Willmott Dixon creates Willmott Residential to spearhead new housing growth

Willmott Dixon is bringing all its residential activities in the Group together under a new company brand, Willmott Residential, which will be led by former Berkeley Group main board director Nic Simpkin who joins as chief executive, with Andrew Telfer promoted to deputy chief executive with wider operational responsibility.

The formation of Willmott Residential is the next phase of Willmott Dixon’s strategic ambitions to grow its residential development and contract house building capabilities and will combine its two development brands, Prime Place and Be:here, with its newly branded contract housing arm Willmott Partnership Homes.

Nic Simpkin, left, has joined as chief executive, alongside deputy chief executive Andrew Telfer

Willmott Dixon group chief executive Rick Willmott explains, “The launch of Willmott Residential provides clear differentiation in the way we now present and manage the Group and underlines how serious we are in growing our residential presence. The company will provide an integrated business for our wide ranging residential skill-sets with better internal collaboration and utilisation of synergies.”

In recruiting Nic Simpkin, Rick says:

“Nic brings a long track-record of success in housing development during his time at Berkeley and will lead a fine senior leadership team supported by Andrew Telfer who has been pivotal in growing our development capability over the last seven years.

"I’m delighted that Nic has chosen to join us; it’s a testament to the huge potential he sees in our residential capability. I’m confident he’ll provide the strategic fire power we need to grow our residential business and I’m very much looking forward to working with him.”

Willmott Residential already has a significant presence in the market developing homes for sale through Prime Place and private rent through Be:here, with 5,000 units on site or in planning. In addition Willmott Partnership Homes already builds 2,000 homes a year with an expanding geographic presence and strong client base that includes housing associations, developers and local authorities.

The company’s growing presence as a developer includes leading the 1,176 home regeneration of Aberfeldy Village in Tower Hamlets and being Brentford FC’s development partner for its 20,000 seat stadium and 900 home masterplan. By combining homes for sale and private rent on both schemes, it can accelerate these developments by building both tenure mixes concurrently.

The Brentford FC regeneration in Kew

Elsewhere, its Prime Place brand is also working with Westminster City Council to create new leisure facilities at no cost to the council through cross-funding afforded by the creation of 156 homes, while Be:here is finalising the development of 118 homes for private rent at the site of the Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes.

Willmott Dixon's new structure chart

A key aspiration in the establishment of Willmott Residential is to support further growth by attracting, at some future point, the additional capital that will be needed to continue growing a substantial and long dated land-bank.

Rick continued, “Positive change is a hallmark of our company, and this is the latest example of how we are adapting and evolving to ensure we are in the best position to deliver growth and success.

“Given the country’s huge long-term demand for new homes, we have a golden opportunity to be one of the UK’s pre-eminent developers and builders of homes, and these plans will ensure we are best placed to realise that. By aligning our residential business within one company and creating a distinct identity, Willmott Residential will ensure we are equipped to realise our ambitions and seize the opportunity for expansion created by the hard work of our teams at Prime Place, Be:here and Willmott Partnership Homes.“