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Highlands' largest housebuilder is snapped up in surprise deal

By Gavin Musgrove

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Signed, sealed and delivered... (left to right) Sandy Grant (Tulloch Homes Managing Director), Innes Smith (Springfield Chief Executive) , Sandy Adam (Springfield Chairman) and George Fraser (Tulloch Homes).
Signed, sealed and delivered... (left to right) Sandy Grant (Tulloch Homes Managing Director), Innes Smith (Springfield Chief Executive) , Sandy Adam (Springfield Chairman) and George Fraser (Tulloch Homes).

Rapidly-expanding Springfield Properties has completed the acquisition of the Highlands' largest housebuilding company.

Inverness-based Tulloch Homes has been bought by the Elgin-based firm for a deal worth £56.4m.

The purchase completed today will see Tulloch Homes brought into the Springfield Group with both companies continuing to provide a mix of high-quality housing across the region.

Tulloch Homes is currently building 110 homes near the centre of Aviemore and has been one of the biggest home builders in Badenoch and Strathspey in recent years.

The company also has projects on the go in Newtonmore and Carrbridge.

Established in Moray and housebuilding since the 1990s, Springfield has grown to become one of Scotland’s leading developers of private and affordable homes.

At one time the company had been lined up to build at An Camas Mor but that later fell through.

The company already has an established presence in Inverness through its popular Drumossie site, but it is now in a position to accelerate its geographical expansion.

Bosses have said the deal also allows the Springfield Group to reinforce its supply chain capabilities, creating new jobs through access to the local labour market and subcontractors, while also building on its successful apprentice and training programme.

Tulloch Homes will continue to operate under its own brand, with its senior management team and existing staff structures remaining in place. Longstanding chief executive, George Fraser, who has been at the helm of Tulloch for many years, will be retiring.

The company will now be led by the newly appointed managing director, Sandy Grant, who has been with Tulloch Homes for 18 years.

Innes Smith, chief executive officer of Springfield Group, said: “Springfield and Tulloch are two companies founded in the North of Scotland which share similar values and aspirations to build excellent homes and create sustainable communities in Inverness, the Highlands and beyond.

“It is a housebuilder with a fantastic reputation and a close bond with the local community. It is also led by an experienced management team which has delivered excellent housing developments in Inverness and the Highlands and has set a high bar for its outstanding customer service.

“Inverness and the Highlands offer great places to live. Inverness is also Scotland’s fastest growing city and there is an ever-increasing demand for quality housing in the area.

“While Springfield has been building a presence across the city in recent years, working alongside Tulloch we can increase the delivery of high-quality homes that meet the city’s needs.

“We have always admired Tulloch, and its people, and we look forward to welcoming them into the Springfield Group and continuing to grow our businesses together.

“I would also like to thank all those who have been working behind the scenes to help us conclude this deal, including our funding partner, the Bank of Scotland, and EY’s Corporate Finance team which structured the acquisition.”

Mr Grant said: “Joining the Springfield Group opens an exciting new chapter for the company.

“Being a part of this larger group will create new opportunities for Tulloch, allowing for greater knowledge sharing and skills development amongst our people, whilst retaining the diversification in brands to offer choice to home buyers across the Highlands in and around Inverness.

“This is a big moment for Tulloch, and I look forward to working alongside Springfield’s management team to drive forward growth and progression for our company.”

This is the fourth business acquisition for Springfield Properties, following the purchase of Redrow’s Scottish operations in 2011 as well as the acquisition of Dawn Homes and Walker Group in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

As part of the Springfield Group, Tulloch will benefit from Springfield’s sector-leading experience in the field of sustainability, which includes becoming the first housebuilder in the UK to provide the infrastructure for electric vehicle charging cables as standard with its new build private homes, as well as being one of the few developers to strategically use air source heat pumps across its developments.

In addition to being one of Scotland’s most innovative developers in the industry, Springfield recently won the Employee Wellbeing Award at the Highland Business Awards.

It is also a major employer of apprentices, with 18 per cent of its staff in an apprentice programme or some form of formal training.

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