Meet the Floating Concepts Team

R. David Beard FRICS- CEODavid - September 2010

Floating Concepts is the brainchild of its chief executive, David Beard FRICS, who is a chartered surveyor and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Studies. He has over 30 years experience in property development in the UK, including industrial, offices out-of-town retail and residential development. He was part of the syndicate of investors who lead the early regeneration of Liverpool South Docks with the development of over 100 waterfront properties and the 450 berth, Liverpool Marina Bar and Grill, now owned by Harbourside Marina plc, which he controls.

In exploring ideas for the surplus water space at his Liverpool and Salford Marinas David contacted a number of manufacturers and professionals involved in the design of floating structures and travelled extensively in Europe and Canada. Initially, he secured the UK distribution rights to the exclusive Danish ‘Waterliving’ luxury houseboat concept, since when he has formed partnerships with other manufacturers and can call on the services of some of the most experienced and innovative designers of floating structures in this new emerging market.

David's last land based development, before taking the decision to concentrate exclusively on water and waterfront locations, was City Gate, Manchester, a £60m mixed use scheme of approximately 320 apartments and 20,000 sq. ft. offices which was undertaken in partnership with Bellway Homes plc.







Derek - September 2010Derek J. Cochrane - Director

Derek spent 16 years at British Waterways, joining the company in 1979 as an assistant area engineer and progressing through the ranks to main board where he was responsible for 'regeneration' for the company. Throughout Derek's career, he has been involved with a wide variety of waterway related projects involving both water and land. These schemes have been carried out often in partnership and have involved major commercial negotiations with land and infrastructure acquisitions. He has been responsible for a large number of feasibility studies for waterways, ports, marinas etc. covering master planning, environmental management, urban design, funding and engineering and over a period of 30 years he has delivered a variety of Waterway schemes all with important tourism, economic development and job creation outputs.

He now works as a consultant and has several directorship roles with a number of international companies including Clean Rivers (M) SDN BHD, EnviroCentre - Environment and Water and consultants, Leeds Canal Basin Developments, Anderton Boat Lift Trust and the Honorary Committee for the Tall Ships, Liverpool. He is the Chairman of Voie Navigable d'Europe a European networking body with objectives to foster joint waterways related and community projects, achieve European Funding and influence policy making. He is Vice Chairman of the Northwich Vision Board.

Derek is a recognised industry expert and has presented papers in the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, USA, Germany, Malaysia and South Korea on waterway development and regeneration schemes.





Nick Weston - Financial Director (Non-Exec)Nick Weston

Nick is a Lead advisory Corporate Finance Partner based in Baker Tilly's Birmingham office.  He has over 25 years experience in leading Corporate Finance transactions for owner managed businesses through to public full list companies, covering a variety of Corporate Advisory assignments including Strategic Advice, Management Buyouts, Institutional Buyouts, Acquisitions, Sale Mandates and Initial Public Offerings.

He also has an established record of advising Shareholder and Management groups on strategic structuring issues, delivering development plans and implementing new procedures.

In addition, he has considerable entrepreneurial experience having undertaken a successful MBO of his own in 1990 which resulted in three years of hands-on industrial experience.

Nick also sits as a non-executive Director on a number of other medium sized company boards.




Chris - September 2010

Chris Beard - Acquisition Manager

In his previous employment Chris was Land Manager with north west housebuilder, Wain Homes and has joined Floating Concepts to identify and procure new floating development opportunities with a significant residential component.  He is also developing his idea for a new 'Floaters' hotel concept.  When not travelling the country looking at water space, Chris is a keen rugby player, sailor and marathon runner and devours motivational literature.













Harry Calder - Design DirectorHarry - September 2010

Harry has over 30 years experience with the last 18 as principle of Calder Peel Architects which he established in 1991.  By 2009, the practice has grown to a total complement of in excess of 70 staff and three offices, specialist in all forms of residential development, retail, commercial and PFI projects.  His reputation in the industry is renowned, his enthusiasm for design coupled with an ability to visualize the creative design solution is one of his many strengths.  This combined with his ability to understand the planning and economic constraints ensure the commercial viability of his design solutions are assured.  Harry is currently involved in the master planning and detailed design of the redevelopment of the Sunseeker site in Poole, Dorset with a construction value of £25m and the individual design of 15 private superhomes ranging in size from 8,000 sq ft to 25,000 sq ft.

Harry has joined Floating Concepts in a non-executive capacity to assist the company in developing its ideas for floodplain development solutions.  









Mike - September 2010Mike Crabtree - Technical Director

Mike is a Landscape Architect with extensive experience in large scale landscape engineering, related civil engineering and architectural schemes, planning and environmental projects.  With over 35 years of experience working in New Towns and the Water Utility Business, Mike will apply these skills to minimise the environmental impact of Floating Concept's development programme whilst recognising and delivering the potential for social and environmental improvement.

Mike has an exceptional knowledge and understanding of managing large water bodies and their associated catchment areas for the benefit of wildlife and ecology whilst recognising the needs of the community and visitors to experience and enjoy these areas.  Whilst working for United Utilities, Mike managed a large team of specialists concentrating upon the management of 140,000 acres of land, 200 reservoirs and 10,000 acres of woodland and forest for improved conservation, access and recreation.  He was responsible for the design and building of a series of environmental education centres and the creation of several water based nature reserves which now have recognised ecological designation.  Mike was an active member on the Corporate Forum for National Parks offering advice to businesses on how their policies and developments could respect and enhance the sensitive landscapes of National Parks and other conservation areas.

Having designed, built and managed many successful schemes based around and on water in very sensitive landscape locations, Mike brings knowledge and skills to the Floating Concept's team which will enable the company to appreciate and deal with the complex technical, social and environmental issues involved in successful delivery.



  • Do you live on water?
  • Yes No
  • Type of enquiry