Housing association in FM launch to beat cash crisis

Aaron Morby 14 years ago
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Housing association Derwent Living is launching a commercial facilities management contractor to help raise cash for new homes as grant funding dries up.

The Midlands housing association has teamed up with Martin Corbett, formerly from Leeds-based total FM provider Operon, to form Derwent FM.

The FM business intends to plough future profits back into affordable housing schemes.

Directors hope the firm, which will operate as a subsidiary of Derwent Living, will be turning over £25m within six years.

Corbett said: “This is a really exciting venture. We see a real big opportunity and need for quality FM in the current student accommodation market and for complementary markets, such as providing services directly to commercial property owners, central government and local government buildings and non acute healthcare facilities.”

Corbett has 15 years of experience in the industry and owns a 25% stake in the new business, with Centro Place investments, Derwent Living’s investment company holding the remaining 75%.

Derwent Living manages and provides services to 11,000 homes and student accommodation across the Midlands and the south.

Commercial director Paul Wisher said: “Our forecasts show that in six years, Derwent FM will be turning over up to £25m, which means there will be large amount of profit to go back to support the core social housing part of the business.

“There is less housing grant available from the HCA, and so housing providers like ourselves are having to think of ways of raising funds to continue building much-needed affordable properties for people in the greatest need or who cannot afford to buy their own homes.

“This is a crucial part of our business and a main aim for Derwent Living over the next decade.”

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