A pulsating evening at the Thames Valley Property Awards showcased the region’s very best properties, firms and people. Over 650 guests joined the celebrations at Ascot Racecourse on 2 May.

Peter Laurie, head of client relations at awards organiser The Business Magazine, said: “Looking at the strong nominations it’s been a good year. Developers, agents, planners, consultants, property lawyers, dealmakers are testament to the velocity of the Thames Valley property market.”

The sixth annual awards were sponsored by Blake Morgan, Boyes Turner, Campbell Gordon, Crowe, Gateley, Haslams, Hicks Baker, Leaders Romans, Jelf, McKay Securities, Morgan Lovell, PBA now part of Stantec, Regus, Savills, and SEGRO.

TV presenter, broadcaster and former England rugby union player Martin Bayfield hosted the awards, steering the evening through 16 award categories with plenty of banter and anecdotes.

Devine inspiration
On the night, guests donated £12,500 for Maidenhead-based charity Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, which supports children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, and their families. Fundraising at the Thames Valley Property Awards over the last six years has raised over £50,000 for the charity.

It recently opened its new site in Maidenhead for children and their families. Fiona Devine, who set up the charity in memory of her son, said: “What I have learned is that a building is not just bricks, steelworks and roof tiles. Buildings help us create special memories, they protect us and they have an identity within a community.”

She told the audience: “You have helped us create a home from home, so our children have a sense of belonging and feel safe. They make memories here and are sheltered, as are their families. Your incredible help over the last six years has resulted in a staggering amount of donations.”

Thames Valley Property Awards Winners

Offices Consultancy of the Year  sponsored by Morgan Lovell

Winner, by number of deals and by Sq Ft: Lambert Smith Hampton

 

“Absolutely delighted that we’ve won both the number of deals and square footage categories. It was a great team effort – we have a very strong agency team across our four Thames Valley offices. It’s a challenging market, but we still managed to secure some great results for our clients. We are always striving to be the best in the region and I think transactions like the Station Hill and Hive 3 purchases reflect that.”
Oliver Wilson, associate director, building consultancy, Lambert Smith Hampton

 

Finalists, by number of deals:

  • Campbell Gordon
  • Duncan Bailey-Kennedy
  • Hollis Hockley
  • Page Hardy Harris

Finalists, by Sq Ft:

  • Campbell Gordon
  • CBRE
  • Cushman & Wakefield
  • Savills

After London, the Thames Valley is the next largest property market in the UK by volume of deals and density. Working with CoStar, this category uses objective information gathered from its extensive industry-leading database on deals within the Thames Valley region. The award will be given to the consultancy that has completed the highest total of commercial deals in the office sector across the region and the highest total by sq ft transacted during the 12-month period from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018.

Industrial/Logistics Consultancy of the Year – sponsored by SEGRO

Winner, by number of deals and by Sq Ft: JLL

 

“Our success in winning both categories is down to the size of our team, our resources and our coverage. We handle instructions from 500 to 100,000 square feet. Many people think larger corporations only look at instructions of a certain size, but we are all about focusing on smaller businesses, letting space that helps them grow, and hopefully they will come back to us. We’ve got a young team who are very hands-on and good at building relationships.” Sarah Downes, director, JLL, Heathrow and West London team

 

Finalists, by number of deals:

  • Duncan Bailey-Kennedy
  • Lambert Smith Hampton
  • Sharps Commercial
  • VSL & Partners

Finalists, by Sq Ft:

  • Colliers International
  • Cushman & Wakefield
  • Hollis Hockley
  • Lambert Smith Hampton

Working with CoStar, this category uses objective information gathered from their extensive industry-leading database on deals within the Thames Valley region. The award will be given to the property consultancy that has completed the most industrial/logistics deals across the region and the highest total by sq ft transacted from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018.

Property Client Service  sponsored by Morgan Lovell

Winner: Haslams Chartered Surveyors

 

“We’ve been the letting agent for Suttons Business Park in Reading for over 10 years. It’s a big team effort where we provide multiple services. Importantly, that has included supporting them through tough times in the recession. Our team has different skill sets to deliver unrivalled levels of service and our good local knowledge benefits the client.” Neil Seager, partner, Haslams Chartered Surveyors

 

Finalists:

  • Campbell Gordon
  • Edgars
  • Stubbings Property Marketing

This award is open to all property companies (including professionals, developers, contractors, architects, etc) and celebrates the ability to take a client’s brief and ensure it is correctly managed and serviced. The nomination should focus on a specific project or client brief and should, where possible, include testimonials from the client and others involved in the scheme.

Business Park Innovation – sponsored by Blake Morgan

Winner: Innovation Catalyst TVSP

 

“We identified a gap in the market in terms of delivering genuinely supportive business space for laboratories and innovation companies. New and spin-out businesses, in particular, often need nurturing to grow. We are playing right in the heart of the UK’s industrial strategy. It’s important for us to make the Science Park unique from regular business parks, so we can deliver a platform for the growth of these innovative businesses.” Chris Reeve, managing director, Thames Valley Science Park, and property service director, University of Reading

 

Finalists:

  • Howbery Business Park
  • Arlington Business Park
  • Slough Trading Estate

The Thames Valley is home to numerous business parks. This award recognises the role the parks play in the region’s economy and celebrates the ability of the developer, owner or management team to create a sustainable environment. Work-life balance, facilities for occupiers, innovation in transport solutions, etc, are all areas that judges will take account of.

Town/City of the Year – sponsored by Regus

Winner: Reading

 

“Absolutely delighted. Reading has had a great year with a lot of things happening and a lot of interest from the property world. We have worked hard in developing support for local businesses, especially in the central retail area and around the Abbey quarter and Forbury area. We are super excited about the Station Hill development, the area around Hosier Street and the former prison site. Our Vision 2050 strategy is all about delivering a city of green technology, rivers and parks, culture and diversity.” Nigel Horton-Baker, executive director, Reading UK

 

This award focuses on the towns and cities in the Thames Valley that are developing their offering for both employers and residents. Previous winners have implemented successful town-centre strategies and have promoted their brand, attracting inward investment. This year’s winner will be a town or city that has developed an improved environment with better facilities for all. 

The judges are aware that the region is the sum of its parts and therefore evidence of cross-borough and county collaboration is also an important measure of success. Entrants need to show that they have adopted a clear strategy for improvement that has enhanced the Town/City over a period of time.

In-town Office of the Year sponsored by Campbell Gordon

Winner: The Future Works

 

“We are the developer of The Future Works and are really proud have won. It’s very pleasing for the development to be recognised. There are a huge number of hidden gems in Slough and the fundamentals for the town are fantastic – that’s one of the reasons why we are operating here. This is the first of three phases of The Future Works. Its location near the railway station is hugely important, as is the focus on public space and wellbeing with its communal roof area.” Ben Cartwright, senior development manager, U+I

 

Finalist:

  • Davidson

The Thames Valley’s towns and cities are home to a growing number of exciting workplaces that are taking the best aspects of co-working, collaborative working environments, and innovative spaces, in landmark buildings that set the benchmark for offices in 2018 and beyond. 

Judges will want to see how the design of the office workplace was approached and how it will help achieve genuine productivity gains for occupiers. Entries can be made by the occupier, the designer or architect, or the developer, agent etc.

Managing Agent of the Year – sponsored by Jelf Insurance Brokers

Winner: Encore Estate Management

 

“It’s the first time we’ve entered these awards and we’re delighted to win, especially in front of such an amazing audience of colleagues. One of the services that sets us apart is our online portal that allows customers easy access to their accounts and the information they want. Our ARMA-Q consumer protection accreditation is the highest standard there has ever been in the industry. For us, it’s all about providing high levels of customer service and adhering to them.” Neil Robinson, owner, Encore Estate Management

 

Finalist:

  • Martin Kemps

Property management is key, and having the right managing agent can make the difference between a building proving successful for the lessor, or not. The managing agent, appointed by the freeholder of a property or a management company, is often the ‘glue’ between the owner and the tenant. This award will be based on testimonials and case studies, and judges will look at best practice, innovation and professional approach.

Young Property Person of the Year – sponsored by PBA, now part of Stantec

Winner: Kieran Webber – Page Hardy Harris

 

“I joined the firm from school and they sponsored me through my degree. So I was thrown in at the deep end and got lots of hands-on experience from a young age. It was a case of sink or swim, which makes the learning process a lot quicker. There was very strong competition in this category and I wasn’t expecting to win, so I’m absolutely delighted. I spent three years in our Bracknell office and have been in Maidenhead for the last two-and-a-half years. We’re pushing into Slough, Windsor and High Wycombe, so I’m closely involved in driving our expansion.” Kieran Webber, senior surveyor, Page Hardy Harris

 

Highly Commended: Chloe Sellers – Inland Homes

 

Finalists:

  • David Granat – Ox Living
  • Kathryn O’Callaghan-Mills – Area
  • Sam Oliver – Savills
  • Will Morris BSc (Hons) MSc MRICS – Haslams

This award is presented to a person under 35 working in property ­– this could include professionals, architects, planners, or those working in the new areas of property tech. Apprentices and graduates are all eligible, and judges will be looking for the rising stars who are set for career success in their chosen field.

Fast-Rising Property Business – sponsored by Leaders Romans Group

Winner: Curve Workplaces

 

“We’ve built on the hard work of our first couple of years. We were nominated for this award last year, so it was nice to go one better this time. While we’ve been growing rapidly one of our biggest focuses has been on recruiting the right people who are the right fit, ahead of when we need them. What has pleased me most is seeing our team develop. We also try and understand our clients’ needs, like Make-A-Wish UK. I’m delighted they won the Workplace Award. They are a great client, with a great cause and have a great work environment in central Reading.” Michael Potter, managing director, Curve Workplaces

 

Highly Commended: Active Workplace Solutions

 

Finalist:

  • Page Hardy Harris

This award recognises a fast-rising firm in either the commercial, industrial or residential property sectors that is shining brighter than its competitors.

Leaders Romans Group, the sponsor of this category, is itself a fast-growing and award-winning property business.

Leaders Romans Group first opened for business in 1987 and has adapted and developed in response to its customers’ needs to become one of the most accomplished property groups in the UK. As a leading light in the Thames Valley property sector, Leaders Romans Group wants to reward a successful property business that has also shone in the region in the past few years. Eligible firms include developers, agents, consultants, surveyors, lettings specialists, etc.

Property Law Firm – sponsored by Crowe

Winner: Herrington Carmichael LLP

 

“We’re delighted to win, especially was we were up against such good firms. We were highly commended last year and we’re glad to have made that extra step this time. We had a record year with a lot big residential deals and a lot of activity in our secured lending service. We also maintained our client service levels and consistency during such a busy year. It’s a challenging market so you have to just get out there and work a bit harder to bring in the business.” Tim Hardesty, partner, real estate department, Harrington Carmichael

 

Finalists:

  • Blake Morgan
  • Boyes Turner
  • Gateley plc

Judges are looking for a law firm whose property team has had an exceptional year, either in terms of volume of work, quality of instructions, or both. Particular attention will be given to law firms that have instructed on complex deals during the year, or that have excelled in advisory work. Eligible law firms can have acted in the commercial property or residential property markets; and can have been instructed by developers, agents, occupiers, and/or investors. In reviewing submissions from law firms, judges will also pay attention to testimonials from clients.

Development of the Year – sponsored by Hicks Baker

Winner: Reading Gateway

 

Leigh Thomas, executive director for Kier Property:
“Following significant investment and collaboration between ourselves, the local authority, Highway England, local councillors and our consultants, a significant scheme was delivered. The regenerated 20-acre area comprises of 175 residential dwellings, a retail and leisure led mixed-use phase, two car showrooms and a trade counter scheme – delivered under Kier Property’s ‘Trade City’ brand. The development attracted many occupiers such as Premier Inn, Costa, Burger King, Wren Kitchens, Nissan and Volvo, who have expanded their presence in the Thames Valley area – testament to the strength of the area, as a place for business. Our Trade City brand also provides an opportunity for smaller and local businesses to grow. These types of schemes are vital for the health and growth of the Thames Valley, which is underpinned by a strong and growing SME economy.”

 

Finalists:

  • Slough Urban Renewal (SUR)
  • The Florence Building
  • The Future Works

This award is for a non-residential development – such as office, mixed-use, leisure or industrial – that has been completed, has funding or has recently received planning consent.

Judges will be assessing the impact the development will make and its contribution to the Thames Valley.

Due to the nature of this award category, judges will consider a longer time-frame than 12 months – spec schemes can be entered provided they have planning, and funding approved.

Residential Development of the Year – sponsored by Gateley plc

Winner: Thameside, Windsor

 

“Thameside was challenging in terms of its construction and the uniqueness of Windsor with the castle close to it. Sustainability is important to us and the architect we brought in re-used existing materials from the original building on the site, as well as materials from sustainable sources. It’s been a pleasure for the whole team to work on this project. Thameside is a feather in our cap and we’re proud that we were able to add to Windsor’s charm.” Stewart Kirk, regional managing director for the Thames Valley, Shanly Homes

 

Finalists:

  • Walton Square, Aylesbury
  • Greenings, Long Crendon
  • Square House, Peppard Common
  • The Cox & Wyman Printworks, Reading
  • Woodhurst Park, Warfield

This award goes to a specific housing development in the Thames Valley that stands out from the competition. Size doesn’t matter – judges will consider small brownfield developments and large housing estates. The entry could be an innovative conversion of a building – so Permitted Development (PD) schemes are eligible.

Judges will be looking for evidence of good design, environmental impact, sustainability, and whether the scheme has overcome unusual challenges and site constraints.

Workplace Award – sponsored by Savills

Winner: Make-A-Wish UK

 

“We’re absolutely thrilled to win this award. We are so happy with the design and layout of our new office in Thames Tower in Reading. For us, it’s vital to have somewhere that is accessible for families, volunteers and our staff. We have lift access, wide spaces and child-friendly play areas. When we are granting wishes that take place in our office we need to look at things from a child’s point of view. Our staff really like the space with hotdesking for agile working and it’s easy for different teams to collaborate and work together.” Sarah Shearman, senior community engagement manager, Make-A-Wish UK

 

Finalists:

  • Broadway Malyan and Nexus Planning
  • Gateway Building, Thames Valley Science Park

Exciting workplaces and successful businesses go together. The region is home to many companies across the digital, telecoms, pharmaceutical, professional and financial sectors. This award would go to an occupier, fit-out specialist, or developer that has created a brilliant workplace. That could be an individual office or warehouse, or even an entire development.

Judges will want to see how the design of the workplace was approached and how it has created genuine productivity gains for the business.

Property Deal of the Year – sponsored by Haslams

Winner: Station Hill, Reading

 

Callum Thorneycroft, Managing Director of MGT Investment Management, commented on behalf of Station Hill’s joint owners:
“We acquired the site in June 2018 having seen a once in a generation opportunity to deliver a best in class regeneration project which taps into the vast potential of this already impressive and ambitious area. Station Hill will deliver a landmark £750 million development and the new gateway to the town that Reading deserves.
 
“As a truly mixed-use destination, it will become a new town quarter that fuses contemporary living, working, leisure and open community space. The vision for the whole Station Hill site is to be a transformative project for Reading, creating a focal point for the town through substantial investment in new public spaces and a mix of new residential, commercial, retail and leisure uses.”

 

Finalist:

  • Thames Quarter

This award celebrates a deal or transaction that by its size, importance or location makes a significant impact on the Thames Valley. Such a deal often provides the confidence and momentum to ensure that the region remains buoyant and relevant.

Housebuilder of the Year – sponsored by Boyes Turner

Winner: Shanly Homes

 

“We’re extremely pleased to win, especially given the quality of the other finalists. We are celebrating our 50th anniversary, so winning this award is great news for the company. Our Thames Valley team puts in an immense effort and are strong in all areas. The whole team pulls together from land buying to builds, sales, and customer care.” Stewart Kirk, regional managing director for the Thames Valley, Shanly Homes

 

Highly Commended: Spitfire Bespoke Homes

 

Finalists:

  • Berkeley Homes (Oxford and Chiltern)
  • Bovis Homes
  • Darcliffe Homes
  • Inland Homes
  • Spitfire Bespoke Homes

Successful housebuilding in the Thames Valley has to be aware of environmental issues, and a need for community engagement. It has to have real economic benefit, respecting the Thames Valley environment and showing how good design can create places where people want to live, both young and old.

The judges are looking for a Thames Valley housebuilder that incorporates these aspects into its completed schemes and consistently receives positive feedback from its customers.

Outstanding Contribution – sponsored by McKay Securities

Winner: Keith Wise — Campbell Gordan

 

“Reading has massive potential. That was recognised by Ian Campbell many years ago. When I came from London to work for him I felt I was involved in something special. It’s been great to see the town grow and thrive over the years and to have been part of its development.

The most important thing for me is the relationships I have with my colleagues and all the people I work with. Without doubt, property is a people business. That’s the bit I have really enjoyed. Green Park is an amazing development to work on, especially as I have seen it grow from agricultural land to what it is now. It has been a massive privilege for me. Working on Forbury Place and Apex Plaza has also been fantastic.” Keith Wise, director, Campbell Gordon

 

This award is for a stand-out person who has promoted and created success in the execution of property strategy across the region and, more importantly, has been involved with the promotion of the Thames Valley as a great place in which to do business.