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Willmott Residential hires former London deputy housing mayor as adviser

Willmott Dixon’s residential arm has hired former London deputy housing mayor Ric Blakeway as a strategic adviser.

Mr Blakeway will advise on the expansion of the business, including growing its development in partnership with local authorities and other landowners.

Willmott Residential formed earlier this year, after Willmott Dixon merged its housing and regeneration businesses into one division.

The merger marked the next phase of Willmott Dixon’s strategy to grow its residential development and housebuilding capabilities, including its private sale business, Prime Place, and its rental business, be:here.

Willmott Residential also recently hired former Berkeley Group director Nick Simpkin to lead the business, with Willmott Regen divisional chief executive Andrew Telfer becoming deputy chief executive.

Mr Simpkin said: “Richard will help strengthen relationships with key partners and we’ll benefit from his insight in planning and policy across the country.

“This advice will support our goal to regenerate more estates and turn brownfield sites into thriving new communities.

“[He] will also be supporting our efforts to develop in partnership with local authorities and housing associations on a more national basis.”

Prior to joining Willmott Residential, Mr Blakeway was deputy mayor for housing at the Greater London Authority between 2008 and 2016, working closely with former mayor Boris Johnson.

He then spent a short amount of time at Number 10, advising David Cameron’s government on housing policy, but was moved from the role after prime minister Theresa May took office.

Willmott Residential is leading on the 1,176-home regeneration of Aberfeldy Village in Tower Hamlets and is Brentford FC’s development partner for its 20,000-seat stadium and 900-home masterplan.

In total the residential business has 7,500 units in construction or pending development.

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