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    Blog by Tom Bloxham MBE

    Urban Splash Newsplash - December 2018

    03 December 2018
    A 10 minute read by Tom Bloxham

    Merry ChristmUS!

    Another year draws to a close, and oh what a 2018 it’s been.

    We’ve celebrated turning 25 (thanks to everyone who celebrated with us, visited our exhibition and helped us make our way through 2,500 bottles of our anniversary beer); we’ve enjoyed creating modular Houses, and adding more commercial space to our investment portfolio – signing some big name occupiers too.

    So kick back, grab a mince pie and let us walk you through the past 12 months.

    Town House at Irwell Riverside in Salford

    January - We kick off the year of House

    We hit the new year running, announcing two new investors in our modular homes business; architect and TV personality George Clarke and We Buy Any Car founder Noel McKee joined the team, setting us off on a year of House.

    Avro in Manchester

    February - Avro takes off

    Not forgetting our roots, our love of Victorian mills and turning them into beautiful, contemporary spaces, we launched Manchester’s biggest loft apartments – ranging from 1,500 to 3,000 sq ft – at Avro in February. The final homes at this beautiful old building – once home to AV Roe’s iconic aircraft manufacturing business – are on sale now.

    House by Urban Splash modular factory

    March - We bought our own modular factory

    In March, we nailed our colours to the modular mast, agreeing a deal to buy SIG plc’s offsite factory and vertically integrating modular operations into our business. It means we’ve now got capacity to create 400 homes per year.

    It Will Never Work exhibition

    April - US goes on tour!

    In April we launched our It Will Never Work exhibition in Liverpool, in collaboration with RIBA North. It chronicles 25 years of award winning developments against the social, political and economic backdrop of the day. The show’s since toured Birmingham, London, Manchester and Sheffield, attracting thousands of visitors.

    Boat Shed at Salford Quays

    May - Launch at Boat Shed

    Boat Shed, a 90s style office block in Salford Quays, underwent quite a facelift this year and in May we announced our plans to invest further at the scheme. We also celebrated the arrival of a host of new occupiers including Lupo Caffé, Hat Trick PR, Novo Innovations and Capital Growth Group Ltd. In May we also completed the sale of Ducie House, one of our first ever commercial schemes in Manchester, to TCS.

    Site at Crabtree Lane in Openshaw

    June - Our tenth acquisition in two years

    We’ve added 10 sites to our investment portfolio in the past two years, with Crabtree Lane in Openshaw, a 28,500 sq ft industrial unit, the latest acquisition. Other recent acquisitions include Beehive Mill in Ancoats – the former home of Sankey’s – and 4 Canal Street in Manchester’s gay village.

    Celebrating 25 years of Urban Splash

    July - Partying like it was 1993

    Sore heads in July, as we hosted a rave for more than 1,000 people to mark our official 25th birthday. The event was held at Albert Hall in Manchester with entertainment by Graeme Park and Craig Charles. An unforgettable night, that none of us can remember.

    Masterplan for Port Loop ion Birmingham

    August - Bringing new homes to Birmingham

    We started work on site at Port Loop in Birmingham this summer, alongside partners Places for People, Canal & River Trust and Birmingham City Council. The scheme is one of the largest regeneration projects in the country, ultimately delivering 1,150 homes; the first of them, our modular Town Houses, went on sale in October.

    It Will Never Work by Urban Splash

    September - Read all about US

    Our anniversary celebrations continued with the launch of our new book. It Will Never Work is 200 pages of images old and new, thought provoking analysis, and some very kind words from all nine past presidents of the RIBA, who cited our work as a “joy”, a “delight”, “ahead of the curve”, and praised our “wild confidence” in turning schemes into “humming urbanity full of people, energy and life”. Why thank you.

    Copper Building at Lakeshore in Bristol

    October - New homes in Bristol

    We launched 136 brand new homes for sale in Bristol at Copper Building. With prices from just £150,000, the homes overlook a private lake and 10 acres of residents’ gardens including allotments and an orchard.

    Rooftop pods at Lister Mills in Bradford

    November - Penthouse pods at Lister Mills

    We completed work to our 30 penthouse Pods at Lister Mills in Bradford. The futuristic zinc-clad Pods are an aesthetic contrast to the building’s original fabric, resulting in some very special homes and the best views in Bradford. The homes will be available in January and you can register your interest now.

    Mansion House at New Islington

    December - Final piece of the jigsaw at New Islington

    We’ll be recharging over Christmas, and getting ready for 2019 when we plan to deliver the very last new homes and work spaces at New Islington. We’ve been regenerating the area for 18 years now, helping our partners create a school, a clinic, a park, a marina as well as loads of great new homes and businesses. Next up, we’re launching Mansion House apartments and more family Town Houses. Register your interest now to be the first to hear about them in the New Year.

    Urban Splash in the press - 2018 highlights

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