Midcounties Co-op signals major investment with new Head of Property

The Midcounties Co-operative, one of the UK’s largest independent co-operatives, has appointed Kathryn Lyddon as its Head of Property as it embarks on a significant investment programme for 2022.

Lyddon will take responsibility for leading the Society’s property, acquisition and development function as it continues to implement its growth and investment plans, with her appointment seeking to support the Society in providing greater benefits for Midcounties’ members and allowing even more support for local communities.

Midcounties, which operates food retail, childcare, travel, online healthcare and utilities trading groups under the Your Co-op brand, has confirmed plans to open ten new food stores in 2022 at a total investment of more than £5m.

On 6 January it also opened a new state of the art nursery in Emerson’s Green, Bristol, with another two nursery openings scheduled for later this year as part of the Society’s plans to invest £1.8m in its nurseries in 2022 and double the size of its nursery portfolio over the next five years.

In her new role, Lyddon will be providing professional expertise and support across the Society’s property portfolio, which currently spans more than 220 Your Co-op Food stores, 48 Your Co-op Little Pioneers nurseries and 76 Your Co-op Travel branches, as well as offices in Warwickshire and Walsall.

Her role responsibilities will include leading and developing property strategy, optimising and maximising the Society’s asset portfolio value, minimising commercial risk, supporting the trading groups to improve sales and contribution through the right property decisions and creating partnerships with developers, suppliers and external professionals to increase revenues.

Further to this, Lyddon will be key in helping to ensure that the Society’s property portfolio contributes to its sustainability strategy, as it continues to lead nationwide and local efforts to tackle climate change and have a positive environmental impact.

Lyddon joins the Society with seventeen years of UK and international experience in roles spanning from International Asset Manager to Regional Acquisition Manager and from Development Manager to Disposals Manager, working largely with Tesco in Convenience, Dot Com and their international businesses both in Asia and Central Europe.

Phil Ponsonby, Chief Executive, said, “As a Society we've committed to significant capital investment over the next five years – especially in our Food and Childcare businesses.

'Kathryn’s appointment as Head of Property, will not only help us to deliver against our growth and sustainability strategies, but also help us generate even greater benefit for our members and the communities in which we operate.”

Lyddon said, “I’m really excited to be joining an organisation with ethical values at its core and which puts its members and local communities at the heart of everything they do.

'I’m looking forward to leading the team and supporting the wider Society as it continues its ambitious investment, development and growth plans.”