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Sustainable? Check! Eco-Friendly? Check

With all the media attention over the last few years about looking after our environment, it’s hard to find someone who isn’t trying to better their lifestyle with sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives.  A great place to start paving the way to A Better Place is right on your doorstep – at home!  

When it comes to decorating and furnishing your home there are various ways that you can input a sustainable spin into the process, including buying local or eco-friendly materials.  We’ve compiled a list of ways that can give you some inspiration and help you get started.

Eco-friendly Materials

With more and more of us suffering from allergies, finding eco-friendly and hypoallergenic alternatives is becoming increasingly popular.  Materials made in this way, such as paint and wallpaper, are now much more readily available and will not only spruce up your home but it also means that you’re doing less harm to the environment while protecting your family from any health-related issues.  There are various companies online that supply eco-friendly paint and wallpaper includingEarthborn which also has stock in various shops up and down the country.

Reuse and Recycle

Websites such as houzzgoodhousekeeping and lushome provide great inspiration for finding quirky and innovative ways to redecorate and have articles galore on ways to reuse and recycle. The first thing to ask yourself when it comes to recycling is ‘does this need to be thrown out?’ Many items that may look past their best could be given a new lease of life with a lick of paint or a new use altogether.  Old suitcases could be turned into beds for pets, cutlery can easily be bent and be made intointeresting coat hooks or an old set of drawers could be turned into shelves, the possibilities are endless.

Buy Local

A lot of us do not consider buying local as a ‘sustainable’ action, but by supporting your community you are invigorating the local economy and improving the society in which you live.

Built To Last

The key to buying items that are built to last is research. Get a feel for what products you need and have a search online. Use online reviews and see what previous buyers have said about the product, this could save you a lot of time in the long run.

For more information on how to upcycle, we have a previous blog entry with further ideas.

View our Pinterest board for inspiration.

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Location, Location, Location – Market Harborough

Market Harborough

We are fortunate enough to be blessed with many desirable places to live in the UK, some of which have been featured on our recent blog posts, focusing on Miller Homes’ newest developments.

Market Harborough in the heart of rural Leicestershire, is the latest town to make our list. It’s home to our popular new Windsor Gate development of 47, three and four-bedroom houses and offers more than its fair share of benefits for those seeking somewhere special to live.

History runs right through the ‘veins’ of the town, which is referenced in documents dating back as far as 1199. Since it was built in 1614, the timbers of the iconic Old Grammar School have wooed visitors to the town, as it jostles for prominence with the steeple of St Dionysius Parish Church, which rises up from the street to overshadow the town centre.

Travel agent Thomas Cook is one of Market Harborough’s most famous sons, running his first excursion to nearby Loughborough in 1841. Since then, the rail links that he put to good use have improved considerably as of course, have the roads.

Market Harborough is just an hour from London St Pancreas by train and sits neatly between the major conurbations of Leicester, Northampton, Coventry and Peterborough, making it the favoured residence of many commuters.

For those who prefer to travel on foot, there are many pleasant walks in and around the town. A pathway along the River Welland provides a pleasant route to the railway station, and the national cycle route follows the canal towpath from the town's revitalised wharf, now a popular recreational amenity, to the celebrated Foxton Locks.

Families will find plenty indoors and out to occupy their time. Nearby Rockingham Castle was built by Norman the conqueror in the late 11th century and in Victorian times played host to Charles Dickens. Its family owners were recently awarded the Trip Advisor certificate of excellence for their dedication to tourists. But if technology is more your thing, the Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome and its impressive cold war jet collection may hold greater appeal.

House hunters will be pleased to learn that in addition to great free time activities and transport, there are plenty of practical aspects to Market Harborough too.

A leading supermarket complements a number of independent retailers and the St Mary’s shopping centre. Local health provision is of a high standard and the area’s state schools maintain excellent reputations.

For more information on the Miller Homes development at Windsor Gate, please click here.

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Miller Homes’ Charity Champions

Maritn House

With a long and proud history of charitable giving and sponsorships, we can fairly say that 2014 followed suit and employees have done the company proud with their rigorous fundraising efforts that took place up and down the country. From a simple dress down day in the office to the glitz and glamour of a charity ball, our staff rolled up their sleeves and challenged themselves all in the name of charity throughout the year and managed to raise over £39,000.

Our charity champions came in the form of our kind hearted employees from our three North regions – North East, North West and Yorkshire. In their spare time during a period of seven months, they managed to pull together a staggering £33,174 for Martin House Children’s Hospice in Boston Spa near Wetherby, smashing their original target of £25,000. Their fundraising began with participation in a Dragon Boat Race at Roundhay Park in Leeds and included a variety of events such as a daring Skydive and the gruelling Tough Mudder before culminating in a glamorous charity dinner held at Leeds United Football Club.

Through The Miller Group charity committee, Miller Homes also contributed to a number of company nominated charities. This involved taking part in dress down days and other events in our offices throughout the country. Charities supported during 2014 include:

- Cancer Research UK

- Alzheimer's Society

- Breast Cancer Care

- Macmillan Cancer Support

- Marie Curie Cancer Care

- Alzheimer's Research UK

- Cash for Kids

- Place2Be

- The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

- The Royal Scottish National Orchestra

- The Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Our achievements in 2014 will be hard to match but we hope to raise as much as we can for the charities we are involved with in 2015 as it is our aim to give back as much as possible in the communities in which we build in.

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Miller Homes’ Top 5 University Cities

Durham

Education is not just important – it’s essential for equipping yourself with the tools to enjoy a successful career with many prospects. When you have small children, it can be difficult to imagine what their future will look like. Will they undertake further education, such as university? Will they leave home at 16? Or will they decide to live with you longer, enabling them to save money for a house of their own? As a parent, you can only guess at this stage. There are certain things you can do however to help give your children the best possible chance at receiving a good education, including moving to an area close to strong educational benefits.

To help you find your perfect home as well as the best educational area for your family, we’ve compiled a list of some of the UK’s top university cities in proximity to our developments up and down the country. So let’s take a closer look at the university cities and the benefits they can offer your children.

As Oxford and Cambridge are widely regarded as the best universities in the UK, we’ve decided to focus on the other great university cities out there, such as:

 1.    Durham

Ranked in third place after both Cambridge and Oxford for mathematics, Durham University has long been popular with academics. If you’re looking to bring up your children in a traditional and historic city with plenty of charm then Durham is ideal. With a wide choice of educational establishments to choose from, you can rest assured that your children will receive a strong educational upbringing in this city. And should they wish to pursue further education, Durham University is right on the doorstep of many of our developments including The Meadows (1 mile), Park View and Bishops Park (11 miles).

 2.    Fife

The Scottish county of Fife is home to St. Andrews University – an establishment widely renowned for producing top notch graduates. It is thought that university students and staff make up around one third of the population during term-time – what better way to ensure that your children grow up with a thirst for knowledge and a will to pursue their studies further? A trip across the Tay Road Bridge and through Dundee is our Rosemount Meadows development in Blairgowrie sitting 26 miles from the university town. St Andrews University is also 30 miles from our Victoria Mills development in Dunfermline which was designed with the busy urban professional in mind with striking apartments.

 3.    Manchester

The metropolitan city of Manchester is home to not one, not two, but three excellent universities (The University of Manchester, The University of Salford, and Manchester Metropolitan University). Steeped in history and surrounded by culture and stunning architecture, there could be no better city to inspire your children and give them a passion for learning. Unity Quarter is located a mere 3 miles away from Manchester (4 miles from the university) and has excellent access to the city centre as well as Salford and locations across the North West.  Unity Quarter provides a fantastic location for young professionals, first time buyers and families and could be the perfect location for students to travel to and from university.

 4.    Edinburgh

Ranked in third place in the list of most popular universities, Edinburgh University receives around 47,000 applications per year. Its popularity is due to the university’s top quality facilities and investment in the very best teaching staff. It’s no wonder so many people want to be there, and living in the local area will allow your children to witness this first hand. We have a variety of developments in and around Edinburgh that offer extensive public transport routes that will come in handy if you choose to study at Edinburgh University. Our Varcity North and South developments are located close to the city centre and are both in walking distance of some of the city’s most popular attractions. If the city centre lifestyle isn’t for you we have a variety of developments located in close proximity to Edinburgh and the surrounding areas, making an easy commute for you and your family. Polofields, Rosalea and Dalmore Mill are all on the outskirts of Edinburgh and offer a fabulous rural community feel while still having the buzz of the city in your reach.

 5.    Nottingham

Regarded as a top class university with plenty of scope for enjoyment outside of the lecture theatres, Nottingham is a great place to live. Unlike many universities, Nottingham is campus-based, allowing students to live and study among their fellow peers, without ‘real life’ getting in the way – just think, your children could move into halls and still only be a short distance away from you; handy for visiting them. With the bustling and thriving city centre a mere 10 minutes’ away from the main campus, Nottingham students are never short of something to do. Our Dukesmead and Weavers Court developments are within a 10 mile radius of Nottingham University. Both have excellent commuting routes with easy access to the M1 motorway and links to Derby, Leicester and beyond with a range of stunning new homes available.

So there you have it – our top five university cities. Where did you go to university? Would you have preferred to study close to your home town?

To find out more about our developments, please visit our website.

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2010 - ... (Only The Beginning)

Final History Blog In celebration of our 80th year, we are revisiting our heritage as we outline the story of how we became one of the UK’s leading housebuilders.  We’re now arriving at the final stop on our trip down memory lane; looking back on our most recent achievements whilst also casting an eye to the future for what is yet to come.

By 2011, we had already picked up awards from the likes of First Time Buyer, Housing Excellence and the Scottish Home Awards, but a record breaking moment came when Bill Hughes picked up the coveted NHBC Pride in The Job Supreme award for the fifth time – a first in the competition’s history.  As mentioned in our previous entry, Bill won from 2003 – 2006 and was runner-up in 2008 and 2009. What a fantastic achievement!

We didn’t have to wait long until we had another record under our belts in the Pride in the Job competition.  In 2012, 27 site managers received Quality Awards in the first round of the competition – our biggest achievement to date.  Following this, 12 site managers, including five from Scotland and five from the North West of England, proceeded into the next round and were awarded with Seal of Excellence Awards for their outstanding work.

And the achievements continued, with The Miller Group and Miller Homes receiving Gold status from Investors in People in 2013, placing the business amongst the top 3% of companies accredited with Gold in the UK.

Following the refinancing of the Group in 2011, we continued to look forward.   We relaunched the Miller Homes website, making it easier for our customers to search for their new home faster than ever, and adopted a variety of marketing techniques to reinforce our position as a premium housebuilder, including growing our presence on social media through the use of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.

Our desire to delight our customers remains at the heart of our activity and has been reinforced with the launch of ‘The Miller Difference’, a philosophy which demonstrates our commitment to the highest standards of quality, innovation and care throughout the homebuying journey. ‘The Miller Difference’ also highlights our desire to create a more sustainable business through ‘A Better Place’, our sustainability strategy. Since its launch, we have undertaken various activities to support our aims, including a supplier workshop, Welcoming Wildlife campaign with the RSPB as well as providing guidance to our customers and employees on sustainable living.

All in all, our aim is always to delight our customers and we will continue to build on our success and the reputation we have established over the last 80 years.

To see our historic pictures, please visit our pinterest board.

For information on our developments, please visit our website.
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The Miller Homes Blog

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