Places to call home: Stewart Milne’s mission to make a lasting, positive impact on communities
Since setting up its North West division in 2006, Stewart Milne Homes has constructed 20 developments and in excess of 1,000 homes across the region.
As part of its commitments as a responsible developer, the focus over the next five years is on delivering quality homes in prime residential locations, whilst providing community spaces wherever possible.
Last year the company took home the ‘Community Award’ at the NWPAs (North West Property Awards) – an accolade it’s extremely proud of.
The North West division’s managing director, Paul Challinor, shares his thoughts on the win and why placemaking is an integral part of the firm’s strategy for growth in the region.
It’s been a busy year for Stewart Milne Homes as it reports continued growth and turnover after 2018’s record figures.
Over the next five years the company has plans to grow the business from its current level of 350 units per year – delivering more than 2,500 homes in the region.
In the last financial year it has constructed over 300 new homes and introduced five new developments to its portfolio, including its impressive Callenders Green site in Prescot, Knowsley.
Callenders Green is a collection of 68 family homes, with a mixture of two to four-bedroom units.
It is located on a brownfield site which was once home to the British Insulated Callenders Cable (BICC) factory – one of the largest employers in the area, providing jobs for more than 14,000 local people.
Paul Challinor says: “Callenders Green has been a special site for us to launch, not just in terms of sales rate and demand from customers, but for the direct impact it will have on the regeneration of the local area.
“The fact that it was a brownfield site was an instant attraction for us, as we have a proven track record of investing and transforming land into thriving communities.
“It was important that our masterplan at Callenders Green supported the key objectives of Knowsley Borough Council.”
Knowsley’s Place Strategy has set out clear objectives, which will encourage the regeneration of the area and ensure it becomes a ‘borough of choice’ by 2023.
Paul adds: “Our ethos as a housebuilder is perfectly aligned with Knowsley’s Place Strategy, which believes that the ‘right place offer can underpin growth and encourage economically-independent people and families to move to Knowsley’.
“By encouraging the creation of thriving communities across the region, we hope to be able to contribute to the placemaking strategy for the region, which makes Knowsley a sought-after place to live, work and invest.
“As a housebuilder, we will contribute to providing the homes required to support this growth.
“Callenders Green is Stewart Milne’s first development in Knowsley and we are currently progressing planning for a second development in Whiston, creating an additional 200 new homes in the area which will directly support the borough council’s aims of creating more than 8,000 new family homes by 2028.”
“Our mission is to make a lasting, positive impact on the communities where we work.”
And so far the development is proving to be a hit with residents, with 75% of the homes at Callenders Green already sold.
As part of its contribution to placemaking, Stewart Milne will also create direct employment opportunities locally, employing more than 30 workers from the surrounding area with local trade contracts exceeding the value of £2 million.
Aside from contributing quality residential developments, Stewart Milne Homes is keen to give back to local communities surrounding the houses it builds.
Paul says: “The company prides itself on being more than just a housebuilder.
“Our mission is to make a lasting, positive impact on the communities where we work. To do so we work with local community groups, voluntary organisations, schools and businesses, identifying where we can provide support and resources to make a difference.
“Over the last 12 months we’ve provided £12,000 worth of funding to help more than 300 people across the region – our biggest level of funding to date.”
In Prescot, where Callenders Green sits, the housebuilder has committed to a two-year sponsorship deal with one of the North West’s oldest football clubs, Prescot Cables FC.
The housebuilder has also supported schools across the region, including Woodchurch High School in Wirral, by upgrading six paddocks on the farm to protect up to 30 animals from foot problems during the winter months.
More than 500 books were also given to Millfield Primary School and in North Wales, Stewart Milne paid for more than 100 reusable water bottles to be given to pupils, supporting the school’s environmental strategy.
It is actions like this which saw the developer win last year’s ‘Community Award’ at the NWPAs.
Reflecting on the win, Paul says: “Receiving the ‘Community Award’ at the NWPAs in 2018 recognises the efforts of our team which works hard to ensure we make a lasting positive impact on the local communities around the sites we develop. Since winning the award we have received enquiries from several community groups, who we are now working closely with.
“The North West is a key growth area for us as a business. We are excited to be a part of it and create developments which foster a sense of community, taking a customer centric approach to building and selling homes.”
This year Stewart Milne Homes is the headline sponsor for the NWPAs for the second year running.