A regeneration scheme to bring Liverpool’s Welsh Streets back to life has delivered its first “affordable” homes.
Plus Dane Housing is working with the city council and Homes England to remodel 127 terraced properties as part of a £17.4 million programme to provide modern homes in Toxteth. The first 99 homes – said to be affordable – were launched this month.
“This is a flagship regeneration programme for us and more than just creating homes we want to support the rebuilding of the community to ensure it remains a great place to live for our current and future customers,” said Madelaine Nelson, Plus Dane’s acting chief executive.
“In developing our plans, we have worked closely with our customers and the homes we are launching today reflect their aspirations for future living. That Plus Dane has been able to deliver such beautiful homes in response to these aspirations is brilliant.”
Lynnie Hinnigan, deputy mayor and cabinet member for housing, added: “I’m delighted that Plus Dane is now in a position to launch the first wave of these new, affordable homes in the Welsh Streets. This is a symbolic moment in the regeneration of the area and a great example of how the city council is working with numerous housing partners, like Plus Dane, to bring vacant properties back into use. In the past four years alone, we’ve managed to convert 1,500 vacant units into homes and aim to breathe new life into 3,000 more over the next four years.
“This is a fantastic community and the residents have been very patient and understanding of all the hurdles that have had to be negotiated to get to this point. The standard of these homes is outstanding and they are going to make a huge impact on the families’ quality of life and the wider community.”
The Welsh Streets is made up of small Victorian, terraced properties with downstairs toilets. The newly remodelled homes have been opened up to provide larger kitchen and living spaces with higher ceilings, more storage space and some “quirky” features that wouldn’t be found in new build properties.
To create a mix of two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes, in some cases two properties have been knocked into one. The partners behind the scheme says a significant investment has also been made to increase the energy efficiency of the homes, to make them more economical to run.
Penny Lane Builders, a local family owned property company, is carrying out the work for Plus Dane on the first phase of the programme.
As part of the company’s commitment to working with Plus Dane on the regeneration of the area, it is looking to recruit to three apprenticeship roles; painter and decorator, bricklayer and joiner to work on Welsh Streets.
Gerrard McEvoy, director at Penny Lane Builders, which employs 250 people, said: “It is great to be working with Plus Dane on the Welsh Streets project and as part of that to create these apprenticeship opportunities. We have a long history of developing early talent at Penny Lane Builders, with 80% of our apprentices remaining with us after completing their training.”
Image: Local residents with representatives of Plus Dane Housing and Penny Lane Builders