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The 1980s (World Firsts)

1980 -  Miller Group In celebration of our 80th year in the business, we are revisiting our heritage as we outline the story of how we became one of the UK’s leading housebuilders. Continuing our trip down memory lane, we are now looking at Miller Homes during the 1980s, a decade that included world firsts and continued success for the company.

Following a successful collaboration with the Calor Group during the 70s, two semi-detached Miller homes were fitted with new innovations in solar heating. Considered a world first, Professor Sir Hermann Bondi, Chief Scientist at the Department of Energy and Chairman of the Advisory Council on Energy Conservation, described the project as ‘a major step forward and a special contribution to energy conservation’. 1980 saw tours of the houses for Surveying and Architectural professionals and building societies and local authorities, with Sir Hermann officially opening the solar home. 

Only four years later we were able to produce the first speculative solar heated houses in the world. The houses, which were introduced into a live development, incorporated heat recovery, air tightness and substantial insulation which, when combined, were predicted to save up to two thirds of the energy that a standard house would use.

Moving completely away from technology and innovation, in the summer of 1982 our site teams discovered what was believed to be the best-preserved surviving Roman building in Scotland. A Roman bathing site was discovered in Bearsden near Glasgow and our Roman Road development was planned around the bath-house, allowing the historic building to remain intact.

In 1984, our Golden Jubilee celebrations were in full swing and, as always, we were eager to give something back to the communities in which we were involved. An adventure playground funded by the Sir James Miller Edinburgh Trust was opened at Edinburgh Zoo. Members of staff and communities alike were involved in the festivities, including a specially designed Miller Group float which took part in the opening ceremony of the world-renowned Edinburgh International Festival. 

In an interesting twist and as part of a brand new sales initiative, Miller Homes Southern began a unique experiment which involved a couple who were paid £200 to live in a Miller show home. Chosen from 150 applicants, the couple were tasked with transforming the show house into a home. In the four weeks they were with us, sales rocketed and the first 15 £100,000 homes were sold ahead of the estimated three months target. 

In 1986, James Millers and Partners Ltd reached one of its most important milestones when the company officially changed its trading name to The Miller Group Limited. To coincide with the new name, a brand new logo was introduced.

To see a range of historic Miller Homes photography be sure to follow us on Pinterest!


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Stay Secure While On Holiday

Secure

Whether you are packing your bags for a luxurious trip abroad or you are staying close to home this summer, keeping our properties safe from potential intruders while we’re away will always be at the forefront of our minds before setting off.

With schools up and down the country either finished or finishing for the holidays and families eager to get away for their relaxing summer break, we have compiled a list of top tips to secure your home before you make that all important getaway.

- With the excitement and expectation of going on holiday, a lot of people fall victim to posting about their adventures on social media. In most cases most of our accounts will be private but you never know who is reading and letting people know that your house is going to be empty is never the best option.

- Ensure that you tell a trusted member of your family or a friend that you are going away and provide them with a spare key for any emergencies.

- Before you leave make sure that all windows and doors are secure and locked. An open window will be an open invitation to intruders.

- Ensure your alarm system is working. We all rely on our security system and knowing that it is fully operational will set our minds at ease. For extra reassurance some companies can link your system to your mobile phone which will then let you know if your alarm has been triggered. It is also advised to test your fire alarms also.

- Turn off any electronic equipment excluding various items that need to be powered constantly i.e your fridge and freezer. This will save you money while you are away and reduce the risk of a fault or fire. An extra security tip is to purchase timers, these can be set to turn lamps off and on throughout the day to make it seem like someone is home.

- Hide away any mobile technology such as ipods, ipads and laptops that you may be leaving behind. This also applies to spare keys and wallets. Find a safe place that you will remember and keep them out of sight of any passers-by.

- Tidy away your garden tools. Any spades, shovels and other gardening equipment should be tidied and locked away in your garden shed or garage. Leaving these out can provide a handy help for any intruders. Also ensure that any valuables such as bikes are stored away and that you lock your garden gate on departure.

All Miller homes are fitted with double glazed PVCU windows as standard as well as a multi-point door locking system to the front and rear doors. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted with battery back-up. We also offer additional extras including an intruder alarm.

For information on our developments please visit our website.

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Location, Location, Location – Bracklesham Bay

Pebble Reach Blog

As we continue our blog series highlighting some of the most desirable places to live in the UK, we take a look at Bracklesham Bay on the south coast. 

Bracklesham Bay, based in West Sussex, is the quintessential British coastal village. Oozing charm and natural beauty it’s easy to see how Bracklesham Bay and its Pebble Reach development is set to become extremely popular with buyers.

The beautiful bay, which sits on the west side of the Manhood Peninsula, is sandy and backed with shingle. Due to this, the bay has become a real hot spot with fossil hunters as it’s not unusual for artifacts dating back 45 million years to be discovered on these very sands.

The area is also a hidden gem amongst the surfing community but those who aren’t partial to taking to the water need not worry as there is still plenty to enjoy. Stunning views across the bay onto the English Channel and the Isle of Wight are a given, as is the host of beautiful coastal walks available on your doorstep. 

Bracklesham Bay offers the perfect escape from hustle and bustle of modern life with a number of picturesque nature reserves in close vicinity. For those looking for a livelier option, the cathedral city of Chichester is also just a short hop away from Pebble Reach.

Chicester has a long and interesting history dating back to the Roman times. Its iconic 12th-century cathedral still sits proudly in the city and is located amongst some of the oldest churches and buildings in the United Kingdom.

Returning to Brackelsham Bay, the villages of Bracklesham and East Wittering in the heart of the bay, offer an array of cosy cafes compete with a relaxed and friendly vibe – perfect for those long summer days.

Miller Homes Pebble Reach development will offer buyer the choice of one, two, three, four and five-bedroom homes with the perfect blend of seclusion, amenity and convenience.

To see more of Brackelsham Bay and Pebble Reach, visit our Pinterest board.

For more on Pebble Reach and other developments, visit our website.

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Working Together to Reduce Waste

Waste Workshop 17

When we launched our sustainability strategy ‘A Better Place’ at the end of last year, one of our key targets was to reduce the amount of construction waste.

To help us work towards achieving that goal we recently held a Waste Workshop, bringing together a number of our key suppliers in order to generate some collaborative ideas around this issue.

British Gypsum kindly hosted the event at their plant in East Leake, Nottinghamshire and given their long standing expertise in reducing waste their involvement set the scene for the day.

Speakers included Garry McDonald, our Procurement & Sustainability Director, and Gareth Brown, Programme Area Manager at WRAP, and topics covered included our own sustainability strategy, the waste hierarchy and the circular economy.  

Findings from a short survey carried out after the event demonstrated that the key lesson from the day was how important it is for Miller Homes to work closely with its suppliers to reduce waste.  Other positive feedback included:

- “An excellent event, which highlighted the potential for reducing Miller Homes environmental impacts through innovation and collaboration of Miller Homes suppliers.”

- “A very informative day that presented a clear social and commercial justification for a reduction in waste. Lots of food for thought!”

- “An excellently organised event!”

To receive such positive feedback is very encouraging, however our work does not stop here.  This event was the start of a strong partnership with our suppliers whereby we will work collaboratively to reduce the waste from our housebuilding activities.

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Another Super Sporting Summer

Summer of Sport

With the 2014 World Cup in Brazil well under way, Andy Murray currently defending his crown at Wimbledon and only a few weeks until the claxon sounds the start of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, we have once again decided to give local sports clubs across the country the opportunity to win a fantastic £500.

For the third consecutive year, clubs and organisations within our six regional areas can enter the competition by collecting an application from their local Miller Homes development and telling us in no more than 200 words why their sports club deserves to win, how the money will benefit the club and what it will be spent on.

We are delighted to be running our popular Summer of Sport initiative for the third year running.  When it comes to supporting our local communities we are always keen to get involved – particularly if our support can provide opportunities for education, sport or development.

Following their success in entering last year, two winners share their stories of how the funding has helped.

Dave Ball, Coach at Great Glen Cricket Club in Leicestershire, said: “The past few years have been a real struggle in terms of the weather and we’ve been looking at replacing the old work out AstroTurf, but it is very expensive and we just don’t have the funds. We’re so grateful to Miller Homes – this came at just the right time and will ultimately make a real difference to the youngsters at the club.”

Tracey McBride, club Chair at Lenzie Woodhead Gymnastics Club in East Dunbartonshire, said: “The whole club was delighted when we discovered we had won and with an increasing number of members in recent times, this funding will help provide the gymnasts and coaches with quality tracksuits and hooded tops.”

Our judges will be looking for examples of how the sporting clubs in each community will make the most out of the donation, for details of how it will directly support the learning and fitness of its members and examples of what new equipment they will be able to buy.

The closing date for entries is 15th September 2014, giving you plenty of time to prepare a winning application.

With an exciting Summer of Sport ahead of us, we strongly encourage anyone with an affiliation to a sports team or club to have a go, and we wish all entrants the very best of luck!

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