How long have you worked at Hargreaves Land and can you describe your role within the firm?
I joined Hargreaves Land as Head of Asset Management in November 2017 and have responsibility for projects throughout the UK, as well as the asset management function for the wider Group’s property portfolio. The asset management function represents a significant part of my role and effectively tasks me with creating and realising value from our existing portfolio by way of strategic and timely property/estate management actions as well as disposals, acquisitions and development. The estate needs to be actively managed to ensure that proprietorship is protected, occupational agreements and tenants are properly managed, rental revenues are maintained consistent with the market values and to ensure that liabilities are minimised wherever possible.
In addition, we have recently entered into a major joint venture partnership with construction and development specialist, Waystone, to deliver the Unity project in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. I have been appointed a Director of the JV Board, which represents a fantastic opportunity to play a significant part in the delivery a large mixed-use development site of national importance.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Hargreaves’ property portfolio is as diverse as it gets – our ownership extends to over 15,000 acres which includes land allocated for commercial, residential, agricultural, forestry, minerals, retail and leisure uses. As a consequence, my job feels about as varied as it gets from a Surveying perspective, particularly as I’m dealing with a broad range of disciplines including acquisitions, disposals, planning and all aspects of management. This variety ensures that there is never a dull moment and that no two days are ever the same. In addition, it means that I get to do two other things that I really enjoy, alongside Surveying – meeting new people and finding solutions to problems.
What projects are you currently working on?
In addition to the ongoing Group Asset Management, as mentioned earlier, I am heavily involved with the delivery of Unity, our JV project with Waystone.
Unity will provide over 3,000 new homes, a new offline marina, school, transport hub and over 80 hectares of open spaces. The scheme is situated in a prime location by the M18 and M180 junction in South Yorkshire. The 250-hectare, low-carbon community will transform some of the most challenged wards in Doncaster. There are 60 hectares dedicated to commercial use and it is anticipated that £910m will be injected into the local economy over the next 20 years. The scheme will create a range of new employment opportunities, creating 7,000 new jobs.
Our JV partners have been involved in the Unity scheme for over 10 years, securing planning permission for a new link road in 2009, which will create a new 2.9km route between the M18 (Junction 5) to Waggons Way (next to the former Hatfield Colliery site) to the north and linking to Hatfield via Bootham Lane to the south, thus improving access to the motorway network for residents in local communities. Work started on the new road in April 2019.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself that people may not know
I’ve been involved in martial arts for most of my life and I currently train at a kickboxing club close to my home in West Yorkshire to keep fit, usually at least a couple of times a week. However, I entered the Yorkshire Open Kickboxing Championship in Scarborough in May this year (mainly as I turn 40 next year and thought it was something I should probably do while I still can!) and I went on to win 1 gold and 1 silver medal. Therefore, I was Under 83kg Yorkshire Kickboxing Champion 2019 (something I never thought I’d be able to say…… and will probably never be able to repeat!)
When you’re not at work what do you like to do?
Above all, I consider myself a family man and when I’m not at work I’m spending quality time with my wonderful wife, Sarah, and our amazing children, Harry (8) and Oliver (7). The boys are so much fun at this age, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.