Finance director steps down at Town Centre

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ONE of Yorkshire’s biggest property investors and developers has parted company with its finance director and company secretary, writes Bernard Ginns.

Town Centre Securities, based in Leeds, said Chris Kelly will be leaving the company by mutual agreement on April 11 to pursue other career opportunities.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, chairman Edward Ziff said: “Chris has made a significant contribution during his four years with the company, at a time when the UK economy and the property market have been challenging.

“I would like to thank him for his support and leadership and for his work in ensuring we have maintained our strong balance sheet and income generation.

“The board and company wish Chris well and every success for the future.”

Mr Kelly joined the board in April 2010. He was formerly a partner at Ernst & Young.

Town Centre Securities is expected to announce a new appointment next week.

Mr Ziff told The Yorkshire Post that business is fine and the company is looking forward with optimism.

He said the company’s property at Apperley Bridge is on the market and he is hopeful of getting some good offers.

“We are pleased the Government has extended the Help to Buy scheme,” he said, adding that the former Barratts Shoes headquarters should appeal to residential property investors.

Mr Ziff said the company is in discussions with prospective occupiers for a new 128-bed hotel development in the Whitehall Road area of Leeds. Work has begun on a new supermarket development for Waitrose in Milngavie outside Glasgow, he added.

Town Centre Securities last month reported a strong pick-up in the regional property market with investors looking for better returns outside the over-heated London market.

Underlying pre-tax profits rose five per cent to £4m in the six months to December 31.