Willmott Dixon has appointed Richard Blakeway as a new strategic advisor for the division in an attempt to strengthen its residential property developer arm.
Mr Blakeway has a significant amount of experience in the industry and is a former Greater London Authority (GLA) deputy mayor for housing.
Since leaving GLA earlier in the year, Blakeway spent many months advising the Government on housing policy. In this new role, Mr Blakeway will offer strategic advice to Willmott Residential to increase development volume throughout London in conjunction with local authorities and other land owners; particularly in growing ‘Be:here’, the company’s build for rent business.
‘Tremendous breadth of knowledge’
Willmott Residential Chief Executive, Nic Simpkin, commented: “Richard brings a tremendous breadth of knowledge of housing with a proven track-record for unlocking opportunities to deliver significant numbers of homes while at the GLA. I’m delighted Ric’s experience is going to play a key role in the next phase of our growth as we target new land opportunities, including creating a real step change in build for rent homes, with our next development in Hayes for 118 homes being delivered next month and developments at Barking and Kew ready to start having obtained planning consents.”
Mr Blakeway said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to play an important part in Willmott Residential’s growth. I’ve been impressed with how its build-for-rent company Be:here has raised the bar for this emerging asset class and given the huge availability of institutional investment in money for build-for-rent, coupled with the significant need, we can really increase the availability of quality homes for people to rent.”
Meanwhile, Willmott Dixon has secured a £20 million contract to build a new science and technology facility in Wales.
The location of this development is in M-SParc’s science park in Gaerwen, Anglesey. Work on the 20-acre site is to begin later this year and with a completion time of early 2018.