Leading commercial developer the Horncastle Group PLC has appointed a new Managing Director with ambitious plans to grow the business beyond its East Yorkshire heartland.

Tom Horncastle joins the business after a highly successful career in London’s investment and property sector, culminating in a six-year stint as an investment manager at Oxenwood Real Estate LLP.

Here, he established the UK and European acquisition platform of the firm, partnering with insurance, private equity and sovereign partners, to deploy nearly £1bn capital, across 50 deals, into the logistics sector.

Tom said: “Industrial and logistics will remain a key focus of the business. The short-term shortage of warehouse space in major cities, accelerated by the pandemic, continues to grow.

“In the longer term, structural changes in urbanization and increasing e-commerce demand will only make this shortage more acute.”

Tom added the Horncastle Group currently has a portfolio of employment land capable of delivering around 1.8m sqft of manufacturing and warehousing space in Yorkshire.

However, he said the business has plans to branch out into the wider UK, with a further off-market pipeline of 150 acres capable of delivering 2.30m sq ft across sites in the Midlands, London and the South East.

“As the business has grown, naturally, our pipeline and scale of projects, has grown too,” he said.

“As such, working with like-minded institutional capital will be essential to accelerate the delivery of these short and medium-term opportunities.

“It’s an exciting time – the company is fully integrated with a combined track record of delivering projects all the way from Strategic Land to best-in-class ESG rated development, and everything in between; and we can deliver this with the pace and nimbleness of a private property company but now with the governance and risk management expertise expected by third party, institutional capital. It’s a unique offering and something we’re very excited about.”

Group Chair Andrew Horncastle MBE said it was a proud moment to see Tom take over the reins of the company.

He said: “With his experiences of working across UK and Europe, often in joint venture, Tom will bring a network of contacts and expertise to the business.

“This will allow us to spread our wings. I’m very excited to see where he will take the Horncastle Group in the future.”

Outgoing Managing Director Ian Hodges will remain with the business and work on existing projects including Brough South.

He said “It is the right time for Tom to join the business.  I am delighted and looking forward to working with him.

“The demand for manufacturing and logistics is the strongest it has ever been and there is investment appetite to buy into the sector.

“It is an exciting market and with a pipeline of land, the business is well placed to deliver new development for our tenant customers.”

As well as appointing Tom as Managing Director, Simon Lunt, former Managing Partner and Head of Corporate at Hull-based Solicitors Gosschalks joins the Horncastle Group’s board as a Non-Executive Director.

Simon will bring his broad corporate and commercial experience to the company. He said “I am delighted to be joining the Horncastle team at this exciting time. I will be focused on assisting the team with the strategic development of the business.”

(L-R) The Horncastle PLC senior management team – David Watson, Development Director; Ian Hodges, Director; Andrew Horncastle MBE, Group Chair; Tom Horncastle, newly appointment Managing Director; and Simon Lunt, newly appointed Non-Executive Director.