Cala Homes could boost Midlothian to tune of £300m

Housebuilder Cala Homes could provide an economic boost of more than £300 million to the Midlothian area, experts yesterday claimed.

A Cala Homes development. Picture: Scotsman.
A Cala Homes development. Picture: Scotsman.

They assessed the economic impact of current and planned developments in the region by the Edinburgh-based company.

According to the study, Cala’s five developments would create 158 full-time jobs, deliver a £155m cash injection to the local economy and fund £15.7m of improvements to schools, leisure facilities and infrastructure – as well as create much-needed new homes.

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The figures were revealed as Midlothian Council’s local development plan (LDP) was approved, setting out the blueprint for the growth of the county over the next decade.

Derek Lawson, land director with Cala Homes (East), said: “With its LDP now approved, Midlothian Council has set out its investment and development strategy for the next ten years.

“That is a very significant position statement on how it sees new homes being delivered and what the planning requirements will be. Now we in the construction sector have an opportunity to complement that by supporting Midlothian Council.

“Responsible developers like Cala want to get our own investment strategies aligned with the LDP and want to engage fully with the council towards fully delivering its aims.

He added: “We hope the publication of this economic impact report shows how this is about far more than simply creating new homes.

“The construction sector has a huge and positive role to play in helping local trades to thrive, creating local jobs and helping support town centres.”

For the study, consultancy Lichfields examined the five Cala sites in detail and assessed the ripple effect they would deliver in terms of employment opportunities and an increase in money spent at local businesses.

In July, Cala said it was set to deliver its fifth consecutive year of record profits after seeing its annual turnover exceed £700m for the first time.

The sales haul, for the 12 months to the end of June, would represent a jump of more than 19 per cent on the figure of £587.1m that Cala recorded for the previous year.

Cala began life in 1875 as the City of Aberdeen Land Association and was bought by private equity firm Patron Capital Partners and insurer Legal & General four years ago in a deal worth £210m. It has been touted as a takeover target.