Developing a flexible heat exchanger network, that will remain operable in the face of potential variations in stream parameters, or variables, around some nominal values, especially for large problems, are difficult to solve simultaneously. A hybrid synthesis approach that systematically combines sequential and mathematical programming techniques may be more suitable to adopt. The proposed method presented in this paper entails firstly generating two representative single period networks using the Pinch Technology Stream Temperature versus Enthalpy Plot (STEP) approach and the multi-period stage-wise superstructure model for heat exchanger network synthesis. Streams for the representative network are obtained using the largest stream heat demand as criteria. The second stage of the proposed method entails generating a reduced multi-period stage-wise superstructure, using a combination of the matches obtained in the single period representative networks of the first step as initialising matches. The solution of the reduced superstructure of the second step, which is solved as a Mixed Integer Non-Linear Programming (MINLP) model, is then selected as the best multi-period network. The newly developed method of this paper is tested using an example from the literature. One of the solutions obtained is only 0.9 % higher, in terms of total annual cost, than the best solution presented in the literature but has the benefit of a fewer number of units.