business

Rich List 2015: No.9= - Roy Richardson & family

Despite expansion across the world, the Richardson twins will be best remembered for the Merry Hill Shopping Centre.

Roy Richardson

Construction/Property
2015: No.9= - £500m
2014: No.15 - £395m

A major Richardsons project to regenerate part of Durham’s Riverside – Freemans Reach – is the UK’s first city centre development to use hydro power generation following the installation of a huge water turbine.

The Durham transformation – which is securing 800 jobs – is one of the latest projects undertaken by Oldbury-based Richardsons Capital. The regeneration includes new offices for National Savings and Investments. Richardsons is part of a development consortium which includes Carillion Developments and Arlington Real Estate.

Richardsons Capital is also transforming the Lowesmoor area of Worcester – all part of a £75 million regeneration scheme, once again with Carillion as a partner.

The scheme, christened the St Martins Quarter, includes retail outlets, restaurants, leisure facilities and a multi-story car park as well as an ASDA which boasts 125,000 sq ft of floor space and a car park for 500 vehicles. The project has also involved the restoration of one of Worcester’s most historic buildings. The former Majestic Wine Warehouse, which dates back to the Civil War, is being transformed into new offices. In its 350-year history, the building has been an infirmary, a school, a working men’s institute, a plate factory, a carriage works and a shop.

Richardsons has been developing real estate for six decades. The company was founded more than 60 years ago by the Black Country’s most famous twins – Roy, aged 84, and the late Don Richardson, and is now run by sons Lee, Carl and Martyn Richardson.

The company is growing internationally and has developments across many European countries including Hungary, Austria and The Netherlands. A recent investment is the luxurious Palazzo Dorrotaya, one of the most exclusive office addresses in Budapest. Richardsons Capital is joint owner with RDM Gruppo Fingen of Italy. The 1821 building has recently been renovated and is occupied by UBS and global legal services firm Baker & McKenzie. It also includes luxury apartments and shops.

Another Richardsons shopping mall is in Salzburg in Austria. It’s the second project in Austria developed by Richardsons and McArthur Glen. The mall close, to Salzburg city centre and the airport, was designed along the lines of a 1920s shopping arcade with an interior mall and circular galleries on two levels. It has 140 stores including Hugo Boss and Calvin Klein.

Don Richardson died in September 2007, aged 77, bringing an end to the legendary partnership of Don and his younger twin Roy Richardson who founded the hugely successful Richardson Group of companies.

Despite expansion across the world, the Richardson twins will be best remembered for one of their earliest and biggest regeneration developments on their own doorstep – the transformation of the 300 acre former Round Oak Steelworks into the Merry Hill Shopping Centre. This development is one of the biggest retail centres in Europe.

The company has a large property portfolio. The main Richardson company – Swiftfire Holdings – Ltd has net assets worth close to £200 million and continues to grow. Property asset companies in its investment portfolio include Waypoint Asset Management, specialising in retail, Endurance Estates which has completed largely residential development projects worth around £2 billion, and East Street Homes, specialising in obtaining sites and buildings with residential potential.

The company has expanded into North America with a £50 million joint venture deal with locally based Carillion to develop prime sites in the fast expanding Greater Toronto area of Canada.

The company also has a 50 per cent stake in a £600 million new town project which will resurrect the site of Scotland’s iconic Ravenscraig steelworks near Motherwell. This is one of the biggest regeneration projects in Europe. Another Scottish development – in association with Carillion – is a retail park on the site of the former truck plant in Bathgate.

The Richardson Brothers Foundation was established by the family in 2006 to help less fortunate members of society, and has helped many organisations including The Children’s Trust, Cure Leukaemia, the Prince’s Regeneration Trust and Acorns Hospice.

The family has significant interests in other property and non-property related businesses.

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