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Mon July 22 2024

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Inland Homes looks north with new 75-year-old CEO

24 Jul 23 Four months after the departure of its board, Inland Homes has a new chief executive with a turnaround plan.

Jolyon Harrison
Jolyon Harrison

Former Gleeson chief executive Jolyon Harrison, aged 75, has been appointed chief executive of Inland Homes. He plans to bring in his own executive team and rebrand the business

Under Harrison, Inland Homes will also be heading north.

It has agreed the £4m acquisition of NorthCountry Homes. Jolyon Harrison is executive chairman and 51% shareholder in NorthCountry. He also has a 4.94% stake in Inland Homes.

Nishith Malde, who was one of the founding shareholders of Inland Homes in 2005 and is currently chief financial officer and acting chief executive, has told the board he intends to retire and step down as a director of Inland Homes, following an appropriate handover period.  He will remain available in an advisory capacity to the business on a consultancy basis for 12 months.

The NorthCountry acquisition remains contingent on restoration to AIM trading of Inland Homes' shares and the admission of new ordinary shares to be issued for the proposed acquisition.

Inland Homes has been in turmoil all year. Chief executive Don O'Sullivan quit in January after just six weeks in the job. Another six weeks later the rest of the board, also departed excluding Nishith Malde, who was left to steady the ship solo. In April trading in Inland Homes’ shares on the AIM market were suspended because of its inability to publish audited accounts in time.

The new chief executive acknowledged that it would “take a while” to turn around the ailing business.

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Jolyon Harrison certainly has the experience for the job, with 50 years in house-building. He was chief executive of MJ Gleeson plc between October 2014 and June 2019, having joined the group in 2009 and previously been managing director of Gleeson Homes.  Before that he was founder and chairman of Pelham Construction/NorthCountry Homes Group and was also managing director of Shepherd Homes. 

He left Gleeson in 2019 after a disagreement over pay and the timing of his retirement. [See previous report here.]

Richard Padley, who controls the other 49% of NorthCountry, is joining Inland’s board as a non-executive director following completion of regulatory director due diligence. His family interests have a holding of 4.54% in Inland Homes.

Inland Homes chair Matthew Robinson said today: "Jolyon is a proven leader, with a strong track record of operational, strategic and commercial success in construction and property development.  The whole Inland team looks forward to his contribution to this next stage of Inland's corporate development."

Jolyon Harrison said: "I am delighted to be joining Inland as CEO.  Inland has a valuable consented land bank in the south and southeast of England and has a number of similarities with where I was in 2009.  We will be expanding the low cost homes business model of NorthCountry in the north of England, based in Wakefield, taking advantage of low northern land values and developing the Inland brownfield and strategic land business in the south where land values are high, as well as completing Inland's existing construction commitments. 

"In due course it is proposed to rebrand the business to reflect its focus on house-building in the north of England.  The group will remain headquartered in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire for the foreseeable future.  I look forward to the Inland team helping me to turn the business round, which will take a while but we are looking forward to a profitable future."

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