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Developers springing into action.

Byline: Peter McCusker

ONE of the region's wealthiest real estate developers is poised to start building again after putting a raft of projects on hold during the property market crash.

The most recent financial results from the Stockton-based Jomast Group show it made pre-tax profits of over pounds 6m last year which it added to its reserves, increasing the company's value to pounds 127m.

Revenues from its property portfolio, and its ownership of the prestigious Wynyard Golf Club, came in 25% up on the previous year, at pounds 16.4m.

Stuart Monk, who founded the company in 1971, says he is poised to bring forward projects which have been on hold since the property crash in 2007-08. He said: "We are in difficult trading conditions at the moment but we are actively involved in a number of schemes and are currently working with a number of local authorities across the North East.

"With the market the way it is then we have to be selective about what we do, but we are working on some key developments.

"We are working on schemes which will be viable in the current market. One of our focuses is on bringing forward schemes which have a community benefit. I am hopeful of bringing forward some projects this year which have been on the stocks since the market turned."

Monk has been behind some major regional development projects. In the south of the region they include the development of Hartlepool Marina and Spectrum Business Park at Dawdon, East Durham.

Further north Jomast developed the 200,000sq ft Scottish Life House in Newcastle and Clayton House in Jesmond.

Schemes currently on hold include the prestigious pounds 100m Trincomalee Wharf development in Hartlepool.

The 11.5-acre site, equivalent to seven football pitches, lies at the south end of Hartlepool Marina and is earmarked to include a four-star hotel, restaurants, shops, offices and apartments. Jomast has planning permission for a phase two at Spectrum and for 40,000 sq ft of office space on land adjacent to Scottish Life House.

In 2008 Monk expanded into a new field with the purchase of the Wynyard Golf Club for an undisclosed sum. It has planning permission for a new five-star hotel.

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FUTURE VIEW An artist's impression of Hartlepool Marina - site of the Jomast Trincomalee Wharf site
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 26, 2011
Words:388
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