wider macroeconomic uncertainty, housing market fundamentals remain solid and our trading performance has been good. We continue to increase housing completions, achieving 5% growth during the year, and ended 2017 with a good forward order book.

“We were particularly pleased with the improvements in our customer satisfaction metrics during the year, which were the result of a number of changes made to our approach in 2016. In the last six months we recorded average customer satisfaction scores of over 90%, and we will continue to prioritise making further improvements in this area.

“We go into 2018 with positive momentum and expect to achieve further progress against our medium term targets. Our focused strategy of managing the business through the cycle, while also driving further operational improvements, will enable us to continue to deliver long term value for shareholders.”