Business

14 November 2022

Property industry heavyweight Paul Millington has become the new Non-Executive Chair of leading Yorkshire commercial developer Wykeland Group.

Mr Millington, who has held senior Board positions with the Evans Property Group for 27 years, has been appointed to Chair the Wykeland Board as the business delivers a series of major developments vital to regeneration and economic growth across Yorkshire and the Humber.

He is joined on the Wykeland Board by a new Non-Executive Director, Richard Dawson, who brings to the business more than 30 years’ experience in senior financial, commercial and strategic roles.

The new appointments bring further experience and expertise to the Wykeland Board as the Hull-based business delivers some of the biggest and most ambitious developments in its history of more than 50 years.

They include a £150m retail logistics fulfilment centre, for which Wykeland secured planning approval, and a £100m research and development and manufacturing facility for global medical technology business Smith+Nephew, which is going through the planning process.

Both of these developments are at Wykeland’s Melton West business park, west of Hull, which is one of Yorkshire’s premier locations for large-scale investments.

As well as Melton West, Wykeland’s flagship developments include the Bridgehead business park close to the Humber Bridge; the £100m-plus Fruit Market urban village in Hull, in partnership with Beal Homes; the £20m Treadmills mixed-use scheme on the site of the former Northallerton Prison in North Yorkshire; Hull’s @TheDock tech campus; the Flemingate retail and leisure destination in Beverley, East Yorkshire; and Europarc, the premier business location on the south bank of the Humber.

Wykeland Managing Director Dominic Gibbons said: “We’re delighted that two such highly-respected property industry leaders have joined our Board.

“Paul and Richard are well-known figures on the North of England property scene and bring to the Board decades of high-level experience which will support our next phase of growth.

“Their expertise will reinforce our excellent executive team and will be important as we deliver existing developments and capitalise upon the many exciting new opportunities we have identified.”

Mr Millington has held a series of senior Board level positions with Leeds-based Evans Property Group, one of the UK’s leading privately-owned property investment and development companies, with net assets of over £600m.

His roles have included Group Finance Director, Overseas Investment Director and Executive Director responsible for overseeing the growth of the Dakota Hotels business.

He has represented Evans Property Group on the Boards of several joint ventures, including with LendLease, Land Securities PLC, Harworth Group PLC, Kelda Group, CALA Homes, the University of York and the Kodak Pension Fund. He also acted as an Advisor to the Evans Family Trust and sat on the Evans Family Council.

During his career Mr Millington has worked on around £3bn of transactions, including acquisitions, commercial and residential property developments, joint ventures and private equity investments.

Mr Dawson qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1994 and went on to work for Baker Tilly, Equifax and GE Capital. In 2001 he became Finance Director of Highstone Group and then Head of Family Office for the Moore Family in 2007. This position included a key role in the growth of Wilton Developments, the Leeds-based property development business within the Moore Group.

Having gained 20 years of experience running two property-based family offices, Mr Dawson became an advisor and Non-Executive Director in 2020 and now provides this role to a small number of families and businesses in Yorkshire and the North West.

He brings to Wykeland experience of working with family businesses and all aspects of commercial property investment, development and financing, as well as long-term strategic planning. He is also a Governor of Leeds Arts University.

Mr Millington succeeds former William Jackson Food Group Chairman Christopher Oughtred as Chair of Wykeland Group, while Mr Dawson replaces Neil Stothard, Chief Executive of construction products and services specialist Vp PLC, as Non-Executive Director.

Mr Oughtred and Mr Stothard had been in post for 14 and 12 years respectively, during a period of significant growth for Wykeland.

Mr Gibbons said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Christopher and Neil for their exceptional service, helping the business through the period from the passing of our founder Jack Brignall through the tremendous growth of the past decade.

“I’m delighted we have been able to secure excellent replacements for these key roles.”

Mr Millington said: “I’m delighted to be joining one of the region’s leading property developers. Wykeland is a fantastic business, underpinned by strong core values, and its engagement with community stakeholders has enabled it to consistently deliver first-class developments.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Dominic and the executive team and to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

Mr Dawson said: “I’m very excited to be joining Wykeland to assist with the next stage of the company’s growth and I’m looking forward to working with Paul, Dominic and the Wykeland team.

“Wykeland Group has an outstanding reputation for delivering high-quality projects and combining excellent financial results with a strong ethical code and values. With a healthy balance sheet and an enviable development pipeline, Wykeland is in a great position to build for the future.’’

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