Friday 16 May 2014

New member of Team Green!

We've got a new member of Team Green on the farm.
The latest addition is a 'baby girl' donkey.
People who know me well will appreciate that I love my donkeys - I can talk on the subject for hours!
We haven't named the new arrival yet, so if anyone has any suggestions, just tweet me on @kevingreenwales
The  donkey foel arrived while I was on my travels in Spain.
Grateful thanks go to Bob for making sure it was a safe delivery.

Great day hosting the Welsh property ‘Oscars’

Excellent day yesterday hosting the Welsh property ‘Oscars’ at the SWALEC cricket stadium in Cardiff.
The RICS Wales Awards is designed to showcase the very best in building projects throughout Wales.
It was great to meet up with friends old and new, including representatives from Cardiff's Women in Property business network.
What made the day 'extra special' was the fact that there were awards for my 'home patch' - the overall prize for Llanelly House and a category award for the new Ffwrnes Theatre.
Just goes to show that 'west is best'.

Here is the press release from the event -

Llanelly House is the big winner at Welsh property ‘Oscars’

A total of 36 of Wales’s most impressive property schemes battled it out at The Swalec Stadium in Cardiff for top honours at the RICS Wales Awards 2014, with the restored Llanelly House, Llanelli, crowned ‘Project of the Year.’
The prestigious annual contest celebrates inspirational initiatives in the land, property and construction sectors.
The event was hosted by Kevin Green, South Wales entrepreneur and millionaire who proved a huge hit with the audience of over 180 property professionals.
The winners of the six individual categories are:
  • Building Conservation: Llanelly House, Llanelli
    Community Benefit: Penarth Pier, Penarth
    Design Through Innovation: The Crescent, Cardiff
    Regeneration: Harbourside, Port Talbot
    Residential Property: The Crescent, Cardiff
    Tourism & Leisure: Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli
The title of Project of the Year is presented to the scheme felt by the judges to represent the most outstanding example of the region’s property expertise. Llanelly House in Llanelli triumphed over what the nine-strong panel of judges said was an exceptionally strong field of entries.
The judges felt Llanelly House exhibited the highest ideals that one could expect to be incorporated in the repair and refurbishment of an important listed building. The newly restored Grade 1 listed Georgian Town House provides a major visitor attraction. This building has featured in a number of TV programmes and it is clear to see why this building is so important to the town of Llanelli.
Built in 1714, Llanelly House is the only Grade I listed building in the town of Llanelli, South Wales.
Commenting on the Project of the year, Kevin Thomas, Chair of the Awards judging panel, said: “Llanelly House is a more than deserving winner of the RICS Wales Awards Project of the Year 2014. It absolutely embodies the values that the judges look for in a development – it serves its users in a way that few other projects could and since reopening, has proven itself at the heart of the community.
“This project exhibits the highest ideals that one could expect to be incorporated in the repair and refurbishment of an important listed building. Both the thought process behind the planning of the works and the execution of those works have given rise to an end result lauded not only by the local population and visitors from near and far, but also by the national media. Those involved should be justly proud of their accomplishments.”
A Highly Commended certificates was also awarded by the judges to the refurbishment of Canolfan Colwyn (Community Benefit category); a project which impressed but was just pipped to the post by the winners.
Kevin Thomas adds: “The RICS Awards are a unique opportunity to celebrate the best in what Wales has to offer in land, property, construction and environmental projects. Competition is always stiff and this year was no exception. All of the shortlisted projects could have been worthy winners. Buildings have a unique ability to bring communities together, and the awards reflect that fact.
“The RICS Awards are intended to celebrate projects that are more than just bricks and mortar, but will make a real difference to the communities and locales they serve. They provide a boost to not just the local economy, but the local community as well.”
Winners in four of the categories (Building Conservation, Community Benefit, Design & Innovation and Regeneration) will now automatically be entered into the national RICS Awards, where they will compete against other leading projects from across the UK later this year.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Building Conservation
Winner: Llanelly House, Llanelli
The judges said: “Llanelly House is a fantastic example of a very well restored building to the highest standards which has resulted in the project being named as the winner of the Conservation category 2014.”

Community Benefit sponsored by Hays recruiting experts in Property
Winner: Penarth Pier Pavilion, Penarth
Highly Commended: Referb of Canolfan Colwyn, Colwyn Bay
The judges said: “It is clearly evident that the project has not only been driven by community support, but that it also thrives as a community driven project outside of central/local Government funding. This award recognises outstanding achievement in providing a facility which directly benefits the local community; this project was fully deserving of the award.”

Design Through Innovation sponsored by Forbo flooring systems
Winner: The Crescent, Cardiff
The judges said: “The Crescent, Pontcanna, Cardiff is an outstanding stylish gated development of 12 new luxury town houses, the first eco-friendly homes built in the heart of the City. The houses are designed with minimum of up-keep in mind and more importantly, very efficient running costs for occupiers, having achieved Grade B Energy Performance Certification. The Crescent is a ‘Jewel in the Crown’ for new developments through its design and innovation.”

Regeneration sponsored by Clarks legal
Winner: Harbourside, Port Talbot
The judges said: “Harbourside is a project spun off the development of the new Inner Link Road into Port Talbot from M4 Junction 38. This statement does not really do the project justice, it not only provides state of the art office and laboratory space as a part of phase one, but has triggered additional investment and interests as diverse as Network Rail committing to developing Port Talbot Parkway as a regional hub and residential development in the centre of the town previously disregarded by the Housebuilders. All this has been achieved through a pleasingly aesthetic design that was built to the highest sustainable standards at a commendably good build cost. It shows what can be achieved through a considered design and project management process.”

Winner: The Crescent, Cardiff
The judges said: “The Crescent, Cardiff is an exciting stylish development of 12 new eco-luxury town houses, tucked away in a tranquil gated oasis off a tree lined established Victorian ‘hustle and bustle’ vibrant area. The light and airy spacious accommodation is combined with ‘state of the art’ quality fitments, providing luxury homes, arguably the finest money can buy!”

Tourism & Leisure
Winner: Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli

The judges said: “The theatre in Ffwrnes is the key building that has regenerated what was a very run down part of Llanelli. Further to this building being completed it has attracted a great number of further buildings commissioned and erected with private finance that has created considerable interest and tourism to the area.”

Project of the Year sponsored by Redrow
Winner: Llanelly House, Llanelli

About RICS
RICS is the world’s leading qualification when it comes to professional standards in land, property and construction.
In a world where more and more people, governments, banks and commercial organisations demand greater certainty of professional standards and ethics, attaining RICS status is the recognised mark of property professionalism.
Over 100 000 property professionals working in the major established and emerging economies of the world have already recognised the importance of securing RICS status by becoming members.
RICS is an independent professional body originally established in the UK by Royal Charter. Since 1868, RICS has been committed to setting and upholding the highest standards of excellence and integrity – providing impartial, authoritative advice on key issues affecting businesses and society. RICS is a regulator of both its individual members and firms enabling it to maintain the highest standards and providing the basis for unparalleled client confidence in the sector.

Photo slideshow of the event below -

Friday 2 May 2014

Heading to Amsterdam for a special business and property training seminar

On my way to Amsterdam later today for a special one-day intensive business and property intensive training seminar.
The event is organised in conjunction with Succesgids.
It's my third trip to the Netherlands for training courses in the last 12 months.
The previous ones have obviously been a big hit with delegates.
Looking forward to meeting friends old and new.


My views on Ed Miliband's rent cap proposal

The media guys have been chasing me for my views on Labour leader Ed Miliband's rent cap proposals.
Here is the latest press release on the topic from 'Team Green'.

UK's largest private landlord Kevin Green warns against cap on rents

The UK's largest private sector housing landlord, Kevin Green, has warned against a Labour Party proposal to cap rent increases.
"Meddling with the free market always leads to fallout in some shape or form," the 50-year-old social entrepreneur said.
"I know some people will say, 'Yes, he is bound to argue against rentals caps as he is a landlord.' But it is not all about self-interest. It is about common-sense.
"I've built up years of experience in the marketplace in private sector housing - so I know what works and what doesn't work.
"Believe you me, this Labour Party idea won't work.
"It is a policy that the Labour Party thinks will score them brownie points with the general public.
"But I simply don't agree with capping the rent market.
"Whenever a free market supply and demand is meddled with, there is always fallout, which will inevitably cost the Government more money.
"It makes no commercial sense whatsoever to cap rents to private tenants.
"A natural supply and demands market should be allowed to prevail."
Mr Green added: "The important thing in the housing market is to ensure that we have responsible landlords who care about their tenants and work hard to provide safe and secure accommodation for people who need it."
Labour leader Ed Miliband said this week that a future Labour government would cap rent increases in the private sector and scrap letting fees to estate agents to give a "fairer deal" to tenants.
Mr Miliband pledged to end "excessive" rent rises when he launched his party's campaign for local council and European elections.
The Conservatives responded quickly and said evidence from other countries suggested rent controls lead to "poorer quality accommodation, fewer homes being rented and ultimately higher rents".
Mr Green said the rental issue was simply a matter of what was best for the marketplace.
But he added: "I do agree with the Labour proposals to scrap letting fees to estate agents to give a "fairer deal" to tenants.
"Some letting agents are charging excessive amounts and something needs to be done to rein them in."


BBC story on Ed Miliband's plans -