Builder to act as joint venture developer and expand into Middle East

Contractor McLaren construction has launched a London-based property division designed to target the retail, student accommodation, hotel, mixed-use, leisure and London residential markets.

It has taken on the former head of retail parks at blue chip developer Capital and Regional, John Gatley, to run the business, based in Pimlico and the West end.

McLaren will look to take on joint ventures with other developers to build out schemes, and the firm claims to have already invested in schemes worth £200m.

Gatley said: “McLaren’s presence in the real estate market will target emerging development and investment opportunities where the Group can utilise its financial strength and considerable experience in property and construction.”

The builder has also signed a £15m deal to build a school for Hackney council under the Borough’s BSF programme. The New Horizon school, for pupils with special needs, is scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the 2012/13 academic year.

Furthermore the builder has announced plans to expand its presence in the United Arab Emirates, following completion of its first project in Dubai with developer Gazeley, and is undergoing a re-branding of its corporate image.

Chairman Kevin Taylor said: “McLaren has grown rapidly to become a major force in construction and this rebranding is part of our strategy to become the contractor of choice across a broad range of market sectors.”