PLATFORM_ HQ | Westrock appoints Shaylor Group on its Bedford build to rent scheme
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Westrock appoints Shaylor Group on its Bedford build to rent scheme



Westrock has appointed Shaylor Group as main contractor to deliver the first homes designed specifically for rent in a key commuter town in the south east of England.

The former Merton Centre office building in central Bedford is being revamped to appeal to an emerging crowd of professional renters. It will boast high-tech fittings, such as smart meters to help tenants save money, as well as communal areas to encourage residents to get to know one another and stay for the long term.

Westrock’s 157-flat scheme in Bedford will be the first in the town designed specifically for rent. It aims to appeal to professionals with major employers such as Sainsbury’s (which has a major distribution centre nearby) and Unilever (which has large research centres locally) likely targets.

The first residents will be able to move in the early summer.

The project, on St Peters Street, is close to two train stations, with a direct link to central London, shops and restaurants and in easy reach of the River Great Ouse.

The contractor has commenced work refurbishing the former office block by adding new roofing, improving the façade and remodelling the interiors to appeal to tech-savvy renters in the area.

Westrock is transforming town centres across the country creating the UK’s first national portfolio of build to rent developments. Its early schemes in Bracknell, Crawley and Stevenage are reconfiguring underused office space into high-spec apartments that will be rented out under single ownership. The investment will help drive forward regeneration and local economic growth while also providing vital new homes.

Crucially, Westrock is meeting demand for quality rental homes in areas outside the gaze of most real estate developers.

Private renting is the fastest growing tenure of housing in England with over nine million renters nationally. But until recently renters had no option other than to rent from a buy-to-let landlord, where the quality of accommodation and service is uncertain.

Westrock has a pipeline of more than 1,400 homes for rent, with five schemes set to be completed this year.

Matt Willcock, head of development at Westrock, said:

“The converted Merton Centre will offer some of the best accommodation in Bedford and we’re delighted to have one of the country’s best up-and-coming contractors helping us deliver the scheme.”

Lana Shaylor, regional manager at Shaylor Group, said:

“Shaylor Group and the Merton team are delighted to be applying their residential expertise to aid the regeneration of the Merton Centre.  We are committed to building long-term relationships with the communities in which we work and are excited to play a part in enhancing the local area by providing outstanding quality homes.”

About Westrock /

Westrock a 30-year old real estate investment and development company. Focusing on all sectors and use-classes it has invested in over 400 projects comprising over 8 million square feet throughout the UK and abroad. Across its three fully integrated divisions, the team have collectively invested in and / or managed over £6bn of assets.

About Shaylor Group /

Shaylor Group was formed in 1969 and is an £80m+ second generation family owned principal contracting business. Shaylor Group’s core areas of expertise are general contracting, repair & maintenance works, specialist refurbishments, conservation and fit-outs.  It has particular sector experience in residential, education, healthcare and retirement, custodial and justice, industrial and commercial, leisure and retail, transport, heritage and maintenance. The business has offices in Aldridge, Birmingham, central London and the South West.

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