Long-term empty tower blocks to come back to life
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Development
Three north Manchester tower blocks that have been empty for 15 years are to be redeveloped into rental accommodation.
A partnership between Manchester City Council, Ancoats Residential Holdings and Rowlinsons Construction Ltd will see the eyesore blocks turned into 192 residential properties.
It is the first Homes and Communities Agency-approved scheme in the country to receive a build to rent loan.
Work has now begun in the Saltford and Chippenham blocks, clearing asbestos and preparing the site for a complete refurbishment both internally and externally.
The redevelopment of Saltford block will be completed by December 2014, with completion on the other two blocks by March 2015.
The council recently announced its draft residential growth prospectus that set out the city’s housing priorities up to 2027, when population growth estimates a need for up to 55,000 more properties. A key part of the council's strategy to keep up with demand is to bring Manchester’s empty homes back into use.
Since setting up in 2012, the council’s empty homes team has brought more than 500 vacant properties back into use.
Cllr Nigel Murphy, executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “These three blocks have been a blight on the landscape of north Manchester for far too long and local people will no doubt be relieved that works are now in progress to bring them back in to use. Empty homes represent a major housing resource for the city and projects like this are vital to ensure there is enough good quality housing for Manchester people.”
Steve Weir, construction director at Rowlinson Constructions Ltd, added: “The company prides itself on the skills of both its management and workforce and I am confident working closely with our supply chain and delivery partners the project will create employment and training opportunities.
“It will stimulate further growth for local companies and suppliers whilst also making a positive contribution to the regeneration of Ancoats and Manchester. We are confident this project will have a positive impact on the economic and social sustainability of the local community.”