A whole lot of history

February 3rd, 2016 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Emily Handslip


Take a look at this beautiful gallery of historical images from Royal William Yard.


Local Plymouth paper the Western Morning News recently featured the images; a fantastic archive of the hive of activity that preceded the new buzzing atmosphere we have here today


Do you have any old memories of the Yard you can share? Let us know in the comments below…

Filed under: Mills Bakery, Plymouth, Royal William Yard, Transformation: Our Book, Urban Splash No comments

How I started in business before Urban Splash

February 2nd, 2016 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Tom Bloxham MBE


I was recently invited to be the first guest in the new IKON Digital series. Watch what I had to say about my career, being an entrepreneur and getting started by clicking on the video above…

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hoUSe: according to the Housing Minister

January 21st, 2016 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Tom Bloxham MBE


I read with great interest a recent interview that the Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis MP, gave to Construction Manager magazine, in which he referred to hoUSe as an example of good custom build housing.

His comments come following a site visit with me and the HCA last summer; a wonderful opportunity to show him how we’re helping solve the housing crisis.


Read his full comments here or the excerpt below.

Lewis was also enthusiastic about the wider adoption of custom build, where buyers have the latitude to determine the look and layout of new homes. He  referred to a July visit to developer Urban Splash’s “House” project in New Islington, where customers can select the size and distribution of space thanks to the modular construction methods used.

“What really struck me at Urban Splash, was the speed of delivery, but also the customisation. The only thing that’s fixed is the outer walls; internally you can lay it out how you want. It’s about speed and therefore choice for the customer.”

Filed under: New Islington, Tom Bloxham MBE, Urban Splash, hoUSe No comments

Building houses people can ‘have a future in’

January 11th, 2016 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Tom Bloxham MBE


I listened with great interest over the weekend to the Prime Minister’s plans to release a £140m funding package which will help community groups, councils, housing associations and developers turn around some of the country’s worst council estates.

It’s a welcome initiative and something I’m fully in support of however the Government needs to ensure that each geographical area - even each former council estate - is looked at carefully and that the right solution is created for each.

It’s something we’ve done a lot of in the last 20 years, and you come to realise what’s appropriate and what will work. We’ve been working for example at New Islington in Manchester for more than a decade; it used to be known as the Cardroom Estate and was a notoriously deprived area of the city. Demolition of the existing homes was definitely the best way forward as it paved the way for us, Manchester City Council and other developers to create a new masterplan and ultimately contemporarily appropriate housing solutions as well as workspaces, a health centre, a park, a marina and a school.


In the case of buildings like Park Hill in Sheffield - we had a contrasting view. Back in the sixties, the vast building of 1000 flats housed hundreds of families and was regarded as an urban utopia. There was no doubt in our mind that retention and restoration was definitely the best way forward and we’ve already converted almost 300 homes there for modern buyers and tenants. We did the same at 3Towers on the outskirts of Manchester - the three buildings there were retrievable and hundreds of people live there.


This programme is a good start but there’s still much more that needs to be done if we’re to make full viable and sustainable use of the country’s most rundown housing blocks - £140m will not go very far between 100 estates!

Filed under: 3 Towers, Affordable homes, Manchester, New Islington, Park Hill, Sheffield, Tom Bloxham MBE, Urban Splash No comments

Creating raw, inspiring office spaces at Stubbs Mill

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015


The raw office spaces at Stubbs Mill in Manchester are progressing nicely and my team at Artez - contractors on the building - have now completed the ceilings and the windows have been installed.


Look out for more updates in the new year.

Filed under: Manchester, Urban Splash No comments

Helping you buy at Park Hill

November 17th, 2015 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Guy Ackernley

htb_blog1Did you know that it’s even easier to own a home at Park Hill in Sheffield thanks to the Government’s Help to Buy scheme which is now available on selected properties at the development.

It works like this: the Government lends you up to 20% of the cost of your new-build home, so you’ll only need a 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest.

Want to find out more? Then come to our mortgage workshop on the evening of Thursday 26th November where as well as being able to view our award winning flats, you can also meet with an IFA who can show you just how easy it could be to own your own piece of an architectural icon.

We can go through all the facts and figures and answer all the questions you didn’t know who to ask. Drop us a line to find out more.

Filed under: Park Hill, Sheffield, Urban Splash No comments

Early footage of Park Hill

October 28th, 2015 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Mark Latham


I recently came across this fantastic colour footage of Park Hill in Sheffield.


The opening sequence and presence of saplings in South Street Park, leads me to believe that the film was shot in the very early days of the development. It’s fascinating to see all these people going about their daily lives - from the children playing on the modernist concrete and steel climbing frame to the bride in her wedding dress!

I found this gem on this fantastic blog - the author of which has also published a book featuring some wonderful shots of one of our newly refurbished Park Hill flats.


It’s certainly changed a lot from this video to what it is now, so take a look at some of our before and after images to see how it’s evolved.

Filed under: Park Hill, Sheffield, Urban Splash No comments

hoUSe wins its first award

October 26th, 2015 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Tom Bloxham MBE


Big thanks to MIPIM UK who awarded hoUSe the Best Future Project Award at its annual awards ceremony in London.

We were delighted to see the concept celebrated in a room full of our peers, it was especially nice to hear the judges comments that hoUSe will “revolutionise the UK’s attitudes to housing…”. We hope so too, and we hope it’s the first of many hoUSe awards. It’s our 373rd in total.

Find out more about hoUSe by watching our video.

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A victorious night for ‘amazing’ Park Hill

September 25th, 2015 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Guy Ackernley


I recently attended the Yorkshire Property Insider Awards, my maiden awards ceremony with Urban Splash, and was delighted to pick up the award for Best Development for Park Hill - a joint venture scheme between us and Places for People.


One of the reasons I joined Urban Splash was for its great design, architecture and buildings which were different to that of other developers. At the awards ceremony that sentiment was reinforced as Park Hill was presented to the room as the most significant scheme in Yorkshire this year; judges described it as a “brave” scheme that looked “amazing” and I really was honoured to hear them say that and to pick up the award on behalf of Urban Splash on the night.

Read the full awards report here.

Filed under: Park Hill, Sheffield, Urban Splash No comments

Wishing an old friend a happy 50th birthday

September 23rd, 2015 [ No comments ] [ Add comment ]
by Tom Bloxham MBE


I’ve just read a lovely article in the Birmingham Mail celebrating the 50th birthday of the city’s Rotunda building.

It is one of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings and around a decade ago, Urban Splash working with Glenn Howells architects helped rejuvenate it, turning it into 232 apartments with 360 degree views of the city. It has since won seven awards including the Insider Construction Project of the Year.

Read the full article from the Birmingham Mail below, or visit the newspaper’s website for a great timeline graphic showing how Rotunda’s changed over the years.


Birmingham’s Rotunda building very nearly featured a colour-changing flame-like weather beacon on its roof.

The idea was to make the cylindrical office block look like a giant candle.

A cinema and rotating restaurant also featured in early plans for the tower but also never came to fruition before it was opened in 1965.

Even without them the Rotunda has become perhaps the city’s most recognisable and best-loved buildings.

It was renovated between 2004 and 2008 to become hundreds of city centre apartments by developers Urban Splash who celebrated the 50th anniversary of the building’s opening yesterday.

To mark the occasion we climbed up its 25 storeys to capture Birmingham’s changing city centre from the building at its very heart.

Filed under: Birmingham, Urban Splash No comments