Bob Weston

Bob Weston

Areas of Interest

Business, Engineering

Honorary Award

Profile and Citation for Honorary of the University, Bob Weston

Biography

After learning his trade in the building industry and a successful stint in a variety of roles at Fairview Homes, Bob Weston set up his own business, Weston Homes, in 1987, starting in a room above his own garage at home. In the four decades since then, his company has remained an independent, family-run business - which means Bob's original ethos still runs through the company, despite its tremendous growth and the lure of high-value potential mergers.

From its first project, a four bedroomed detached house in Essex, Weston Homes has expanded into Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Kent. There are large high-rise developments in London's Docklands and Battersea, and business centres in Stansted and Colchester, with prices for a Weston Home ranging from as little as £115,000 to over a million pounds.

Ethical values and a real commitment to quality have won Weston Homes countless awards. The company was named 'Housebuilder of the Year' by What House? in 2010, and 'Best Medium Housebuilder' for three years running between 2008 and 2010. In 2011, Weston Homes was also awarded silver for 'Best Medium Housebuilder' and won Gold for 'Best Interior Design'. And last year it followed this up by becoming the 'London Evening Standard New Homes Awards Winner 2012'.

In 2011, the company took a sales road show to Hong Kong, mainland China and Macau in support of its new Veritas development in Cambridge, aiming for the international student market. Also, in 2012 the company secured £120 million of funding to develop a wide selection of new homes after completing a refinancing deal with a banking syndicate led by HSBC. The company's ambitious approach delivered an income of over £88 million in the financial year ending 2012, which saw operating profit up by 62%.

Bob Weston is keen to share the success of his business and makes a point of supporting charities within the communities where Weston Homes builds developments.



Citation

"Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to read the citation for Bob Weston for the award of Doctor of Doctor or Technology, honoris causa.

Anyone who drives along the A12 between Chelmsford and Colchester cannot fail to notice Weston Homes Community Stadium, home to Colchester United Football Club and a strong indicator of the impression Bob Weston has made in the area. However, the company's impact extends considerably further across the South-East of England.

From its first project, a four-bedroomed detached house in Essex, Weston Homes has expanded into Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Kent. There are large high-rise developments in London's Docklands and Battersea, and business centres in Stansted and Colchester, with prices for a Weston Home ranging from as little as £115,000 to over a million pounds.

After learning his trade in the building industry and a successful stint in a variety of roles at Fairview Homes, Bob set up his own business, Weston Homes, in 1987, starting in a room above his own garage at home. In the four decades since then, his company has remained an independent, family-run business - which means Bob's original ethos still runs through the company, despite its tremendous growth and the lure of high-value potential mergers.

Bob's plan was to provide affordable, expertly crafted homes in developments which improve the areas in which they are located - often regenerating brownfield sites in a way that is eco-friendly, sustainable and sympathetic to the established community. The company has even built an experimental eco-house in Chigwell to trial a range of energy-saving technologies ahead of the Government's 2016 Zero-Carbon deadline.

Ethical values and a real commitment to quality have won Weston Homes countless awards. The company was named 'Housebuilder of the Year' by What House? in 2010, and 'Best Medium Housebuilder' for three years running between 2008 and 2010. In 2011, Weston Homes was also awarded silver for 'Best Medium Housebuilder' and won Gold for 'Best Interior Design'. And last year it followed this up by becoming the 'London Evening Standard New Homes Awards Winner 2012'.

Despite a stagnant construction market, Bob has ensured Weston Homes has managed to remain proactive and to expand. In 2011, the company took a sales road show to Hong Kong, mainland China and Macau in support of its new Veritas development in Cambridge, aiming for the international student market. And in 2012 the company secured £120 million of funding to develop a wide selection of new homes after completing a refinancing deal with a banking syndicate led by HSBC. The company's ambitious approach delivered an income of over £88 million in the financial year ending 2012, which saw operating profit up by 62%.

Bob Weston is keen to share the success of his business and makes a point of supporting charities within the communities where Weston Homes builds developments. A prime example is Colchester, home to one of the UK's largest military garrisons, where Weston Homes plc recognises its relationship with the local community by supporting Help for Heroes and Armed Forces Day. And in 2012, Weston Homes made charitable donations totalling £132,000. The business also sponsors many events, including the Golf Competition for St Clare Hospice, the PGA East Anglian Open, the Weston Homes Community Stadium for Colchester United, the Hertfordshire Rugby Football Union, the Concert in the Park at Southend, and the Colchester Carnival.

For his contributions to the regional economy, to the local community and to the environment, Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present Bob Weston for the award of Doctor of Technology, honoris causa".