Bellway planning to build on success in Scotland

Picture: PA
Picture: PA
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HOUSEBUILDER Bellway aims to acquire more than 100 acres of land in Scotland during the coming 12 months following a strong performance north of the Border.

The investment drive, which will create roughly 1,250 new homes, comes hard on the heels of what is expected to be a record year for the Newcastle-based group. Figures for the financial year that ended in July will include a healthy contribution from Scotland, where land director Willie McDermott said Bellway “easily” beat its budget projections.

Our strategy is on a strong community

He added: “Our performance in Scotland has been pretty strong. Our chief executive [Ted Ayres] was up visiting in August, and he and the board were very pleased with the progress we have made during the last 18 months.”

The group is in talks to extend its site at the massive Heartlands regeneration project in West Lothian, where it has sold more than 30 of its 88 plots. The extension is set to at least double Bellway’s footprint there.

A quarter of its 100 plots at Winchburgh Village have been sold during the past year, which McDermott des­cribed as a sound performance given competition from other builders such as Barratt, Miller, Stewart Milne and Taylor Wimpey. Located seven miles from Edinburgh, the £1 billion Winchburgh development will create a town bigger than St Andrews with 3,450 new homes.

McDermott said: “There are a lot of potential sites available and even more secondary locations, but our strategy rem­ains to concentrate on the places that have a strong local community, good access to quality schooling, transport connectivity and a robust loc­al sales market.”

Business has remained steady despite the closure of the Scottish Government’s Help to Buy scheme in May. The Government announced last week that it will launch a new shared equity scheme with £195 million of funding over three years.