Housing and Planning Minister Alok Sharma visited Walsall to see the progress of the borough’s biggest ever residential regeneration scheme.

The minister, accompanied by staff from leading Midlands landlord whg and community regeneration and housing company Keepmoat Homes, visited the £45 million Waters Keep development yesterday (Thursday, 2nd November), where he witnessed the outcome of good partnership work.

The visit saw the minister tour the estate in Goscote, before meeting with whg customers.

Work on the £45 million, 412-home Waters Keep development started in 2014 and is expected to finish next year. The scheme is being developed through a partnership between Keepmoat and whg. Other partners included in the project are Walsall Council, the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Waters Keep forms the second phase of the Goscote Lane Regeneration Corridor. The Goscote Lane Regeneration Corridor is the largest residential development scheme in Walsall and a leading example of successful partnership work. In total, it will deliver around 800 new, energy-efficient homes and a better environment; plus improved infrastructure to North Walsall.

The project is also investing in people, creating new apprenticeship and training opportunities in order to achieve long-term sustainable change in the area.

Work on the third phase of the Corridor is due to get underway before the end of the year. This will see more than 400 new homes developed on the former Goscote Estate. The scheme, developed by Keepmoat, is expected to be completed in 2021.

Gary Fulford, whg’s Group Chief Executive, said: “Mr Sharma’s visit provided a great opportunity to show the transformation that is ongoing in Goscote. Through successful partnership work, we are breathing new life into this area. We want to thank the minister for taking the time to visit this impressive development.”

Gary Belcher, MD for Keepmoat West Midlands, said: “Our work at Waters Keep is true partnership working, and an outstanding example of how a previously neglected area can be effectively regenerated, in doing so tangibly improving the quality of life for residents.  Not only that but our construction work has supported local businesses and people by providing local supply chain, jobs and training opportunities. It was fantastic that Alok Sharma has taken an interest in the valuable work being done here at our Waters Keep development.”

Housing and Planning Minister Alok Sharma said: “I was delighted to be in Walsall to witness the excellent progress of the regeneration scheme at the Waters Keep development, bringing hundreds of new energy-efficient homes to the area. This Government is clear that we need more homes in the places where people want to live and this regeneration is not just about new houses but will also bring new businesses and jobs to the area.”