Monday 21 October 2019

Investors in Grand Designs host's eco-homes face huge financial losses

Kevin McCloud will reveal his top five designs. (Boundless/Channel 4)
Kevin McCloud will reveal his top five designs. (Boundless/Channel 4)

Around 300 people who invested their savings into presenter Kevin McCloud's eco friendly housing ventures look set to lose 97pc of their money.

The Grand Designs presenter encouraged people to invest via fund raising schemes that promised returns of up to 9pc a year from his Happiness, Architecture, Beauty (HAB) home business.

The Guardian reports that small investors who put £2.4m (€2.6m) into one of 2017 bonds are set to lose between 74pc and 97pc of their money in a worst case scenario.

McCloud has admitted that he went through “a great deal of heartache and pain” as he tried to find ways to keep the main HAB company viable amid project delays, “systemic faults” and large debts.

“I stand shoulder to shoulder with those who have lost money,” McCloud said when contacted by the Guardian. “I will of course do everything in my power to improve the current situation.”

McCloud set up HAB Housing in 2007 as an attempt to “to challenge the way identikit volume housing was built in the UK”.

"HAB's mission is to make homes that lift the spirits, that are a pleasure to live in and a joy to behold," he said at the time.

The business went to the public to raise cash for projects in In 2013 and again in 2017, setting a world crowdfunding record in 2013 with £1.9million raised.

But the January 2017 bond investors have now been sent letters saying they could lost 97pc of the money they put in.

The company has also proposed a restructuring of the bonds that mean investors would not see any of their cash back until 2024 at the earliest.

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