Desmond Conway, Keystone Property Group CEO, tells unLTD why the developments across Sheffield are securing the city a reputation as a ‘regional hub of innovation’

Nestled in the eastern foothills of the Pennines with a proud industrial history, Sheffield, perhaps, isn’t the first city that comes to mind for a property investment business to call home.

But with a rising profile attracting the attention of both foreign and domestic investors, the face of the city is changing with the emergence of historic new developments that will secure Sheffield’s place as a regional hub of innovation.

For a business such as Keystone, Sheffield has a lot to offer. It’s within easy distance of the rest of Yorkshire, the Midlands, the North East, Greater Manchester, and London especially, making it easy to meet our clients and partners outside of the city we call home.

The business community within the city itself is incredibly supportive, allowing us to network, forge and maintain long-lasting relationships with other businesses and freelancers respectively, no matter what their size.

The dawn of the Northern Powerhouse initiative enticed investors to cast their imaginations beyond the capital and the South East. Sheffield is one of the core cities to benefit from the growing interest and appeal of regional cities. The city is now one of the UK’s top ten cities for house price growth, and has seen high rises in employment which has and continues to underline the strength of the local economy.

As the city’s grown, so has Keystone. 2018, was our most successful year yet, as we delivered average accumulative returns of 63 per cent, or 21 per cent per investment to our clients over three projects. A year-on-year increase of 18 per cent, versus the 45 per cent total that was achieved in 2017.

We’ve been able to embrace new opportunities, such as exhibiting at both the autumn Property Investor Show and Luxury Property Show for the first time, not to mention having the opportunity to showcase some of our premier projects, including Hadrian’s Tower and Westminster Works.

One of our goals going into 2019 was to have a larger role in the local community and ‘give a little back’ so to speak. And as such, no sooner than this April, our group operations director Mr Wesly Jay will be running in the London Marathon for Age UK Sheffield, one of the only charities in the city dedicated to benefitting the lives of the over 50s. Then, Keystone’s head of admin, Chelsea Butler is going to be abseiling to raise funds, however, for the local branch of the RSPCA.

A quarter of the way through 2019, we have plans for more charitable events, our popular headline product is about to close, and with Sheffield’s growing reputation as a leader and innovator, we’re even more inspired and excited by the prospects ahead for both Keystone and the city.