0161 927 3111   

partnershipsOur Team

MKAboutMichael Kennedy

Managing Director

Michael has over 30 years experience in residential property and started his career as an estate agent, working his way up to Regional Land & New Homes Director at Bridgfords. He was approached by Cruden Group to join its expanding residential business, Hillcrest Homes, as Sales Director and became Managing Director just a year later.

With an impressive network of influential industry contacts, a thorough understanding of the construction and development process and a true passion for architecture and design, Michael leads the strategic development of the Hillcrest business.

He is responsible for all land, joint venture and partner developer opportunities as well as planning and architect liaison.

Alan Murphy

Group Director

Alan co-founded Nikal in 2003 and his vision has inspired and influenced the pioneering spirit and progressive approach taken by the Nikal Group.

Alan is one of the North West’s most successful entrepreneurs and innovators. His career has seen him launch several successful businesses across a wide range of industries culminating in A M Paper Group, which he sold in two traunches in 1997 and 1999.

Alan’s considerable industry credibility, coupled with a broad network of influential national and international business contacts, helps attract new and exciting opportunities to evolve the Hillcrest brand and high quality offering. Thus ensuring it continues to meet the requirements of discerning purchasers, both today and in the future.

Nick Payne

Group MD

Nick has been involved in property for over two decades and amongst his many achievements, steered the regeneration of Manchester’s now iconic Deansgate Locks.

A true visionary with a ‘can-do’ attitude and an innate ability to engage influencers and oil the wheels of change, Nick is well placed to aid the strategic development and expansion of Hillcrest Homes and works closely with Michael and his team to identify new opportunities and partnerships across the UK.

Simone Milner

Development Assistant

The daughter of property and interior retail entrepreneurs, Simone was ‘born’ into the industry and has a true passion for architecture and design.

At Hillcrest she plays a vital role in the sales and development process, working alongside Stewart to undertake market and audience research for prospective sites, acting as the key contact for customers prior to completion by keeping them updated on a development’s progress and handling bespoke specification requirements, and remaining their first point of contact throughout the first two years of ownership to deliver Hillcrest’s highest standards of customer care.

Stewart Chance

Sales & Development Manager

Before joining Hillcrest, Stewart spent over three decades as a South Manchester based estate agent, working with vendors, buyers, solicitors and surveyors on a daily basis to achieve ‘quick and painless’ property sales and purchases.

This experience is advantageous in his role at Hillcrest, where he acts as an intermediary between the site teams, suppliers and Hillcrest customers to progress purchases to handover, whilst ensuring all expectations are exceeded. Stewart is also responsible for identifying new development opportunities and works with the PR and marketing teams on new site sales and promotion.

James Payne

Design Director

A trained architect with over 12 years experience at leading private practices in London and Manchester, James joined the Nikal team in 2007 as Design Director.

His extensive experience in residential, commercial and leisure development provides an in-depth understanding of the design, master planning and procurement process.

At Hillcrest, James is responsible for instructing design, planning and construction partners and progresses a development from feasibility and planning approval through to procurement, delivery and post completion. His special responsibilities include the integration of the Hillcrest offering into Nikal’s landmark mixed-use schemes, including Altair in Altrincham and Exchange Square in Birmingham.

Steve Robinson

Group Finance Director

Stephen has been with the Nikal Group since 2004 and offers expertise honed over 25 years in the industrial sector spent with companies turning over in excess of £125 million per annum.

Stephen works closely with Hillcrest MD, Michael Kennedy, and Group MD, Nick Payne, to structure deals, establish Joint Ventures and raise development investment to ensure the strategic financial development and expansion of the Hillcrest business.


Adam Bennett

Facilities & Customer Services Manager

Adam has a wealth of experience in customer service roles including the logistics and hospitality industry. He joined the Nikal Group in 2012 before moving across to Hillcrest in 2016 to help with it’s expanding property portfolio.

Adam works closely with senior directors on planning administration and also handles the procurement of bespoke materials for projects under construction. Once a property is complete, Adam will conduct the handover with the purchaser and is the first point of call for any aftersales enquiries.


Alex Farmer

Consultant QS & Project Manager

Alex has worked in the construction and property industry for over 15 years and brings a wealth of experience of commercial and construction project management to the business.

He operates across many of Hillcrest’s key residential developments and is responsible for pre and post contract project management, construction cost control, design team co-ordination and procurement of construction works.

Alex’s role also involves the supervision of programme, cost and quality to ensure that the properties being provided for customers meet the highest standards expected from Hillcrest Homes.


Jackie Duffy

Consultant PR & Marketing Manager

Jackie has worked alongside Michael Kennedy and the Hillcrest Homes team for over 11 years, helping raise widespread awareness of the brand and position it as a leading provider of high quality, luxury new build homes.

With nearly 20 years experience of PR and Marketing for the residential property sector, she has successfully brought the company’s exceptional standards of design, build quality and specification to the attention of property journalists, award committees and, most importantly, customers.