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Henry Boot reveals details of £250m Manchester Kampus role

Henry Boot has revealed details of its role in getting Manchester’s flagship £250m Kampus development off the ground.

Henry Boot Developments is working with Capital & Centric to deliver a 450,000 sq ft residential-led mixed-use scheme in Manchester city centre, which has been designed by architects Mecanoo and ShedKM.

The firm’s CEO John Sutcliffe told Construction News that Henry Boot’s role on the scheme would be to bring the project forward in a joint venture with Capital & Centric, with London-based firm Mount Anvil appointed as main contractor.

“Our part in the job was finding the site with Capital & Centric and selling the project to [funder/owner] Ares,” he said.

He added that Ares was the driver behind appointing Mount Anvil as main contractor for its first job outside London, with the client having worked with the contractor on many of its schemes in the capital.

Demolition has already commenced on site, with works being carried out by Essex-based Squibb Group.

Kampus was one of 13 projects showcased by the government to vice-premier Ma Kai and a Chinese delegation in November last year, as part of an initiative to attract investment into schemes across the North.

He was speaking after Henry Boot revealed a 74 per cent increase in revenue and 22 per cent growth in pre-tax profit in its latest financial results.

The Sheffield-based firm saw revenue rise to £306.8m for the 12 months to 31 December 2016, while pre-tax profit jumped to £39.5m.

Mr Sutcliffe said its construction division had exceeded profit targets for the year after posting a pre-tax profit of £10.9m on revenue of £84.4m.

Major contracts won in the year included a place on the £2bn Yorbuild2 framework and a deal for the first phase of Barnsley town centre’s redevelopment.

Mr Sutcliffe said Henry Boot would “absolutely” look at other phases of the Barnsley scheme as they became available, with the firm currently refurbishing buildings in the town centre as part of a deal which could be worth up to £40m.

Other major projects in the year included a deal to revamp Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens – the company’s first work through the North-west Construction Hub framework.

He said the project was “delivered on time and had good feedback”, with Henry Boot also securing its second job on the framework: a refurbishment deal on Lancaster University’s campus.

Mr Sutcliffe reflected that the firm’s situation “has hardly changed” since last June’s vote to leave the EU.

”There’s a couple of areas with a few concerns – sterling’s weakness has driven steel prices up, for example, but other than that it’s broadly had no change at all on the business,” he said.

He said the company had “never had as much visibility” across its strategic land and commercial development businesses, with most of its current portfolio of development pre-sold.

”It’s about sticking to your knitting and backfilling those parts of the business with new land and development opportunities,” he said.

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