Leading housing developer Westleigh has opened an office in Sheffield, as it expands its operations into Yorkshire for the first time.
The Leicestershire-based firm builds affordable homes on behalf of housing associations and local councils, as well as properties for private purchase. It is aiming to begin work on nine new properties at Moat Hall in Sheffield this summer, in what will be its first affordable housing development in Yorkshire.
Westleigh was recently allocated up to £8m by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) towards building 270 affordable homes across Yorkshire over the next five years. This is part of a wider £48m of funding for the firm to provide up to 1,500 affordable homes in total, covering the East Midlands and West Midlands regions as well as Yorkshire.
In addition to working with the HCA, the developer will also collaborate with housing associations and local authorities on further affordable housing projects.
The 582 sq ft regional office, at The Quadrant on Sheffield Parkway, will be home to a newly-appointed management team who will oversee Westleigh’s Yorkshire projects.
Chris Brown, the firm’s Senior Land Manager, relocates to Sheffield from the Leicester headquarters. He will continue to be responsible for land acquisition and project planning across the Midlands as well as Yorkshire.
He said: “These are exciting times for Westleigh and we are looking forward to delivering much-needed affordable housing for local communities in Yorkshire, alongside stylish, modern homes for the open market.
“Westleigh has built its reputation on providing homes that are high-quality but accessible, and we place an emphasis on providing options for first-time buyers and growing families.
“Opening the Sheffield office cements our connection to Yorkshire and demonstrates our commitment to this county. It is a significant investment for us and we have selected an office large enough that it will allow us to add to our team in the coming years, as new roles are created.”
The developer has also appointed Roy Mowbray to the position of Partnerships Manager for Yorkshire. Roy is a new recruit at Westleigh, but brings with him a background in construction spanning 17 years. He will jointly head up the regional management team alongside Chris Brown.
Roy’s roles and responsibilities will include liaising with Registered Providers, Local Authorities and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to provide affordable housing in the Yorkshire/ Northern region.
He said: “Having moved to Sheffield from Ireland to study construction in 1996, to now be opening up an office for Westleigh in Sheffield is very exciting.
“I have worked alongside Westleigh in the past with a previous employer in the affordable housing sector, and have always been highly impressed with the quality of their work. I believe strongly that access to good housing brings about a wealth of benefits.
“I want to help make Westleigh the number one affordable housing developer in the Yorkshire and Northern region, and in the long run, to expand this new office and make Westleigh a part of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’.”
In addition to the appointments of Chris and Roy, the firm is also in the process of recruiting a Land Manager for Yorkshire, to focus on identifying sites for future development.
Westleigh’s Managing Director, Ian Jones, said: “We are growing our base of operations and making significant investments in our company infrastructure. Not only will this allow us to continue providing homes in the areas where we are established, it will also enable us to expand into regions such as Yorkshire, where there is a palpable demand for high-quality new housing that is genuinely affordable. We believe we have an important role to play in tackling that shortfall, and we are excited to be putting our plans for Yorkshire into practice.”
Westleigh is part of the Homes and Communities Agency Delivery Partner Panel on both the Midlands and Northern lots and works closely together with housing associations to build affordable new homes throughout the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire. For further information visit www.westleigh.co.uk.
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