Construction work is under way on a major £15m project to build 119 new affordable homes on a former industrial site in Ross Walk, Leicester.
The project is the first phase in the redevelopment of the former British United Shoe Machinery (BUSM) works, a 30-acre site aside the River Soar and is being carried out in partnership between Westleigh Developments, Leicester City Council, landowners Trafalgar Global Ltd and trustees of GS Fashions Retirement Benefit Scheme, architects Marchini Curran, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and two housing associations.
Development of the site will take place in four phases, starting at the south of the site and working north. Once complete, the entire project will comprise 1,200 homes, six play areas for children, shops, cafes, commercial units and a nursery, as part of the Abbey Meadows regeneration area project.
The first phase will see a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments and two-, four- and six-bedroom houses built. The new affordable homes are being built by Whetstone-based Westleigh in partnership with both Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA) and Leicester-based LHA-ASRA Group. The affordable homes are funded by grants from the HCA, along with money from the housing associations and New Growth Point Government funding provided through Leicester City Council.
Managing director at Westleigh Developments, Chris Beighton, said: "The redevelopment at Ross Walk is a significant one for the city and will transform what was formally a large industrial site into a thriving community with affordable homes, shops and facilities for children. We are pleased to announce that construction work has begun and look forward to working alongside our partners on this project."
Leicester City Council's cabinet member for regeneration and transport, Councillor Abdul Osman, says, "I am delighted that this former industrial site is being brought back into valuable use to create new housing, including a mix of much-needed affordable housing. It is great to see the work is underway on what will become a prestigious development near the heart of the city's Belgrave community. It goes to show what can be achieved by working alongside local partners, and with the help of the Government funding for infrastructure to enable development of housing sites such as this during a recession."
Group director of development and regeneration at LHA-ASRA Group, William Cornall, added: "This development will provide us with 60 homes for affordable rent including 33 large family homes in an area of high demand. It has been a number of years since we have had the opportunity to build large family housing required to meet the demands of the local community. The scheme will be built to improved environmental standards and will achieve Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3."
NCHA's assistant director of development and new business, Allan Fisher, said: "This development is a great example of multi-agency working and funding coming together to provide a much needed mix of affordable and private homes. We are committed to delivering homes in the areas where they are needed and wanted and this project provides a great opportunity for local people to benefit from the housing, but also from the regeneration of this area."
Mandeep Singh at GS Fashions Ltd, added: "Despite construction work only recently commencing there has been a huge amount of work that’s already gone into the project by all parties involved, including the Planning and Regeneration Team at Leicester City Council."
Pictured above are: Chris Beighton, Westleigh Developments; Mandeep Singh of GS Fashions Ltd; Lisa Culhane, LHA-ASRA; Allan Fisher, NCHA; Andrew Smith, Leicester City Council’s Director of Planning and Economic Development; Cllr Abdul Osman, Leicester City Council cabinet member for Regeneration.
Westleigh Partnership Homes work closely together with housing associations to build affordable new homes in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, the West Midlands and Derbyshire. For further information contact 0116 277 3324.