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Making Affordable Housing a Reality in the UK and Beyond: ESE Capital


“Our motivation is very clear – to delivery projects that create a positive social, environmental and economic impact.”

ESE Capital is a UK-based investment platform committed to transforming the nation’s housing sector. By utilising sustainable materials and modern methods of construction, ESE aims to speed up development time whilst ensuring that the homes built on the sites have a low carbon footprint.

Recently, the firm branched out into the commercial development market, with its latest project aimed at offering an eco-friendly, holistic experience to customers while embracing the core principles of low-carbon, sustainable development.

Moreover, ESE Capital provides unique opportunities for investors through a secure, online platform, which is designed to make the investment process as straightforward as possible.

Gregory Baker, founder of ESE Capital, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review about how his company is utilizing modern technology to match qualified investors with strategic land opportunities across the UK.

Below is an excerpt.

Q. What's your story? And tell us what motivated you to establish ESE Capital?

I have worked in and have experience with a variety of industries. I have started, grown, acquired, and exited numerous businesses throughout my career, and ESE Capital is the consolidation of some of these existing companies. The motivation is very clear – to deliver projects that create a positive social, environmental, and economic impact. Initially, the mission was to deliver affordable housing across the UK; however, our focus has matured over the past five years to encompass projects focusing on healing and wellness, sport, education, and healthcare. It is important to focus on sustainable projects that benefit and give back to the local community.

Q. Who do you look up to and why?

Currently, it would be Elon Musk. I believe that he is living proof of what being visionary and ambitious is all about – he's disruptive, thinks outside the box, and doesn't allow outdated ideologies to stand in his way. I think we can all learn from the way that he innovates and his entrepreneurship. It highlights what is possible when we don't hold ourselves back and that those who dream big can achieve big.

Q. Where does ESE Capital stand at the moment relative to other participants in the industry?

ESE Capital is uniquely positioned to offer innovative opportunities to investors that embrace new technologies and sustainability throughout. An example of this is the UK's first eco-therapy wellness resort in Scotland, which utilizes modern construction methods with sustainable materials to produce a carbon-neutral resort dedicated to providing holistic therapies. These offerings are not just designed with environmental and social causes in mind but also with a benefit to local the economy – we are committed to ensuring that our developments give back to the local community in a positive manner through generating jobs and lasting infrastructure they can benefit from for generations.

Q. How does ESE Capital make the investment process straightforward for its investors?

Our investment process is fully managed online. All of our investors have 24/7 access to their ESE Capital accounts and portfolios and receive regular updates on their investments through our site activity logs and email updates. We are also dedicated to holding regular investor events – throughout the pandemic, we have held these online via webinars; however, we are looking forward to welcoming our investors in person again soon.

Q. ‘We aim to seek out strategic land where there's a clear demand in the area for future housing or a need for space for amenities that accompany it.’ Would you like to elaborate on this a bit more?

The UK is in the midst of a generational housing crisis fuelled by a lack of supply. We're looking at a whole generation of people being priced off the housing ladder because there is simply not enough genuinely affordable housing to go around. This is coupled with an archaic planning system which makes the process of planning permission for new housing developments an often lengthy and expensive process. We identified that it would be possible to provide more genuinely affordable housing in areas around the country that need it the most through utilizing greenfield "strategic" land – this island that is undeveloped and has previously been used for agricultural or leisure purposes. By buying these sites in areas with a defined need for new housing, we can provide affordable homes in areas with a low housing supply.

Q. What are your other focus areas?

At ESE Capital, we are passionate about providing truly socially conscious, ethical investments that benefit local communities through economic boosts and lasting infrastructure. Our current commercial opportunity focuses on health and wellness, providing people with the opportunity for rest and recuperation in an environment built around sustainability, holistic therapies, and natural remedies. All commercial developments remain sensitive to the local environment, are carbon neutral wherever possible, and give back to the local communities through increased jobs in the area.

Q. No doubt, ESE Capital is charting new territories in this segment. Given how frequently circumstances change, what plans for transformation are you pursuing to remain relevant now and in the future?

We are constantly keeping abreast of the latest eco and smart technologies that we can use within both our commercial and residential offerings. We want visitors and residents to benefit from a heightened experience. We continue to utilize sustainable materials and modern methods of construction to ensure our developments remain as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.

Q. Is there anything else you want us to highlight that we might have missed?

One crucial element we wish to place focus on is our commitment to modern methods of construction within our developments. This not only ensures that we are building in a more sustainable and energy-efficient manner, but it also gives us the ability to build quality developments faster than more "traditional" forms of construction due to being able to utilize elements like modular construction. We are also committed to upholding the United Nations 17 Sustainability Goals within our developments and strive to ensure that the projects we're working on will continue to benefit communities for generations to come.

In addition to our sustainability practices, we are also proud to be utilizing cutting-edge technologies within our projects. One example of this is the use of saltwater greenhouses in an upcoming project we will be introducing to the platform in 2022. These greenhouses allow local communities to grow fresh produce in a location where the ability to grow fresh food is very difficult. Not only will this greatly benefit the local community, but it also reduces the need for them to produce elsewhere, minimizing their carbon footprint.

The Visionary Leader at the Helm of ESE Capital

Gregory Baker is the founder of ESE Capital. He has spent his career building businesses in real estate, technology, and the financial services sector. In the last five years, Gregory has been involved in funding projects that will deliver mainly affordable housing with a gross development value of £500m. Gregory's focus now is to work on projects that he is passionate about and that have a huge positive environmental and social impact, as well as delivering a return on investment. He strives to create ecosystems that retain the identity of the location and long-term sustainability. Gregory is a keen traveler and outdoorsman who love spending time with his family kitesurfing in Dakhla and Tarifa.

“We are committed to upholding the United Nations 17 Sustainability Goals within our developments and strive to ensure that the projects we're working on will continue to benefit communities for generations to come.”