The announcement marks the next phase of Berkeley's 10 year business plan. Other commitments for the next two years include:
- a £2 million innovation fund to improve safety on site
- a 50% increase in apprenticeships and training
- enabling fibre broadband access on all new homes
- achieving higher customer satisfaction ratings than Apple*
- a UK first marketing policy on all new developments
Berkeley Group Managing Director Rob Perrins, said:
'These commitments are designed to lead and challenge the market. We need to make new housing so good it's a vote-winner.'
On average, new build homes in the UK are smaller than in the rest of Europe. Every Berkeley home submitted for planning will now have 2.5m floor to ceiling heights in habitable rooms, the principal bedroom will be at least 2.75m in length, and there will be 1.5msq of built-in storage.
On sites across the Berkeley Group, over 9% of the workforce are in formal training and apprenticeships. This commitment will increase the percentage to 14% by 2016. It will help to repair the fall in the number of people completing apprenticeships in construction from 22,000 in 2009 to 16,000 in 2012.
Customers now see the internet as a basic utility and have the same expectations they apply to water, gas and electricity. Ofcom claims that 73% of the UK is currently fibre accessible and the government has a target for 95% of homes to have superfast broadband by 2017. Berkeley will now seek to provide all new homes with fibre optic infrastructure by 2016.
Overseas sales of UK homes has generated widespread debate. Berkeley strongly believes in the value of international investment but recognises the importance of giving domestic customers every chance to buy new housing. All Berkeley developments will now be marketed domestically first and no home will be offered for sale overseas before it has been made available in the UK.
For more information visit: www.berkeleygroup.co.uk/about-berkeley-group/our-vision
Berkeley Group: Ashley Lovell: 07799.861590
Notes to editors:
- * Customer service measured through Net Promoter Score. This analyses whether your customers are detractors or promoters. Your NPS is measured by the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors and scores range from -100 to + 100. At the end of 2013/14, Berkeley's NPS was 62. First Direct also has a NPS of 62. Apple achieves an NPS of 69.
- New homes in the UK are the smallest in Western Europe. By way of comparison, according to RIBA research (2011), in Ireland new homes were 87.7m² (15% bigger), in the Netherlands new homes were 115.5 m² (53% bigger), and in Denmark new homes were 137m² (80% bigger).
- The Berkeley Group builds homes and neighbourhoods. In 2012, Berkeley completed over 3,500 homes, sustained 16,000 jobs and generated £2.6 billion of economic activity in Britain. The Berkeley Group is publicly-owned and listed on the London Stock Exchange as a FTSE 250 company.
- Berkeley recently won the Queens Award for Enterprise. It was voted Britain's second Most Admired Company across all industries in 2013 and has been ranked Britain's most sustainable major housebuilder for the last eight years in a row by the Next Generation benchmark.
- The Berkeley Foundation supports young people and their communities across London and the South of England. It is a registered charity and has invested £5m in over 60 charities since it was launched in 2011, focusing on 4 key issues: homes, jobs, skills and care.