Merry ChristmUS

December 15th, 2016 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Tom Bloxham MBE

Here’s the Urban Splash 12 days of Christmas; a run down of the best things that’ve happened to us this year. Pour some mulled wine, grab a mince pie and feast your eyes on what we’ve been up to…


January: We got the green light on the development of 72 hoUSes at Irwell Riverside, just a few miles from our first hoUSe site at New Islington.


February: We unveiled for the first time what the now completed Stubbs Mill would look like; 27,000 sq ft of cracking space packed with original features.


March: We headed off to MIPIM to launch hoUSe to the world. It went down well; when we got back The Telegraph hailed it “the blueprint for a pioneering housing concept…”


April: We completed the first phase at Park Hill in Sheffield – 260 homes completed – and announced plans for 200 more.


May: We snapped up Barton Business Park in Eccles – the sixth new addition to our portfolio in as many months.


June: One of the UK’s most important Brownfield sites – Icknield Port Loop in Birmingham – became a closer reality as we, Places for People, Birmingham City Council and the Canal & River Trust announced a partnership to deliver the site.


July: We announced we’d be regenerating Brownsfield Mill – one of Manchester’s most famous – and probably last – untouched mills. We’re working on it with TCS as part of their Piccadilly Basin plans.


August: It took just five working days from us making an offer to completing on our acquisition of Office Village in Salford Quays with our JV partner Pears. Now, we’re giving the building’s 46,000 sq of space a bit of a facelift.


September: Royal William Yard was named development of the decade by Property Week – recognition of the immense transformation of the former derelict Naval supplies site into hundreds of homes and workspaces.


October: We launched brand new homes for sale at Lakeshore in Bristol; with great living space in excess of 670 sq ft, a balcony and high ceilings too.


November: There was much excitement in North Shields as the first hoUSes arrived at Smith’s Dock ready for the first residents to move into early next year.


December: We let Stubbs Mill building in Manchester to sports brand Fanatics. The company moved its entire operations to the scheme.

So it’s been another awesome year..! Thanks for all the custom, support and love during 2016. Here’s to a great Christmas.

Filed under: Urban Splash

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“More hoUSes please…”

December 8th, 2016 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Tom Bloxham MBE


I recently took the Secretary of State for Housing, Gavin Barwell MP, around hoUSe at New Islington.


Mr Barwell - and representatives from the HCA - joined me onsite so I could show them the work we’d been doing in making modular homes a reality for customers in Manchester.


It seems he’s a fan as shortly after his visit, Mr Barwell Tweeted to say “more please”; it’s another political endorsement after the former Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, called Urban Splash a ‘prime example’.


All our hoUSes at New Islington are completed and occupied and we told Mr Barwell all about the next hoUSes we’re creating at Irwell Riverside and Smith’s Dock. Find out more about them by watching our hoUSe video here;  you can watch hoUSe on the BBC News at 10.

Filed under: Tom Bloxham MBE, Urban Splash, hoUSe

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First hoUSes land at Smith’s Dock

November 30th, 2016 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Guy Ackernley


The first hoUSes have been delivered to Smith’s Dock in North Shields where we’re creating a total 34 hoUSes, 80 apartments and many other homes, workspaces, retail spaces and public parks (watch our video here for the full details!).


The first three modular units arrived on site having travelled up the M1 from our hoUSe factory; they’re now being installed and the landscaping around them complete for occupation next year.

And if you want to see what the completed hoUSes will look like, to quote Blue Peter, here’s some we made earlier in Manchester.


If you want to register for them and be the first to hear prices and details when we launch them, click here or call our agents Sanderson Young on 0191 580 7999.


Filed under: Urban Splash, hoUSe

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Children in Need at Royal William Yard

November 22nd, 2016 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Emily Handslip


The BBC hosted part of this year’s Children in Need from Royal William Yard, with thousands of visitors and residents joining us to make the evening a great success.

This year’s event saw a record final Children in Need total of £46m raised for great causes; at the Yard, Plymouth did it’s bit by hosting a spectacular evening with fire dancers, light jacket performers, stilt walkers, wall runners and aerial dancers Yskynna all performing for the cameras.


There was also a night market and projections within the Yard and Factory Cooperage put on by the University of Plymouth.


And not forgetting the arrival of VIP guest Pudsey by an offshore raiding craft driven by Royal Marines based at HMNB Devonport.


In total, events like this helped £1.8m of the total Children in Need efforts come from the South West region.

I’m really proud that we were able to play such a big part in this year’s Children in Need success story.

Filed under: Mills Bakery, Plymouth, Royal William Yard, Urban Splash

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November 10th, 2016 [ No comments ]

YO! Home’s Simon Woodroffe talks to Urban Splash

by Lee Richardson


I’m Lee,  site manager at Irwell Riverside, blogging about our latest staff meeting at Urban Splash.

Urban Splash is a very open and inclusive company; one of the best things we do is run this programme of staff meetings where my colleagues and I hear all about the business and our forthcoming developments.

The most recent meeting was hosted at Stubbs Mill in Manchester. Our brilliant guest speaker was eminent entrepreneur Simon Woodroffe who’s bringing his YO! innovation brand to Manchester in the form of 24 YO! Home apartments at New Islington.

As well as telling us all about YO! Homes, Simon delivered a broader honest and captivating presentation. Like Urban Splash he promotes a personal approach to business; he made me laugh when he said he had been in meetings where he had forgotten what the meeting was about because he was more interested in getting to know the person before the business at hand – so he just kept changing the topic away from business.


In my day job at Irwell Riverside, I help turn the concept of hoUSe into a physical reality - giving customer the perfect place to live and call home - so I took a lot of the presentation on board. It was inspirational and a great story!

If you want to see similar presentations and business advice from Simon you can find them here.

Filed under: New Islington, Urban Splash, hoUSe

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Anchors down at Smith’s Dock

October 25th, 2016 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Mark Latham


30 years after it closed as a shipyard, Smith’s Dock in North Shields has come alive again!


To mark our launch of site, we invited local residents, dignitaries and business people to join us aboard the Shields Ferry with us for a lunchtime sail around the River Tyne.


Then we docked our ship by Smith’s Dock, when myself and Mary Parsons of Places for People officially launched the development with speeches and theatrically popping a bottle of champagne.


It was great to see so many people on board, genuinely interested in what we were planning.

And we were joined by the superb John Grundy, an eminent local historian who had many interesting anecdotes about Smith’s Dock and its former life as a bustling shipyard.

So we’re now back at work on site getting ready for the launch of the first homes there next year. Register now for details…

We’d also love to hear from any businesses, local clubs and individuals with great ideas for the future of Smith’s Dock – whether temporary events, markets, short-term or long-term uses - please get in touch!

Filed under: Urban Splash, hoUSe

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Recent acquisitions

October 3rd, 2016 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Tom Bloxham MBE

This past 12 months has been a good one for acquisitions and new developments for Urban Splash; and now we are looking for more.


In October 2015, we purchased off-market 4 Canal St in Manchester from private vendors. A fully-let, 19,000 sq ft commercial building bought in partnership with Pears Group using internal resources.


We soon followed it with the acquisition of the former Regiment pub site in Manchester’s Castlefield - a scheme which has planning permission for 44 apartments - from major listed developers. The off-market transaction was completed in just 10 days.

In December 2015, we purchased a plot of land to the south of the Walsall Canal, adjoining the award winning, new art gallery by 2016 Stirling Prize winner Caruso St John.


And another commercial acquisition came in the form of Phoenix Mill in Ancoats, and the Church Inn, acquired on behalf of investment partner TBI2000 Investments…


Meanwhile, we were given a chance to extend our work in Plymouth - where we’ve converted Royal William Yard into a great place to live and thriving tourist destination - by acquiring  the city’s Grade II Listed Civic Centre from Plymouth City Council. Designs are currently being worked up for the building.


Back in the North West, we had a successful run of Summer acquisitions, first of all taking on the Barton Business Park in Eccles; an industrial investment on a 2.6-acre site acquired in a cash purchase by Urban Splash…


We also purcahsed 4 acres of land from Salford City Council on the banks of the River Irwell where we are now on site with our next phase of hoUSe.


And soonafter, again with our JV partner Pears, we acquired the 46,000 sq ft Office Village at Exchange Quay in Salford Quays for refurbishment and investment. The scheme was acquired from a major fund in a deal completed in just five working days.


Most recently, we acquired Brownsfield Mill in Manchester from Town Centre Securities which will be redeveloped as part of the broader Piccadilly Basin regeneration plans. One of the last untouched mills, we’re hoping to create the city’s biggest apartments there - with hopes for lofts of upto 4,000 sq ft!

We’re still aggressively on the lookout for new buildings, investment properties Brownfield sites that we can turn into contemporary spaces where people can live, work and play so get in touch if you wish to discuss a prospective development by emailing us on All of the above properties were acquired on the offer terms initially agreed, using internal resources and without bank debt; something which allows us to act decisively and quickly

We’ve created more than 4,000 homes and 2 billion sq ft of workspaces in the past 20 years; here’s to creating many more.

Filed under: Tom Bloxham MBE, Urban Splash

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Enjoy a Tea Break

September 26th, 2016 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Emily Handslip


We’ve been making lots of changes at our Tea Factory in Liverpool with some great new improvements for businesses located there.

The first phase of changes has seen us add a ‘Tea Break’ space, exclusively for the use of our tenants. The space features new kitchen, relaxation and breakout spaces, plus tenants can also book a dedicated room to host their own meetings.

It was unveiled to occupiers with a special preview lunch, at which tenants were also given cool, branded Tea Break merchandise including tea towels and bags.


We do things like this as we’re committed to making our spaces better and easier for tenants to use. These facilities for example come alongside our flexible lease terms.

If you want to come and have a look around Tea Factory – or any of our commercial spaces in Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Plymouth then drop us a line.

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3-4 September: Weekend of Wonders returns to the Yard

September 1st, 2016 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Emily Handslip


Last year we welcomed thousands of people to the Yard for a day filled with spectacular international street performances at the Weekend of Wonders.

I’m delighted it’s back this weekend for a second year only this time for two days! There’ll be show stopping entertainment and street performances from The Invisible Circus and Yskynna-AA Vertical Dancers, and our award winning artisan Good Food Market will be within Factory Cooperage alongside one off craft stalls for this weekend only!


Best of all it’s free for all the family so come along and experience the fun, enjoy our shops and restaurants and take in the atmosphere of Royal William Yard. Hope to see you there!

Filed under: Plymouth, Royal William Yard, Urban Splash

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Royal William Yard in Plymouth’s been such a special development for us; it’s evolved into a real, recognisable destination, somewhere not only for people to live and work in, but a place to visit and holiday in too.

That belief was verified this month by an article I read in the Sunday Times Travel Magazine; in it a big feature entitled ‘Secret South West’ listed all the best bits of the region, with lots of Royal William Yard highlights included!

Pick up your copy of the magazine to read about Le Vignoble (an interior that’s “sleek and sexy”) , the Royal William Bakery (whch serves “ace coffee”), Bistrot Pierre (which “buzzes most nights”) and the Royal William Yard apartments which the mag cites as “swishly modern… with fabulous vistas”.

Come and visit us today; we’ve plenty of onsite parking or you can catch the ferry across from the Barbican.

Filed under: Plymouth, Royal William Yard, Urban Splash

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