About Chris Musgrave OBE
With close to 40 years of experience, Chris Musgrave has built a reputation as one of the most hard-working and innovative commercial property entrepreneurs in North East England.
From humble beginnings as a market trader alongside his father, Hartlepool-born Chris developed an eye for untapped commercial opportunities at a young age. After building up a network of fruit and veg shops in his hometown with his family, Chris set up his first company JCM Group in 1990 by sourcing and selling second-hand racking to mainstream supermarket chains for a profit. Chris quickly built JCM into an international organisation with over £10m in turnover and more than 250 staff at its Billingham base, offering asset management solutions to retailers such as Somerfield, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s.
Using his extensive trade knowledge and unique business model, Chris went on to secure a coveted contract with the Ministry of Defence to dispose of all British Armed Forces’ equipment in the Far East between 1994 and 1997. This progressed into the trading of military helicopters to the UK market.
Commercial property development
In 1998 Chris negotiated the sale of JCM to venture capitalist 3i and turned his attentions to commercial property development. Chris developed a highly successful business model on the investment and regeneration of key commercial and industrial sites in the North East and nationally, acquiring vacant possession and implementing a programme of refurbishment for pre lets to new businesses and alternative uses. The assets would eventually be sold on – with the value maximised – to investors or end users.
Over nearly two decades Chris built up an immense knowledge of the property industry, amassed from years of heading up substantial acquisitions and negotiating complex investment sales through trading capital. One of his most notable achievements has been the development of Wynyard Park – from vacant possession to a 700-acre mixed-use settlement in the Tees Valley comprising over 2 million sq. ft of commercial space with 60 companies employing more than 2,500 people and over 600 homes including over 75 self-build properties.
He also led the revival of Discovery Business Park in Kent, turning it from a dwindling commercial site the largest science park of its kind in the UK and supporting the creation of thousands of new jobs.
He continues to focus on residential and commercial developments in the UK and is currently working on the ongoing growth of Wynyard Park and other large-scale developments in key locations across the UK.
Throughout his career, Chris has been committed to supporting charitable causes and has donated extensively to local projects including Alice House Hospice and Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation, which works in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Teesside.
Chris was honoured to be appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in The Queen’s 2019 Birthday Honours for services to business and the community. He also received a special business civil award from Stockton Borough Council for exceptional services to regeneration in the area.