Ken Knott buys into Vita

The former chief executive of Ask Developments has taken up a new role as director and shareholder in rapidly expanding high-end student accommodation developer Vita Ventures, based in Wilmslow.

Knott dealt with Vita whilst at Ask, selling a plot for a £25m residential tower at First Street in Manchester for the Vita Student brand.

He founded Ask in 2000 and left in August 2013. His departure followed Ask's defeat to rival Argent in the contest to become development at Airport City Manchester.

Trevor Moore, chief executive of Vita Ventures, said: "Ken joined the board of Vita Ventures as director in December 2013 in an executive and shareholding capacity. His appointment is a huge coup for the business, with his experience and knowledge of the built environment second to none. His role is to help drive the strategic growth of the business and to spearhead its expansion into larger mixed-use projects including hotels, offices and residential."

Knott said: "Leaving Ask Developments in August 2013 was an amicable decision between myself and the business and I continue to be a shareholder.

"Since its launch in 2012 Vita Ventures has quickly earned itself a reputation for luxury and innovation, and it has been earmarked for great success. This meant that when I began considering my options for the future it was natural that I was attracted to this fast-paced business, which has strong leadership and a true vision for a fresh approach to city centre development.

"With a number of key acquisitions lined-up, it's proved to be a really exciting time to join the company."

Vita is a joint venture between Chris Oakes' Huntsmere and Mark Stott's Select Property. The business has schemes on site or proposed around the country including Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester with further due to be announced this year.

The product is aimed at foreign students attending UK universities; occupied units are sold to investors with an assured minimum 7% net return over five years.

Confirmation of Knott's directorship and shareholding have yet to be published at Companies House. Vita said the financial terms were still being agreed.

Knott will be reunited with ex-Ask colleague Andrew Parker, now projects director at Vita.

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It’s great to see Ken with such a wealth of knowledge and experience is on hand as Manchester and the North West gears itself for the next vibrant phase of growth and development. Network Connect would like to wish Ken and Vita a strong and successful 2014.

By Alan OConnor

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