Vermont appoints new MD and targets PRS expansion

Liverpool-based development and construction group Vermont has promoted Chris Gallagher to the role of managing director as it unveils its growth plans. Tony McDonough reports

Vermont
From left, Vermont directors Mark Colton, Mark Connor and Chris Gallagher. Picture by Gareth Jones

 

Liverpool property development and construction group Vermont has appointed a new managing director as it looks to expand into the PRS (private rented sector) market.

Chris Gallagher moves up at the firm, which he joined in April 2015. During that time he oversaw the delivery of major project including Regenda’s £21m residential development, Plaza 1821, at Liverpool Waters and the £200m X1 Media City scheme in Salford.

Vermont was founded in 2004 and is led by chief executive Mark Connor. The business operates across the residential and student accommodation sectors. Mr Gallagher said: “My new role will bring clarity for our team and our customers as we continue to deliver major projects and grow the business.

“Vermont does have a fairly unique approach and a developer-contractor business model. We have negotiated pipeline of work as opposed to just being a traditional contracting business. Our clients can draw on our extensive experience in the sector.”

Mr Gallagher is originally from the Gateshead in the North East. He  started his career at Wimpey Construction and spent over a decade at HBG (BAM Construct UK) and then GB Complete Building Solutions before joining Vermont. 

Plaza 1821
Plaza 1821 at Princes Dock in Liverpool Waters

 

Vermont is now looking to adapt its businesses model. Mr Conner explained: “To date our growth has been reliant on the sales market, where the funding model has relied heavily on sales to UK or foreign investors.

“This market is cyclical and we identified as far back as 2015, when Chris joined the business, that the challenge would be ensuring growth beyond the current sales cycle.

“Vermont’s broad range of skills from inception to completion, coupled with our track record of delivery of large multi-phased residential projects is extremely attractive to institutional investors, particularly those interested in the PRS sector, and we see plenty of scope to expand and grow the business in this growing sector.”

He added: “Chris will bring his energy and determination to developing the construction business and this will create some time for me to look at opportunities across the group’s activities more generally while continuing to support Chris and the team.”

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