Bloxham awarded seventh university honour

Michael Hunt

Tom Bloxham, chairman of developer Urban Splash, is being awarded an honorary fellowship from the University of Cumbria in recognition of his "contribution to the arts, architecture and urban regeneration".

Bloxham told Place: "It's a privilege to have been acknowledged like this and to have both my own efforts and those of Urban Splash recognised in this way. Although I feel a bit of a fraud when in front of all of these graduates who have worked so hard for their degrees!"

Although Bloxham and Urban Splash have not done any work in Cumbria, the university wanted to honour Bloxham for his achievements in business within the North West region as a whole.

This will be the seventh honour he has received from universities across the country, which includes honorary degrees and doctorates from the University of Plymouth last September, the University of Bristol and the University of Manchester in 2007, Oxford Brookes University in 2004, the University of Central Lancashire in 2003, and John Moores University in Liverpool in 2001.

He will receive his fellowship from the University of Cumbria at a 12pm ceremony being held in Carlisle today.

Bloxham, who started out selling fire extinguishers door to door, studied politics and history at the University of Manchester.

He co-founded Manchester-based Urban Splash, which now has a commercial property portfolio of 2m sq ft, with Jonathan Falkingham in 1993.

The company has let more than 80,000 sq ft of new commercial space this year, including deals at the colourful Chips building in Islington, Manchester, and the entire 20,000 sq ft Matchbox building in Garston, Liverpool, was finally let in April after remaining empty since its completion in December 2007.

Urban Splash has been given 272 awards to date for architecture, regeneration, design, and business success.

In addition to his personal achievements within the property sector, Bloxham is also chair of the Manchester International Arts Festival and was appointed as a Trustee of the Tate last year.

Other property professionals working in the region being honoured today includes Chris Oglesby, chief executive of Bruntwood.

Oglesby has been honoured by Manchester Metropolitan University with a doctorate in business administration at the city's Bridgewater Hall.

Professor John Brooks, MMU vice-chancellor, said: "We recognise Chris for his distinguished achievements in business and his championing of the economic interests of Manchester and the region.

"Manchester is a very different city now than it was 20 years ago and Chris has played a major part in these changes. He has also contributed greatly to the community, particularly in supporting young people."

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Good to see Tom being recognised for the promotion of Trophy architecture funded by public subsidies and without any regard for commercial viability – seems to sum up the ethos of Cumbria University itself having clocked up debts of £30m!

By UnaPlanner

It a pity that US can’t develop a building that’s water tight. I know of 3 building in Manchester that have major water ingress problem and US wont do a thing to fix them. Definitely deserves credit for this achievement.

By US Appartment Owner