News Archive

InterPro Social 2018

What a space, what a great bunch of people and what a fun night! We were delighted to partner the InterPro Social 2018 on 6 June at Capital&Centric’s Talbot Mill, Manchester.

Over 300 members of the NW property community filled the huge space, before its restoration later this year. We chatted to architects, contractors, surveyors, planners, interior designers, structural engineers…the list is endless. Big thanks to RTPI, Manchester Architects, RICS, RIBA, ICE, CIOB, IHBC, IStructE, CIBSE, TPS, CILT, CIHT and IoA for promoting the event and encouraging members to attend.

The Mexican street food supplied by El Kantina was delicious, the musicians Suzy & Alex went down a storm and everyone had fun testing themselves against the human buzz wire, grabbing some friends and a few props for the photo booth, taking on the competition at the air hockey table and whacking a donkey with a stick (piñata obviously!).

Congratulations to Peter Purcell of Abode Architects who managed the top score on the buzz wire of just 12 seconds.  And a huge thanks to Lisa Mcfarlane of Seven Architects for pulling the whole event together! You and the team did a fantastic job and we can’t wait for next year.

Delivering High Standards

As we all know a Project Manager’s job is varied and requires a multitude of skills. At Project Kitchens, our PM’s are not only the linchpin between design and installation, but also the key point of contact with our clients. Their role is to make sure that we deliver on our promises and that the highest standards of installation are maintained.

Quality is so important to us here at Project Kitchens, that we have recently raised the bar in the kitchens and construction sector, by being awarded Constructionline Gold and Achilles accreditation. We are the most highly accredited supplier of SieMatic in the UK and our clients know that we are aligned to the latest industry and government standards. With this comes the confidence that projects are managed, monitored and delivered to the highest standards possible.

We make sure that we employ the best team in the industry too and that they receive the very latest training and support to continue to deliver to these standards.

We caught up with Nick Hopwood, Project Manager in our Manchester office, to find out more…

“My role is to efficiently manage the job through to final installation. I become the key contact for our developer client or their main contractor, build a relationship with the on site team and make sure that there are no hitches with delivery and installation. I liaise internally with our Distribution function and keep Sales informed of progress.

“I also organise our highly qualified installation teams, liaise with the contractor to make sure the rooms are ready for installation and check and double check all measurements against the plans from our design team and the architects’ plans. I closely monitor the project, walk site and feedback progress at every stage, through meetings and regular reports.

“I effectively take ownership of the project and the site to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Consistent project management needs a detailed understanding of the design process, our SieMatic product range and the construction process. It is a job I have been undertaking for over 4 years and I’m pleased to say is different every day. I’m currently working on delivery of several exciting projects, including two for London Square – Streatham Hill and Canada Water – plus a second phase new build project for Audley Villages in Malvern. These schemes are varying in pace but still require the same attention to detail and of course travel.”

If you would like to find out more about the highest standards in project management please contact

INTERPROSOCIAL18 to Take Place at Talbot Mill Castlefield

#Interprosocial18 is taking place on the 6 June and will bring over 10 property institutions and 350 members of the built environment community in the North West together under one roof. This year’s event promises to be bigger and better and is supported by Capital&Centric and Project Kitchens.

The celebration for 2018 allows property professionals a chance to see Talbot Mill before its restoration by Capital&Centric. InterPro Social celebrates the start of the summer, with a night of networking for members of the RTPI, Manchester Architects, RICS, RIBA, ICE, CIOB, IHBC, IStructE, CIBSE, TPS CILT, CIHT and IoA.

Belinda Sewell, Managing Director of Project Kitchens comments,

“We are delighted to be building the relationship with InterPro and to become a headline partner for this event. Although a national company with a strong presence in London and the South East, we started our business in the North West and have many links with the property community here. InterPro Social 2018 is going to be the best annual party yet and we can’t wait to be part of it.”

Adam Higgins, Co-Founder of Capital&Centric comments,

“Talbot Mill is a semi derelict former textile warehouse in Manchester’s Castlefield. It’s an evocative space that is the perfect backdrop for the InterPro Social. It’s a fitting last hurrah for the space before our restoration and regeneration commences.

“Uses such as this are the start of our regeneration process, redefining what a place or a space could be, so it’s great that we can support InterPro at the same time as opening up this historic building for our property contemporaries to explore.”

Lisa McFarlane, Director at Seven Architecture and event organiser adds,

“This year we have music, food, dancing, games, photo opportunities and networking in a unique and fascinating building. A big thank you to our partners for enabling us to bring such a diverse and large group of professionals together under one roof.”

Tickets cost £6.50 and are available to institute members from:

Kitchen Trends 2018 – Our View of Houzz Survey

According to the 2018 Houzz Kitchen Trends Survey, more than a quarter of kitchen upgrades are driven by a recent home purchase. No surprise that kitchens are a major factor in our choice of home and the first thing we look to upgrade if the kitchen falls short of expectations! But we have delved a little deeper into this survey and looked at buying trends amongst our developer clients, plus upgrade choices by purchasers, to translate how international kitchen trends impact on the contract kitchen market.

What we found most interesting about the Houzz survey, is that when you analyse customer choices, we all want the same things out of our kitchen. Storage and style are the key drivers that determine which kitchens we choose and how we personalise them.

Our developer clients need to not only offer kitchens with broad appeal, but they need to exceed customer expectations with regards to style and functionality. Our job is to stay one step ahead of trends, anticipate future needs and continue to ensure that our kitchens tick all the right boxes with purchasers.

The Houzz survey found that style and storage matter above all, with ease of working, playing, living and entertaining not far behind. Aside from function, style and beauty are considered the most important aspects of a well-designed kitchen.

Worktops are a key feature and also the item that homeowners chose to spend on the most. Corian is, for the first time in 3 years, the most popular worktop material (43%), knocking granite off the top spot (34%) and far surpassing butcher block or wood slab (13%).

Project Kitchens Designer Lizzie Plank-Watson comments,

“White is becoming increasingly popular for worktops, cabinets and backsplash tiles and is also the second most popular colour for walls, behind grey.

“Corian is by far the most widely used worktop material amongst our customers and Glacier White is the most popular colour. We offer our developer clients and their architects and designers a wide range of options to suit the look and feel of the property and development as a whole, but white is most definitely on trend! It is a colour that doesn’t date easily, which is perhaps why it is so popular.”

The main functional additions that purchasers enquire about through Project Kitchens are often those that we have included in the show apartment. These are designed to make life in a new kitchen just that little bit easier and include for example: Multimatic Provisions sets, herbs and spices holders, foil roll holders, paper towel holders, trays and rails.

The options to personalise a new SieMatic kitchen are endless, so even when we have worked up a perfect kitchen design with a developer, there is still plenty of free reign for purchasers to add their own stamp. MultiMatic for example allows up to 30% more storage in a SieMatic kitchen and we train our clients’ sales teams on functionality and design, to make sure that purchasers end up with a kitchen that suits their exact needs.

Lizzie adds,

“Trends are fascinating and definitely have a place in the contract kitchen market, but that said, SieMatic kitchens are designed to be timeless and we want to create kitchens that last a lifetime. Trends come and go, but we have over 20 years experience in designing contract kitchens and many of our first kitchens are still very much in use today.”

Installing a Premium Branded Kitchen in a Private Rented Scheme (PRS) is a Market Changer

The Slate Yard, the first build to rent apartment scheme at New Bailey in Manchester city centre, is pioneering for many reasons. Devised and developed by the English Cities Fund – a joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England – this award winning apartment block is the first institutionally funded, custom built PRS scheme to be delivered in Greater Manchester.

It is also the first PRS scheme of its kind to incorporate high-end fixtures and fittings, including SieMatic SC10 kitchens, designed and installed by the team here at Project Kitchens.

Belinda Sewell, Managing Director at Project Kitchens comments,

“Incorporating branded kitchens such as SieMatic in a PRS scheme reflects just how far this market has come. Gone are the days when the private rental market was perhaps seen as the poor relation to build for sale developments. Large institutional investors such as pension funds and property companies continue to see it as a long term, sustainable investment vehicle.

“Of course there are often different financial parameters on PRS developments, but The Slate Yard is proof that pioneering and forward thinking developers can achieve a luxury finish even within the boundaries for PRS schemes. Each SieMatic kitchen has really helped this development stand out from the crowd.”

Phil Mayall, Development Director at the English Cities Fund, firmly believes that quality fittings equal happy tenants. He said,

“We installed SieMatic in each of the 90 apartments within the first phase at The Slate Yard for a number of reasons: The kitchen design blended perfectly with the overall look and feel of the scheme, including our stylish residents’ lounge; we wanted to raise the bar in terms of what people expect from a private rented scheme; and we wanted to provide a product that looks the part and is built to last.

“In addition, the support we received from the Project Kitchens team – from start to finish – added value at every stage. Given their accreditation and longevity in the industry, you know you are in safe hands.”

Belinda concludes,

“We’ve worked with Simon Hourihan and Hollie Reynolds at Muse for many years and it is great to see the team thriving. We cheered them on at the recent NW Insider Residential Property Awards and the English Cities Fund were deserved winners of both the Public/Private Partnership of the Year category for Salford Central and Small Housing Development of the Year for Timekeepers Square. We also supplied kitchens for the successful Carpino Place development and look forward to hearing about their future plans.”