Taylor Wimpey plc (formerly Taylor Woodrow plc) is one of the largest home construction companies in the United Kingdom.

Taylor Wimpey plc
Company typePublic limited company
Founded2007; 17 years ago (2007)
HeadquartersHigh Wycombe, England, UK
Key people
RevenueDecrease £3,514.5 million (2023)[1]
Decrease £467.8 million (2023)[1]
Decrease £349.0 million (2023)[1]

The company was created from the merger of rivals Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey on 3 July 2007.[2] It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. Its headquarters are based in High Wycombe, England.

History edit

Taylor Woodrow edit

Taylor Woodrow was founded in 1921 by 16-year-old Frank Taylor as Taylor, Woodrow Limited. Though Taylor had borrowed money to build two houses in Blackpool, as he was too young to form his own company, his uncle Jack Woodrow lent his name to the business.[3]

In the 1930s, Taylor Woodrow diversified into building temporary hospitals, and thereby moved into general construction.[3] Taylor Woodrow Homes constituted a relatively small part of the business, and with housing sales declining in the following 50 years, at the beginning of the 1980s, Taylor Woodrow Homes was still only building around 500 to 600 houses a year.[4]

In January 2001, Taylor Woodrow acquired Bryant Group, a business founded in Birmingham in 1885 by Chris Bryant, for £556 million,[5] and in October 2003 Taylor Woodrow acquired Wilson Connolly in a cash and shares deal worth £499 million.[6]

George Wimpey edit

A Taylor Wimpey development at Diglis Basin in Worcester

George Wimpey was founded by George Wimpey and Walter Tomes as a stone-working partnership in 1880 in Hammersmith.[3] Tomes would later sell his portion of the business in 1893.[7]

George Wimpey died in 1913 at the age of 58, with his family putting the business up for sale in 1919. Godfrey Way Mitchell bought the firm and decided to retain the Wimpey name.[3] George Wimpey completed its first residential development, the Greenford Park Estate, in 1928.[3]

In the 1970s, George Wimpey became the United Kingdom's largest private housebuilder, selling 106,440 homes in the decade, and in the 1980s, George Wimpey began to reinforce Wimpey Homes as a brand, focusing on compact housing.[8]

In March 1996, George Wimpey acquired McLean Homes, a business founded in 1934 by John McLean, from Tarmac.[9] In August 2001, the business acquired McAlpine Homes from Alfred McAlpine in a £463 million deal,[10] and in October 2002, George Wimpey went on to acquire Laing Homes, a premium housebuilder, from John Laing for £295 million.[11]

Post-merger edit

In September 2008, Vinci bought the operations of Taylor Woodrow Construction[12] and in April 2009, the remaining activities of Taylor Woodrow Construction in Ghana were sold to management.[13] In March 2011, a property investment group backed by private equity firms acquired Taylor Wimpey's American and Canadian housebuilding businesses.[14]

COVID-19 lockdown edit

On 23 March 2020, Taylor Wimpey closed all of its UK sites and sales centres following lockdown measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom.[15] Six weeks after shutting down, the firm claimed to be "the first major housebuilder to unveil a timetable for restarting jobs", and said it would begin remobilisation in England and Wales on 4 May 2020.[16] Taylor Wimpey said that although all its show homes had been closed during the lockdown, sales had continued, growing by 200 homes in comparison to the previous year's figures.[15] The company also ran a manufacturing project during the pandemic to supply "GP surgeries and care homes with reusable 3D printed face visors".[16]

On 2 March 2021, Taylor Wimpey announced it had set aside £125m to pay for cladding and fire safety repairs.[17][18] In April 2023, Taylor Wimpey announced it had consulted staff on a £19m cost-saving plan that resulted in 450 job cuts and cost £8m to implement.[19]

Operations edit

Taylor Wimpey's corporate head office is located at GateHouse in High Wycombe. There are 24 regional offices in the United Kingdom.[20]

Taylor Wimpey was headed by Pete Redfern, CEO of the company from July 2007.[21] In December 2021, he announced plans to step down once a successor had been appointed.[22] In February 2022, Taylor Wimpey announced that group operations director Jennie Daly would take over as CEO in April 2022;[23] she replaced Redfern at the company's AGM on 26 April 2022.[24]

Irene Dorner, chair of Taylor Wimpey since February 2020, is to step down after the company's April 2023 AGM, and will be replaced by former Land Securities executive Robert Noel.[25]

Sponsorships and awards edit

Taylor Wimpey was the main sponsor of St Johnstone F.C., for the football seasons of 2009 to 2011.[26]

In 2016, Taylor Wimpey held its Project 2020 Open Design Competition in an attempt to find a design for a "home of the future". The project was launched in partnership with RIBA.[27]

Controversies edit

Ground rent edit

In 2016, Taylor Wimpey was accused of selling houses and apartments as leasehold that would traditionally have been freehold, with clauses that allowed the ground rent to rise dramatically in later years, making the houses unsaleable.[28] Taylor Wimpey also sold the freehold to other companies, which could then go on to charge exorbitant amounts (up to £40,000) for the freehold.[29] On 19 March 2021, the Competition and Markets Authority ordered Taylor Wimpey to remove terms that double the ground rent of leasehold properties every 10 or 15 years.[30][31][32] In December 2021, Taylor Wimpey formally committed to remove the terms from leasehold contracts and exclude them from new contracts; it would also pay third party freeholders of leases that Taylor Wimpey originally owned to enable their leaseholders to do the same.[33] The CMA's chief executive Andrea Coscelli said Taylor Wimpey's action was "a huge step forward", describing the ground rent rises as "totally unwarranted obligations that lead to people being trapped in their homes, struggling to sell or obtain a mortgage".[33] In August 2022, the CMA ruled that people who had to pay double ground rent would be refunded.[34]

Opposition to government climate change targets on new homes edit

In 2021, Taylor Wimpey was among a 2% minority of respondents to government consultations on future homes standards, opposing plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new homes by 75% to 80% from 2025 and arguing against heat pumps (proposed as replacements for gas boilers). Greenpeace claimed Taylor Wimpey was trying to derail UK climate policy, which the company strongly denied, saying it was concerned about practical implementation of the cuts.[35]

Hackney demolition edit

After structural problems were discovered in the concrete frame of a new £48m residential scheme in Hackney Wick, east London, Taylor Wimpey opted to demolish the block prior to reconstruction of the building. After two years of construction work, nearby residents faced 22 weeks of demolition work; one said "we're now into our third year of incessant and unbearable noise without a single discussion with Taylor Wimpey or any attempts to help/support the residents whose quality of life they are ruining." Taylor Wimpey apologised to local residents.[36]

Competition law edit

In February 2024, Taylor Wimpey was among eight UK house-builders targeted by the Competition and Markets Authority in an investigation into suspected breaches of competition law. The CMA said it had evidence that firms shared commercially sensitive information with competitors, influencing the build-out of sites and the prices of new homes.[37]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Results for the year ended 31 December 2023" (PDF). Taylor Wimpey. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  2. ^ "BBC NEWS – Business – Wimpey and Woodrow agree to merge". bbc.co.uk. 26 March 2007. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Our History". Taylor Wimpey. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  4. ^ Wellings, Fred: Dictionary of British Housebuilders (2006) Troubador. ISBN 978-0-9552965-0-5
  5. ^ "BBC News – BUSINESS – Taylor Woodrow buys up Bryant". bbc.co.uk. 22 January 2001. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  6. ^ Stevenson, Rachel (1 September 2003). "Taylor Woodrow to buy Wilson Connolly". The Independent. Archived from the original on 26 May 2022. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  7. ^ White, Valerie (1980). Wimpey: The first hundred years. George Wimpey. p. 2.
  8. ^ "History". George Wimpey. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  9. ^ British home builders to swap some assets
  10. ^ "BBC News – BUSINESS – Wimpey buys McAlpine building unit". bbc.co.uk. 14 August 2001. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Wimpey takes over again as UK's biggest housebuilder with £300m Laing deal". The Independent. Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Acquisition: Vinci buys Taylor Woodrow". nce.co.uk. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  13. ^ Investor Group acquires Taylor Woodrow of Ghana Ltd from Taylor Wimpey PLC through a leveraged buyout Reuters, 21 April 2009
  14. ^ Taylor Wimpey sells American business for £595m The Telegraph, 31 March 2011
  15. ^ a b Bingley, Lem (23 April 2020). "Taylor Wimpey eyes 80% output amid plans to reopen sites". Construction News. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  16. ^ a b Rogers2020-04-23T07:16:00+01:00, Dave. "Taylor Wimpey to start reopening sites next month". Building. Retrieved 13 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Corker, Sarah (2 March 2021). "Taylor Wimpey sets aside £125m for cladding and fire safety repairs". BBC News. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  18. ^ Hammond, George (2 March 2021). "Taylor Wimpey sets aside £125m to improve building safety". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  19. ^ Morby, Aaron (27 April 2023). "Taylor Wimpey axes 450 staff in cost-cutting push". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 27 April 2023.
  20. ^ "Office Addresses". Taylor Wimpey plc. 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  21. ^ "Monday Interview: Pete Redfern has rebuilt Taylor Wimpey, he doesn't want another bubble". The Telegraph. 30 June 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  22. ^ "Taylor Wimpey chief decides its time to quit". The Construction Index. 8 December 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  23. ^ Morby, Aaron (7 February 2020). "Taylor Wimpey names new chief executive". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  24. ^ "New Taylor Wimpey chief takes over". The Construction Index. 26 April 2022. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  25. ^ "Noel to take Taylor Wimpey chair". The Construction Index. 16 December 2022. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  26. ^ "Football shirt Forum :: Topics in FSC Forum (1/1)". footballshirtculture.com. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  27. ^ "Finalist schemes in Taylor Wimpy house of the future contest". Architects' Journal. 23 November 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  28. ^ "The ground rent scandal that is engulfing new home buyers". The Guardian. 5 November 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  29. ^ "The new-builds catching house buyers in a leasehold property trap". The Guardian. 29 October 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  30. ^ "CMA requires Countryside and Taylor Wimpey to remove leasehold terms". Competition and Markets Authority. 19 March 2021. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  31. ^ Sweney, Mark (19 March 2021). "Taylor Wimpey and Countryside told to remove 'unacceptable' leasehold terms". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  32. ^ "Builders told to remove 'unfair' ground rent terms". BBC News. 19 March 2021. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  33. ^ a b "Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey axes ground rent rises". BBC News. 22 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  34. ^ Media, P. A. (24 August 2022). "Thousands more homeowners in UK to be refunded for doubling ground rents". the Guardian. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
  35. ^ Booth, Robert (5 July 2021). "Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey opposed plans to cut new home emissions". Guardian. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  36. ^ Prior, Grant (5 August 2022). "Demolition starts on half-built £48m Taylor Wimpey flats". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  37. ^ Morby, Aaron (26 February 2024). "Competition probe launched into 8 major house builders". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 26 February 2024.

External links edit