Tom Bloxham addresses packed audience at BusinessDesk.Com property lunch

Tom Bloxham speaks at property lunch

Businessman Tom Bloxham spoke on a wide range of subjects at a property professionals lunch organised by TheBusinessDesk.Com.

The founder and chairman of Urban Splash – who started out life selling posters from a stall at Manchester’s Afflecks Palace – was asked questions on subjects which ranged from Brexit to his favourite song.

An audience of around 70 people attended the lunch which was held at the Restaurant Bar and Grill in Manchester city centre.

The firm has been celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and is already looking to expand into new areas.

Its latest project is designing modular homes specifically designed for customers’ needs.

Tom Bloxham said: “Most of the things we buy have become cheaper and better. If you look at cars, they are cheaper and more efficient now than ever before.

“You can order the car you want and ask for the colour, model and engine size.  But for some reason when it comes to houses they have become more and more expensive but the quality has not improved.

“We want to do something about that at Urban Splash.”

Mr Bloxham also talked about the property and construction boom in the North West.

Tom Bloxham

He said: “Apart from London, Manchester has more cranes on the skyline than any other city in Europe.

“There might be a little bit of over-supply but this is now a great city with great cultural assets, a great local authority and two great football teams and an expanding workforce.

“The difference between now and 2008 is the fact that there are some big institutions financing the property sector.”

The man who helped create the Northern Quarter and was one of the first developers who believed in bringing people back to live in city centres believes that there is even more scope for growth.

He said: “I have always believed in the future. The best project we are involved in has always been the next one we are working on.

“Everything we have worked on we have always been told it will not work but we pressed ahead anyway.”

Mr Bloxham also talked about the importance of the rented sector when it comes to dealing with housing problems.

He said: “In most countries renting is now first choice for most people. For us at Urban Splash it is about building a stock of high-quality rental properties that people can afford.

“We have a situation where the poorest and most vulnerable people in society are living in the worst quality housing. That system is being subsidised by the state and that cannot be right.”

There was a warning for the high street from the developer following the recent spate of administrations.

Mr Bloxham revealed that he had a short-lived attempt at being in a band but his first love has always been business.

And he told the audience the name for his company came from a spilt drink in the pub.

He was also pressed on the issue of Brexit and the effect it is likely to have on the region’s economy.

He said: “I have always lived in hope for the day when we live in a world that does not have borders.

“The world is becoming a much smaller place because of technology and the last thing we should be doing is creating even more barriers.”

And in answer to the question regarding his favourite song Tom revealed it was not a Mancunian anthem.

Instead he opted for Too Much Too Young by The Specials which he claimed summed up his character,

The Property Professionals Lunch was sponsored by JMW solicitors and Together Money.