Belfast Telegraph

Business Growth Fund helps Braidwater build for future

By Margaret Canning

A family-run house building firm in Co Londonderry has become the first company in Northern Ireland to win a multi-million investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF).

Braidwater, run by father and son Patrick and Joe McGinnis, has been in business for around 40 years.

The amount of the investment hasn’t been confirmed but BGF, which was set up in 2011 to provide growth capital to SMEs, usually makes investments of between £2m and £10m. 

Braidwater is currently working on developments at Bedford Meadows in Antrim, Drenagh Park in Limavady, Leighinmohr Crescent in Ballymena and Fort Manor in Dundonald.

Mike Stansfield, former boss of English builder David Wilson Homes, has been appointed by Braidwater as a non-executive chairman following an introduction made by BGF.

And investor director Paddy Graham, and Ciaran McGivern, formerly of Bank of Ireland, have also joined the board.

Unlike traditional private equity funding, BGF makes long-term investments and holds non-controlling stakes in the companies it supports.

Braidwater managing director Joe McGinnis said: “This is an exciting new stage of development for Braidwater and we are delighted to have secured the investment. The business is growing and we have seen strong demand from our current developments and have a healthy pipeline of land for acquisition.”

And he said other family SMEs in Northern Ireland should take advantage of opportunities presented by funders like BGF. The fund backs private and AIM-listed companies that typically have revenues of between £5m-£100m, across all sectors except financial services.

John Armstrong, managing director of the Construction Employers Federation (CEF), welcomed the investment.

“This is great news because the fundamental thing is that we are not building enough houses in Northern Ireland,” he said.

Last year, around 5,200 new houses were built in Northern Ireland, said Mr Armstrong, compared to 11,300 at the previous peak of housebuilding around 2006. But it is picking up, with 2,688 new homes registered in Northern Ireland between January and September this year — up 38.5% compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the National House Building Council.

Belfast Telegraph