ESTATES GAZETTE OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO PROPERTY AWARD 2016
SPONSORED BY TOGETHER
Chief executive, Urban & Civic
An industry game-changer, Nigel Hugill continues to deliver complex projects across the sector, having fired the starting gun on the transformation of Stratford and the successful 2012 Olympics bid in London. His contribution is worthy of this year’s top accolade
One of the industry’s most cerebral developers, Nigel Hugill is shaping some of the largest housing and employment sites in the country.
Urban & Civic, the developer he co-founded with Robin Butler in 2009, is spearheading four strategic land projects to deliver more than 20,000 homes, several million sq ft of employment space and vital new infrastructure.
They include a former cold war airfield in Alconbury, a former BT longwave transmission centre outside Rugby and the former Waterbeach Barracks and airfield north of Cambridge.
Each one is highly complex and ambitious. But the impeccably dressed Hugill would have it no other way.
After all, this is the man who instigated the Stratford City project on previously derelict rail lands in east London. Those proposals formed a crucial part of London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, paving the way for one of Europe’s largest regeneration projects.
Back then, Hugill was the high-flying chief executive of Elliott Bernerd’s Chelsfield, which listed in 1993. He played key roles not only at Stratford but at Paddington Basin, Bankside, Elephant & Castle, White City and Greenwich Peninsula.
He went on to chair Lendlease’s European operations from 2005 to 2008, helping to secure its roles at Stratford and Elephant & Castle.
Through Urban & Civic, he set out to replicate his game-changing London schemes in the regions, positioning himself to start early in the recovery cycle.
In December 2013, the firm gained consent for 6,200 new homes on the Rugby site, before gaining outline permission in January 2014 for 5,000 more homes at Alconbury Weald, Cambridgeshire.
Then Project Huntsman – named after Hugill’s Savile Row tailor – was set in motion: in May 2014, after a nine-month process, Urban & Civic joined forces with regional developer Terrace Hill. The PLC offspring of the reverse takeover raised £170m the next day in a doubly oversubscribed placing – thanks largely to former Chelsfield colleagues.
Within months, it saw off Taylor Wimpey to develop the £2.2bn Waterbeach Barracks site. Then, it was chosen by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Finance to take on Manchester’s Origin and Ramada sites.
Meanwhile, Hugill is also chair of urban think tank Centre for Cities, a council member of the London School of Economics, chair of the committee for the redevelopment of Tate Britain and chair of the board of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Nigel Hugill’s contribution to UK property – and beyond – is truly outstanding.