Ipswich: Brightwell Estates celebrates completion and full letting of first development

Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking relationship manager Christian Lingley, centre, with brother and sis

Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking relationship manager Christian Lingley, centre, with brother and sister Ben and Milly Dawson of Brightwell Estates. - Credit: www.matthewwalkerphotography.com

A start-up property development firm based in Ipswich is celebrating it first scheme becoming fully let in just three months.

Brightwell Estates was formed in 2012 by sister and brother team Milly and Ben Dawson, following Ben’s return to the UK after living in Canada for five years.

While searching for a new home for Ben, they came across a former pig farm at Brightwell, near Ipswich, and saw its potential for commercial use.

Milly said: “The Brightwell Barns site was the perfect place for our first development and we knew there was scope to build something really exciting for the area.

“I had always been interested in property development after studying it at university and was keen to eventually start my own business. Our father and uncle are both in the industry too so it has become the family trade.”

To buy the land and support the first phase of the development, Milly and Ben approached Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking which provided the six-figure loan needed.

The completed scheme is now occupied by six businesses plus an onsite café and also includes an outdoor park area. Besides being a commercial success, it also led to Brightwell Estates winning the Commercial Development and Best Start-Up Business categories of this year inaugural Suffolk Property Awards.

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Ben said: “We couldn’t have asked for a more successful start for Brightwell Estates. Both Milly and I are still young and, as a start-up business, we found that many banks were reluctant to support us. However the relationship team at Lloyds couldn’t have been more open and enthusiastic about the project, and without them we would have really struggled to get our plans off the ground.”

A second phase of development at the barns is now planned for 2014.

Christian Lingley, business development manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Milly and Ben are incredibly passionate about the Brightwell Barns site and they have put a huge amount of thought into every aspect of the project.

“It is also great to hear their plans for the second phase of development which will begin in January and will see the addition of four new units and two penthouse suites, creating space for a further six local firms.”