Newly appointed Director of Investment Martyn Blackman is confident that we’ll deliver our ambitious programmes to invest in our existing homes and develop new ones.
Martyn has joined Merlin from Aster Group where he worked for ten years, most recently as Development Director. At Aster he oversaw a development programme delivering 1,000 affordable homes a year including hundreds of properties for shared ownership and a programme of 250 homes for private sale.
He brings a wealth of housing experience with him, not just from his time at Aster, but also from the seven years he served as a Board member at Bristol Community Housing Foundation. Now he’s planning on using this experience to continue growing our homebuilding and asset management programmes.
“Merlin is a relatively young organisation and I felt this was an opportunity to build on the skills that I already have, to broaden my experience and to work on the strategic leadership of the business,” he said. “Although there’s a difference in the size of the two organisations, a lot of the issues are the same in Aster and Merlin. In some cases Aster is further ahead and in some cases Merlin is. I’m looking forward to bringing my experience into Merlin and driving things forward.
“There are some challenging targets that we have to meet, but the Property Investment and Development teams have done really well already and it’s a strong foundation to build on for the future. We want to grow, but now it’s a time to be more strategic and make sure we’re growing in the right way, so we can give the business the confidence that we are able to deliver all of the work in our programmes. There’s a lot of experience in the teams and I’m confident we can deliver everything the business expects of us.”
Over the past four years our development programme has increased from building just three homes in 2014 to completing 131 new properties last year. By 2019 we’re aiming to expand this further so that we’re building 300 new homes every year.