The Richardson’s have been the big guns of Midland property development for many years. Now they’re supporting the real big guns of the Army and the Royal Navy.
The Richardsons have criticised what they describe as the “lukewarm” reception given to British serviceman in the conflicts of Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly those injured in the line of duty.
In further support for our armed forces, the family-run Black Country business sponsored the Territorial Army’s 100th anniversary celebrations at Hagley Hall, attended by more than 500 of the region’s great and good. And there’s speculation that the Richardsons may sponsor elements of Britain’s planned pair of aircraft carriers – HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
Business leaders from all over the UK turned out in their hundreds to pay their respects to Don Richardson who died in September 2007, aged 77. His death brought to an end the legendary partnership of Don and his younger twin Roy Richardson who founded the hugely successful Richardson Group of companies which now develops property internationally.
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 is now run by Lee, Martyn and Carl Richardson. Lee and Carl were both featured in property Week’s “Hot 100” of under-35s who would dominate the property headlines of the future.
European activities alone – Richardsons is active in Italy, Holland, Germany, Austria and Hungary – add up to an impressive £3 billion-plus portfolio managed from its headquarters in Oldbury.
The company is expanding into North America with a £50 million joint venture deal with locally-based Carillion Plc to develop prime sites in the fast expanding Greater Toronto area of Canada.
The company has also taken a 50 per cent stake in a £600 million new town project which will resurrect the site of Scotland’s iconic Ravenscraig steelworks. Locally, Richardsons is investing in a £75 million shopping development in Worcester.
The company is also adding its support to the community, being a sponsor of the city academy intiative in Birmingham to transform Kings Norton High School into an academic college.
The main Richardson company, Swiftfire, has assets of more than £150 million. The family also has significant interests in other property and non-property related businesses and despite falls in property values our £460 million valuation is a conservative one.