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Wed June 16 2021

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Swift U-turn sees Skanska quit UK house-building

5 Sep 13 Just two years after entering the UK house-building market, Skanska has decided to back out again and focus on contracting.

Skanska's Seven Acres development near Cambridge
Skanska's Seven Acres development near Cambridge

Its 'Homes by Skanska' division is being closed down.

As recently as July this year, the company said that it was seeing "strong interest" in its planned developments in Cambridge, Bath and Cheltenham.

The Bath and Cheltenham sites, where work has yet to start, will be sold. Trinity Square in Cheltenham has planning permission for 143 townhouses and apartments.

The development site at Seven Acres in Cambridge, where properties are on the market from £250,000 to £675,000, will be seen through and completed.

Skanska's statement

Skanska’s full statement said: “Skanska UK is proposing to reduce its investment in the consumer-facing residential development market. The business views that there are other markets in the UK that will provide the level of return that Skanska’s shareholders want to see from its investment capital. These include infrastructure development, commercial development, and the increasingly positive construction sector.

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“Skanska will complete its development at Seven Acres in Cambridge, but has no plans to break ground on any further developments of its own for the foreseeable future. Skanska is committed to and will continue to provide full customer service to its buyers at Seven Acres.

"Skanska is not leaving the residential market. It will continue to use its residential expertise in mixed-use and prime residential developments, working with a range of private and public sector clients and partners.

“The proposal to reduce our investment in consumer-facing residential development is part of an overall business plan. This also includes recent major investments by Skanska in the UK market, including speculative office developments in London and Bristol, the redevelopment of our works site in Doncaster, the acquisition of Atkins’ highway maintenance business and ongoing investment in PFI schemes such as the redevelopment of Barts and The London.

"Skanska has full confidence in the quality of the homes it is building in the UK. We believe we have set a new benchmark standard in what is possible in the construction of sustainable homes.

“The skills, experience and achievements of the team are highly valued by Skanska. With this proposal, a small number of roles will be put at risk, but we plan to keep most of the team to support other activities. We anticipate that, among the 25 people involved in this part of the business, four roles will be put at immediate risk, but this is subject to a period of consultation.”

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