Sudbury: Share to buy retains contract to run First Steps Home Show, backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson

Visitors arriving that the 2013 First Steps Homes Show in London. Sudbury-based Share to buy will again be running the event this year. Visitors arriving that the 2013 First Steps Homes Show in London. Sudbury-based Share to buy will again be running the event this year.

Saturday, January 11, 2014
12:59 PM

Affordable housing specialist Share to buy is to run the Greater London Authority’s 2014 First Steps Home Show in April.

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It will be the second year running that the Sudbury-based firm has handled the event, which is endorsed by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and is one of the largest affordable housing events in the UK.

Share to buy provides a “one stop shop” for a range of government schemes, helping pontential buyers find a suitable development and to arrange a mortgage.

In addition to hosting the property portal for First Steps, the Mayor of London’s “intermediate” housing scheme involving shared ownership and other affordable options, Share to buy hosted the First Steps Homes Show for the first time last September, attracting a record 4,200 visitors.

It is hoping for an even larger attendance at this year’s event, which takes place at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in Westminster on April 12, and has increased the floor space by a third.

James Cartlidge, founder-director of Share to buy, who lives in Assington, near Sudbury, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Mayor of London’s First Steps Homes Show on April 12.

“It is a major event in the housing calendar and we are proud to be a small local firm having a big impact in the capital.”

Share to buy, a privately-owned company, was originally a mortgage broker but diversified into a specialist property portal, at www.sharetobuy.com, in 2010.

Mr Cartlidge said that while the First Steps service offered by the Greater London Authority before April 2013 was publicly subsidised, costing taxpayers £1.8million a year to run, Share to buy received no public subsidy, instead having the right to certain commercial revenue streams on the back of the extra web traffic generated, such as advertising.

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