Over 40 plus years, Redrow has grown from a small civil engineering enterprise in North Wales to become one of the UK’s leading housebuilders and a FTSE 250 company.
The early years
Redrow has a proud heritage which stretches back to 1974 when the company was first established by Steve Morgan as a small civil engineering concern in North Wales, specialising in drainage sub-contracting.
Through hard work and determination, by 1979 the business was already expanding into main contract building and quickly embarked on its first major housing development at a site in Denbigh, North Wales.
The 1980s saw regional expansion into the private homes sector and, through a combination of organic growth and shrewd acquisition, Redrow quickly established a reputation as a quality national home builder, despite the difficult economic conditions at the time. Interestingly, the 80s saw Redrow both entering and leaving the south east housing market, with impeccable timing on both occasions (in subsequent decades it would return to create several successful businesses in London and around the M25 corridor).
The early 90s saw Redrow emerging as a leader in its sector and the launch of the Heritage Collection was a hugely positive milestone for the company. A plethora of awards followed, recognising the company’s innovative product design and consistent high quality as well as the commercial performance. Redrow was floated on the stock market in 1994 and the company continued to grow from strength to strength.
In November 2000, Steve Morgan left the business to pursue personal interests and Redrow began to shift emphasis. Encouraged by Government planning policy, the company gradually increased development densities and, as a result, the reputation of the product and brand suffered. In 2008 a global financial crisis struck and along with it came the ‘credit crunch’. Redrow, like many other businesses, was hit hard as property development across the UK came to a near standstill.
The ‘noughties’ did produce one lasting legacy – 2003 saw the launch of a new national training centre as part of a campaign to make Redrow an employer of choice. Redrow’s commitment to employment and training today is bigger and bolder than ever before, with 15% of the total workforce undergoing an apprenticeship, graduate programme or other formal training programme.
This period also saw another notable milestone – Redrow’s 50,000th customer in 2006.
Rebuilding the brand
Steve Morgan returned to the helm at Redrow in April 2009 and immediately set about re-opening sites and regional offices that had closed during the credit crunch. His mission was to restore Redrow’s proud reputation for building premium-brand, high quality homes for all lifestyles.
With the help of accomplished design and technical teams, he immediately addressed the company’s product range and, in February 2010, Redrow officially launched The Heritage Collection. These homes were inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement (c1850-1915), which had subsequently influenced many of the character properties of later periods, especially the 1920s and 30s. The Heritage Collection features traditional elevations, period style features and spacious, flowing interiors.
New products and a buoyant market
Momentum was gaining. The following year saw a new London division established with an exciting range of lucrative development schemes across the capital.
Since then the product range has grown further with the addition of the Georgian-influenced Regent Collection and the more contemporary looking Abode range; allowing Redrow to meet, and keep ahead of, the ever changing demands in a buoyant market. The opening of new divisional operations across the Southern Counties, West Country and South East has continued to help Redrow deliver ever improved turnover and increased profits.
2014 saw the company celebrate its 40th anniversary with two of the top national housebuilder awards (Building and What House), record breaking revenue and profitability, plus staff playing their part with a mammoth charity campaign that raised around £440,000 for good causes across England and Wales.
Redrow’s performance continued to rise in the financial year ending June 2015, with turnover smashing through the £1bn barrier for the first time and operating margin and profits also reaching new heights. Some major projects were announced, including Colindale Gardens in North West London, which is set to deliver nearly 3,000 new homes, as well as a range of shops, schools restaurants and public open space, on a site of nearly 50 acres over the next decade.
A positive future
Looking forward, the business is in good shape. Redrow has a strong balance sheet and is perfectly placed to maximise future growth with an experienced land team and healthy land bank. The product portfolio is varied and extremely popular. The leadership team is experienced, successful and enthusiastic, engaging with all stakeholders, staff and customers alike and fully understands its corporate, socio economic and environmental responsibilities.
The future is extremely positive and Redrow is back to where it always should be – occupying a market leadership position, with a product, people and performance of which it can be justifiably proud.