Walsall’s biggest ever regeneration scheme has been showcased in a national report that explores what makes a great place to live.
The Goscote Lane Corridor was held up as a best example in the National Housing Federation’s (NHF’s) Great Places Commission report, which was published this month.
The regeneration programme by leading Midland’s landlord whg is the largest building scheme of its kind in the borough, delivering more than 800 new, energy-efficient homes to North Walsall.
Housing experts compiling the Great Places report visited Goscote in December as part of their research into the work being done to create communities residents are proud of.
They met with residents to find out how the area had changed and the positive impact it had had on their lives. They also found out about how whg is investing in wider neighbourhood improvements in order to achieve sustainable long-term change in the area.
Chief Executive Gary Fulford said: “Although the Goscote regeneration programme has created affordable modern homes for residents, it is not just about building homes. It is about investing in people, improving the health of residents and their training and job prospects.
“We were delighted to get involved in the Great Places report and showcase the vital role housing associations play in creating great neighbourhoods where people and communities can flourish.”
Chris Handy OBE, Board Member for Black Country LEP, said: “The Great Places report recognises one of our most successful Black Country developments in Walsall which is changing the face of the area and creating affordable homes for families. The Black Country LEP are working with whg and partners to create neighbourhoods that encourage more people to choose the Black Country as a place to live.”
The regeneration project started with phase 1 in 2014, when 29 family homes were built. Work started on a further 412 on the former Poets Estate in 2015. Known as Waters Keep, the second phase provided 177 homes for affordable rent and 235 for open market sale. The third and final phase, which will see a mix of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes built by Keepmoat Homes, is set to start in the near future.
Partners for the Goscote Lane Corridor regeneration programme include Walsall Council, the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (BCLEP) and Homes England. It has also been supported by the Government’s Local Growth Fund.
The National Housing Federation's Great Places programme aims to address the specific housing challenges associated with the North and the Midlands. As part of the project commissioners spoke to housing associations to discover how they can play a key role in regenerating areas in economic decline. Their findings will be used to influence Government policy.