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    Blog by Tom Bloxham MBE

    25 years of Urban Splash - Some things change, some don't!

    19 July 2018
    A 8 minute read by Tom Bloxham

    We’ve been in business for 25 years, and today marks the exact date that Jonathan and I set up the company and began tackling challenging, disused sites around the country – turning them into places for people to live, work and play in.

    The world around us has moved on quite a lot in those two decades; the housing industry itself keeps changing and Government shake-ups mean we’ve almost had a new housing minister for every year we’ve been in business (21 housing ministers to be exact).

    Royal William Yard, Plymouth
    Royal William Yard, Plymouth
    Britannia Mills, Manchester
    Britannia Mills, Manchester
    Midland Hotel, Morecambe
    Midland Hotel, Morecambe
    Park Hill, Sheffield
    Park Hill, Sheffield
    Chimney Pot Park, Salford
    Chimney Pot Park, Salford

    Our designs and developments have moved on too, from restorations, to new builds; from single buildings to placemaking.

    From disused chemical factories in Liverpool, Georgian Naval Yards in Plymouth, Victorian Mills in Manchester and art deco hotels - to 60s and 70s housing estates like Park Hill in Sheffield and low rise estates like the Cardroom in Manchester to Coronation Street style terraces at Chimney Pot Park.

    Town House at New Islington, Manchester
    Town House at New Islington, Manchester
    Town House at Smith's Dock, North Shields
    Town House at Smith's Dock, North Shields
    Town House at Irwell Riverside, Manchester
    Fab House at Smith's Dock, North Shields

    Right through to the 21st century modular terraced houses we’re creating now via our House by Urban Splash brand, using modular technology to build amazing homes offsite in our own factory.

    The places we build in have also changed; Manchester City Centre – Urban Splash’s home – had a population of just 200 people back in 1993, but has since has grown into a mass of more than 40,000 urban lovers today.

    The biggest change though has come from the impact of technology and disruptive businesses who’ve burst onto the scene and changed pretty much everything we do; thinking back to when we started, Jonathan and I weren’t even using email. We didn't even have a website for our first few years in existence.

    It got me thinking about what else didn't exist back in 1993, inconceivable products and services back then, but things we depend on each day now – which couldn't you live without..?


    Technology and industrialisation is continuing to change and we are determined to be at the forefront of these changes, driving the brandwagon of progress - and not trying to jump on it!

    Stubbs Mill, Manchester
    New Islington, Manchester
    Royal William Yard, Plymouth
    Tea Factory, Liverpool
    Lakeshore, Bristol
    Matchworks, Liverpool
    Park Hill, Sheffield
    Lister Mills, Bradford
    Saxton, Leeds

    However, some things have not changed; right from day one, we’ve been determined to only work with people we like and admire - to push the quality agenda and work with great designers. We have - and will always - worry about placemaking and are driven by a consciousness of leaving our towns and cities a little better and more beautiful than we found them.

    Here’s to the next 25 years!

    About the author

    Tom Bloxham

    Chair and Co-Founder

    Tom Bloxham MBE is chairman and founder of award-winning regeneration company Urban Splash, which has received over 420 awards to date for architecture, design and business success.

    The company is responsible for development projects across the country, including Manchester, Liverpool, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Bristol, Plymouth, North Shields and Morecambe. In 1999 Tom was awarded an MBE for Services to Architecture and Urban Regeneration.

    Tom also upholds a number of other positions including; Chairman of Manchester International Festival, and trustee of Tate, the Manchester United Foundation and The Bloxham Charitable Trust.

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