I joined Ashfield Land this summer because I wanted something new. Like many people re-assessing the pandemic and what matters, for me professionally it was the opportunity to have responsibility, trust, support but also freedom to work the way I knew would bring the best out of me.
In my role as a Development Surveyor I’m looking for opportunities where I can add value. We’re actively seeking investment and development sites across the UK and I’m focused on my home patch of Scotland and the North. I want to identify properties where, through skill and professional knowledge, we can bring them forward for higher value uses.
What excites me the most is the challenge of repaying the trust. The culture at Ashfield Land is very entrepreneurial and, as a team, we’re expected to get on with things using our initiative while knowing that, particularly in the senior management team, there are decades of property experience to draw on when we need it. For me, this is the best of both worlds.
Sectors I’m looking at closely include industrials and trade counters. The market is lively and we have a great track record of acquiring, investing in and developing multi-let industrial sites for higher-value outcomes. There’s a lot of interesting product in and around Glasgow in particular and I have my eye on a few things – but I want to look further afield too and am keen to hear from agents and partners with ideas to put on the table.
Local retail is also a market I’m interested in: district centres, retail parades and smaller-scale shopping centres. Because of the way we work at Ashfield Land, we can revitalise and invest in sites such as these and do a really good job. My colleagues down south have been doing just that in places like Worcester and Evesham for example.
Likewise I’m interested in renewables, which may not sit so obviously alongside industrial and retail property but is hugely interesting right now for understandable reasons. Climate change is in every conversation I’m having with clients and property colleagues and, here in Glasgow, we’re getting ready to host COP26 in early November. The expertise we have in maximising land potential works as well for wind and solar as it does for shops and sheds.
So it’s ultimately about the fundamentals of property development and investment. Knowing what you’re good at, identifying sites and partners you can work with to unlock value, and putting the right blend of planning, investment, development and structuring in place to turn one thing into another.
That’s why I got into this industry and that’s why I joined Ashfield Land. I want to make a difference and I want to use my skills effectively.
There’s no doubt we’re at an interesting time right now. Covid has changed everything but equally the solid fundamentals of doing good property development remain just as they were. Work in a decent business with solid people and partners focusing on what you’re good at.
If you’re interested in working with me and the team, have a site, have a suggestion, or feel we could be an effective partner for you, do get in touch.