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18 HOUSEBUILDER NEWS


Image courtesy of: St BC at English Wikipedia


Sheffield JV celebrates its 600th house completion


Springfield Properties acquires Livingston housebuilder


The completed acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Walker Holdings (Scotland) Limited (trading as Walker Group) (“Walker”) has been announced by Springfield Properties.


A Livingston-based housebuilder, focused on private housing in Edinburgh’s commuter belt, Walker Holdings was acquired for a net consideration of up to £31m. The net amount of the acquisition is to be funded from Springfield’s existing cash balances and borrowing facilities with Bank of Scotland.


It is intended that this acquisition will expand the company’s land bank and sales presence to the popular, high-growth commuter belt surrounding the Scottish capital. The move utilises and exceeds the group’s budget for its current financial year for land purchases, and therefore supports and enhances the group’s existing forecasts and visibility for future years. The group will retain Walker’s premises in Livingston, all of the company’s 50 staff,


WWW.HBDONLINE.CO.UK


and the Walker brand. Peter Matthews, Springfield’s managing director for Central Scotland (Private Housing), will take over the responsibility of running the business. Sandy Adam, executive chairman of Springfield, commented on the news: “The acquisition has enabled us to diversify our land bank with sites at various stages of planning and development in East Central Scotland, where we have been looking to strengthen our foothold. “We are pleased to have efficiently deliv- ered a large proportion of our land-buying plans for the wider Edinburgh area, adding 10 sites to our land bank in one deal rather than with multiple individual deals. Walker’s active sites bring an immediate sales presence in new locations and the sites in the pipeline further strengthen our land bank and enhance our quality of earnings.”


Following the acquisition, the Group is currently operating on a total of 43 active sites.


A housing-led regeneration programme in Sheffield – Sheffield Housing Company (SHC) has reached a string of major milestones. The joint venture body set up by Sheffield City Council is celebrating the completion of the 600th home, as well as the creation of 500 new jobs – 62 per cent of which have been filled by people from the city, and the awarding of 60 apprenticeships. In the process, the company has spent over


£80m with construction sector businesses in the city region. SHC was set up in 2011, and works with private sector construction partner Keepmoat Homes and Great Places Housing Group. Of the new homes built in Sheffield, 452


have been sold outright, 36 sold for shared ownership, 26 offered at market rent and 86 at affordable rent. Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for


development at Sheffield City Council, commented: “The numbers tell a story when it comes to SHC. Through working in partnership, we have delivered huge economic and social boosts that will benefit areas of Sheffield that need it most, regener- ating communities and giving people the support they need to build better homes, lives and opportunities.” SHC is currently working on the second


phase of a 25 year plan to build 2,300 new affordable homes. Gordon More, chief investment officer,


at Homes England, said: “We’re using our land, finance and expertise to speed up the delivery of new homes. A £5.4m loan, through our Home Building Fund, is a significant step towards increasing housing supply in Sheffield. We are committed to working in partnership with organisations like SHC to provide high quality affordable housing.”


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