THE Lotus Group has completed the second stage of a £20million investment in the regeneration of a landmark site in Banbridge.
The investment by The Lotus Group, one of Northern Ireland’s best established property solutions companies includes the relocation of the company’s headquarters to the listed building which formerly housed the Down Shoes factory.
The iconic art deco building has been carefully refurbished to create a central and fully functional new base for The Lotus Group’s management team and support staff, and offers additional space for further commercial and residential development.
The flagship site on Banbridge’s Newry Road is also home to the heritage inspired Lotus Village - a private housing development by the company. Work has now commenced on the second phase of the project which includes a range of high end semi-detached homes, townhouses and apartments.
The regeneration programme and HQ move signals a new developmental phase in the strategic direction of The Lotus Group, resulting in a re-focus on key business sectors and the provision of added value services. This includes the private nursing home sector, where, based on years of expertise, The Lotus Group has moved away from the standard ‘landlord-tenant’ model to the provision of a quality-driven ‘managed asset’.
This is reflected in its selection of Countrywide Care Homes as a strategic partner for its nine nursing homes operating throughout the UK. By successfully managing the transition of the nursing homes from the failed Southern Cross Group to Countrywide, The Lotus Group has secured a total of 590 beds, underpinned 450 jobs, and delivered a significantly enhanced quality of service to residents. This includes three nursing homes in Northern Ireland.
According to Chief Executive Brian Henning, adopting a longer term view to service delivery sets The Lotus Group apart from others in the sector: “The past few years have proven that those who understand the property market in its entirety and are prepared to take a long-term, strategic view, are best positioned to manage the market in the future. Despite the recent economic upheaval we believe there remain many opportunities which demand creative and strategic property solutions. This is essential to support the recovery and growth of the NI economy as it moves out of recession.
“Throughout the last 20 years we’ve continued to invest in the best people, consolidated our strengths in key market sectors, created partnerships which add value, and utilised our expertise to deliver a strengthened and stable property portfolio which meets the needs of the changing economy.
Looking to the future, Mr Henning added: “We’ve honed our business offering and have a highly experienced, professional team in place. Through prudent management we’re ideally positioned to deliver robust, professional and service-led solutions of which our new partnership with Countrywide Care Homes is an excellent example.”
Adding his support, David Simpson, MP for Upper Bann said: “This investment by the Lotus Group is a good news story for the local property sector and represents a positive economic development for the area as a whole. It proves that even through an economic downturn, strategic planning, entrepreneurial spirit and strong leadership can deliver long term results.”