Sales soar 73% at Stephenson Quarter developers Clouston Group

The firm behind Newcastle's biggest prospective development in many years is also back in the black, posting operating profit of £1.14m.

General view of work at the Stephenson Quarter in Newcastle
General view of work at the Stephenson Quarter in Newcastle

Property firm Clouston Group has grown turnover by 73% to £4.81m following a strong year which saw it spearhead Newcastle’s largest current prospective development.

The land and property specialists also returned to operating profit in the year ended June 30 2014, posting the figure of £1.14m, having recorded an operating loss of £901,368 in the previous 12 months.

The nine-strong group – which changed its name from Silverlink Holdings Limited to Clouston Group in April of last year – said that its retained overall profit for the year of £1.23m has been credited to reserves.

In 2005 the group completed the Trinity Gardens mixed-use scheme which now provides 200,000sqft of offices to tenants including Deloitte, Bond Dickinson and RBS as well as 52 apartments, a multi-storey car park, shops and restaurants.

Now the firm is fully focussed on the successful redevelopment of the Stephenson Quarter area in the heart of Newcastle, which has the potential to create 2,000 jobs while also adding £100m a year to the regional economy.

Construction is well under way on the site behind Newcastle Central Station, with Miller Construction, Galliford Try and Shepherd Engineering all involved in the project on the 10-acre site, which is due for completion this summer.

A report accompanying the annual accounts by director Alan Schofield, details how the group intends to develop the area to include residential apartments, commercial offices, an arts and business centre, retail and restaurant facilities.

And it also mentions that the firm want to develop two hotels – meaning there could well be a second hotel to join the 251-bed Crowne Plaza hotel currently under construction alongside The Rocket office building owned by Aviva.

The development is understood to include plans for a smaller boutique hotel, although it is not yet known if that will come to fruition.

The group said it has contracts in place with Newcastle City Council and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership as part of the funding package for the construction of the first phase, and the group has entered into a commitment from the building contractor for contractor funding.

In the report Mr Schofield said: “The carrying value of stock relating to the hotel development is £18m as of June 30 2014. The board is pleased with the progress it has made with it own professional team and with the local authority in order to regenerate this area.

“The ongoing overheads of the group will be met by the development funding which is now in place.”

The directors do not recommend the payment of a final dividend.

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