Matthew Newbury has come from losing his leg in a road accident to starting his own home building business this year.
Matthew Newbury, founder of Newbury Developments, has come from losing his leg in a road accident to starting his own home building business this year.
How did you get into this industry?
I’ve been interested in home building for a long time, I was working in theatre lighting from age 20 to now, but I thought it would be good to be my own boss and do something on my own terms. I began at a low level doing refurbishments before coming across a site for a new build project. We started that this year and it felt like it was natural to form it as a company as we found a great opportunity.
How did you finance Newbury Developments?
I lost my leg in a road accident in 1997 and following that there was a seven year legal battle. Finally in 2004 I received compensation of £2.1 million and it put me in a strong financial position. So a lot of this is self-funded through cash. I’ve always held the belief that you should only risk what you can afford to lose and I have kept a reasonable stockpile of money so I am ready for any eventuality.
How did you get the word out?
We’re a business which obviously has few clients per se, so to a certain extent we have to leave it to the estate agents to do the marketing. We have created a website; from the word go I’ve tried to create a brand as opposed to building houses, so that in the months, and years to come we can hopefully build on the solid base we’ve started with and get a brand name associated with our product.
This year we’ve got eight units on the go in Norwich and we’re looking for another site there. I started it here because it’s my home town, the market I understand and a logical place to start a business, whereas the barriers to doing this in London are absolutely huge. Expansion into other cities in the UK is the plan, what we’ve spent six months creating from scratch in Norwich can now be easily repeated in other cities.
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