2021: An award-winning year of rapid expansion
And just like that, we’re getting ready to say goodbye to yet another year.
2021 was yet another extraordinary year for the global economy – one which saw the construction sector lead the UK’s bounce back from Covid-19, world leaders meet at COP26 to discuss policies that will help reduce global warming, and annual inflation rates reach their highest levels since the aftermath of the global financial crash.
But last year also proved to be yet another milestone year for ilke Homes, in which we launched the UK’s first mainstream zero-carbon home to the market – a product that will help construction remain productive, reduce emissions from the UK’s housing stock and cut consumer bills to nill in the face of skyrocketing energy bills.
Known as ilke ZERO, the offering, launched by Mail Online in July, is a culmination of five years of intensive research and development. It means that ilke Homes is a step closer to reaching our ultimate goal of transforming house building by delivering highly energy-efficient homes at scale and pace. Despite being founded just three years ago, we’re now capable of delivering up to 2,000 zero-carbon homes a year.
Not resting on our laurels, we also announced in the same month that we had been chosen by Boots UK to deliver a 622-home scheme in Beeston, Nottingham – our biggest to date. The development, which will eventually become the UK’s largest low-rise modular housing scheme, marked the first time the FTSE-100 firm had released any part of its Nottingham site holdings for housing, demonstrating the company’s trust in us to deliver a well-designed site with sustainability at its core. John Hickman, our development director, spoke with BBC Radio Nottingham about the announcement.
Just a few months later, in September, The Times broke the story that we had raised another £60 million. The investment, which will help us on our journey to become a top ten housebuilder in the UK within the next five years, saw the public and private sectors join forces to intervene in the housing crisis by creating meaningful supply-side incentives to increase house building capacity. Homes England, The Guinness Partnership (a long-standing client), and Middleton Enterprises were among the investors.
As our company reached new heights, we realised the need to strengthen our senior leadership team so that we are well-led through our rapid expansion.
April saw us appoint Stephen Stone, the former CEO of FTSE-250 housebuilder Crest Nicholson, as a board member. A month or so later, Patrick Bergin, who succeeded Stone as the volume house builder’s CEO in 2016, joined as our chief financial officer. Backed by their years of experience in public markets and at the helm of one of the UK’s biggest businesses, Stone and Bergin will be instrumental in the strategic management of our rapidly growing business, while also ensuring modular housing continues its ascent – as Stone mentioned in his interview with Bloomberg Radio.
And to top off all of this great activity, the last three months of 2021 saw us win two awards – the PropTech Startup and Scale-up Europe Awards and the Digital Construction Award and Building’s ceremony – while being highly commended by Property Week’s RESI committee for the publication’s Climate Change Initiative – Residential award.
With the year drawing to a close and the Christmas break giving us a chance to reflect on what has been a monumental year, we’d like to thank all our team, partners, and members of the local community for making 2021 a year we’ll never forget. Three consecutive years of rapid growth means we will enter 2022 with an order book that exceeds £200 million in value, 52 active sites and a pipeline consisting of over 3,000 homes.