Millwood Designer Homes based in Tonbridge lands £10m cash injection from London-based property investment company

A house builder has secured a £10m investment which will speed up its projects across Kent, Sussex and Surrey.

Tonbridge-based Millwood Designer Homes – which has developments at Orchard Gate, near East Malling, and Hamilton Place, near Sevenoaks – attracted the cash from a London-based property investment company.

Managing director John Elliott said it will spark substantial growth in the company, allowing it to bring forward more sites over the next four years as the housing market continues to recover.

The Orchard Gate development near East Malling
The Orchard Gate development near East Malling

He said: “The industry is extremely capital intensive and since banks introduced new criteria following the crash, it is necessary for house builders to find around 35% of the project cost up front.

“In simple terms, if we bought a site for £2m and build costs were £3m then we would have to find £1.4m on the first day. Obviously such capital requirements are very restrictive meaning that our rate of growth is very subdued.

“We have raised £10m, with more funds available if needed. This is going to make a huge difference to the company. We now have funds available in a way that we have never had before.”

The company aims for sales of about £60m by 2017.

Millwood Designer Homes managing director John Elliott
Millwood Designer Homes managing director John Elliott

Mr Elliott added: “Despite this injection of capital, nothing within the company will change, except that we will have the funds to back up our purchasing aspirations.

“The housing market is robust in the South East and there is strong demand for good-quality new homes.

“The industry is building homes at the fastest rate for a decade and although there is still a long way to go before we meet the current shortfall, we are confident there will be an ever-greater requirement for the homes Millwood provides – well-built, energy-efficient, attractive housing that will stand the test of time.”

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