Highwood talks teamwork, diligence and what it takes to become one of the fastest growing property businesses in the UK.
When Highwood Group was recognised for its remarkable growth with an enviable ranking on the 22nd annual Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 league table, attention soon turned to how this quiet Romsey-based development company could make such an impact on the commercial landscape.
The private company was formed 15 years ago, by its three founding owners, Nigel Meek, Nigel Shannon and Malcolm Mintram. Today, the Group now stands alongside some of the UK’s most respected and dynamic brands, making it to 74th place in the Fast Track 100 league table that ranks Britain’s top 100 private companies with the fastest-growing sales over their latest three years.
The Sunday Times’ announcement was a defining moment for this regional development business that has seen the Group’s strategic land, development and construction businesses flourish – despite Brexit’s progressively challenging economic backdrop. Meek, Shannon and Mintram have indeed taken both the business and its respected workforce of high-achieving property professionals from strength to strength in the process.
Their investment into strategic land has been integral to the organisation’s current standing and has served as the launch pad for the organisation’s delivery platform: the Highwood Group. This tactical move has seen its land investment arm promoting in excess of 5,000 housing plots in Hampshire in the past four years alone – all that in addition to the provision of new schools, road infrastructure, community centres and affordable housing.
Recognised by the industry’s most prestigious awards bodies
The Group’s achievements have been recognised by the industry’s most prestigious awards bodies. In addition to its inclusion on the Fast Track 100 list Highwood and the London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2018 report, Highwood scooped two high-profile award wins for Fast Rising Property Business of the Year and Development of the Year (Residential – Large) for the landmark North Stoneham Park project in Eastleigh, near Southampton. This project has certainly had a positive impact in terms of Highwood’s corporate profile.
“It’s clear that we have put ourselves on the map, courtesy of the major infrastructure we are creating in Eastleigh,” commented Nigel Meek. “We have also secured a further 4000 plots of strategic land in the borough, which we owe to our unique proposition when looking for new parcels. Our philosophy is always predicated on finding transport solutions that can relieve existing traffic problems, rather than add to them. This is an approach that has resonated with Eastleigh Borough Council and its vision on how their sites should be developed.”
With a long and proven track record in state-of-the-art care sector developments, Highwood’s premier care projects are continuing to make waves – its Netley Court scheme with partner, Cinnamon and Adderbury scheme with partner, Gracewell, both featured in the Top 20 Care Homes South East England 2018. The Group’s hugely successful Pine Martin Grange care home in Wareham, Dorset also won the award for Best New Elderly Care Home at the Pinders Healthcare Design Awards 2018.
Already in 2019, Highwood has competed on an international stage at this year’s BREEAM Awards 2019 and was Highly Commended for the North Stoneham Park community project, coming second only to the UK’s landmark Hoover Building in London in the Homes – Post Construction Stage category. This month the Group has been ranked 34 in the 20th annual Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100 and announced as a finalist in the Growth Story of the Year category in The Business Magazine’s Solent 250 Awards.
Nigel Meek alluded to the secrets of Highwood’s continued success:
“Our core strengths lie in design and planning and in maintaining excellent relationships with our suppliers and subcontractors, which gives us the edge over other developers. Our staff retention is also unusually high for the sector and, thanks to our resourcefulness and diligence, even in turbulent market times, we’re building homes, communities and futures that are making a critical difference to the areas we serve.”