Berkeley Group Holdings
|Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: BKG|
|Headquarters||Cobham, Surrey, United Kingdom|
(Group Managing Director)
|Revenue||£1,620.6 million (2014)|
|£374.8 million (2014)|
|£292.9 million (2014)|
The Company was founded by Tony Pidgley and Jim Farrer in Weybridge in 1976 as Berkeley Homes, a name borne by regional subsidiaries. Pidgley (the dominant partner) and Farrer had previously run the housing division of Crest Homes and it was their aim to focus on executive housing on single plots or small sites. Over the next few years, Berkeley expanded across the home counties and while building less than 100 houses a year, it floated its shares on the Unlisted Securities Market in 1984.
After the flotation, Berkeley expanded geographically to the west, the south midlands and East Anglia; it also formed a joint venture, St George, to build in central London. By 1988, Berkeley was building over 600 executive homes a year. By then Pidgley was aware of the overheating in the housing market and sold houses aggressively to realise cash. For two years the company did no more than break even but its cash position was strong and in 1991 it was able to purchase the Manchester-based Crosby Homes and the outstanding 50 per cent of St George; Berkeley began buying large development sites at depressed prices. The 1990s was the decade in which Berkeley moved its operational orientation to major urban regeneration sites in London, Birmingham, Manchester and other northern cities.
In the early 2000s, Berkeley refined its strategy to concentrate primarily on relatively large scale urban redevelopments in the London area. In 2003 it announced the deferred sale of Crosby Homes. The reduction in scale was intended to generate surplus cash and 2004 saw a scheme of arrangement to return £1.45m to shareholders.
In April 2014 the Group won the Queen's Award for Sustainable Development for a second year. In 2012, the Berkeley Group sustained 16,000 jobs and generated £2.6 billion of economic activity in Britain. At the time of the award the company had collected a 98% customer satisfaction rate in its data for the previous 12 months. Current releases of new builds are described on its website.
The Company specialises in residential work: neighbourhoods, large or small under brands:
- Berkeley Homes
- St George (Homes)/St George plc[n 1]
- St Edward's Homes[n 2]
- St James Homes brands.[n 3]
Berkeley Homes has built some notable examples of architecturally iconic, high-specification apartment towers in Central London. 2014 projects include its 1 Blackfriars skyscraper which provides a counter-balance to Shard to the east. In smaller operations it runs urban redevelopment programmes via Berkeley Community Villages and constructs in commercial property via Berkeley Commercial. Another subsidiary, Berkeley First, builds student and key worker accommodation. The operational subsidiaries include Berkeley Homes plc, which plans the largest estates and hires contractors with responsibility for management of communal areas unless and until taken over by residents' Right to Manage companies. The developer imposes covenants to retain value across homes in its neighbourhoods.
Large examples of operations include community facilities with village-sized neighbourhoods which are green-buffered and constructed closes of apartments and houses, such as in Bracknell. One of its largest plans to date is that of November 2013, reaching consultation stage for 750 new homes, a primary school, extra care facility, roads, landscaping and local shops to be constructed on mixed use land to expand Warfield, a small mixed rural and suburban civil parish of the Bracknell post town, beside the town's computing and headquarters business parks. In London developments include Wimbledon Hill Park
In April 2014 a press released stated that the Group would 'shortly be announcing a set of new business commitments as part of its rolling 10 year plan'.
Notes and references
- "Preliminary Results 2014". Berkeley Group Holdings. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- Father, son square up for Berkeley Battle, The Telegraph, 18 February 2003
- Company Prospectus
- Rights issue and Crosby offer document 1991
- Wellings, Fred: Dictionary of British Housebuilders (2006) Troubador. ISBN 978-0-9552965-0-5
- "Berkeley wins Queen's Award for sustainable development" 21 April 2014. Berkeley Group. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
- "New Homes & Property Development - Designed for Life - Berkeley Group". berkeleygroup.co.uk. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- "Emerging proposals by Berkeley Homes... November 2013. Bracknell Forest Council. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
- "Property Hotspots along District Line" Evening Standard Homes and Property domain. Retrieved 14 May 2014
- Berkeley Group Official site
- Berkeley Homes Official site
- St Edwards Homes Official site
- St James Homes Official site
- St George plc Official site
- Berkeley Village Collection