Together to upgrade Blackburn housing estate

A new partnership between Manchester's Place Capital Group (PCG) and the Together Housing Group (THG) will see Shadsworth estate in Blackburn benefit from a major overhaul.

The estate contains 850 properties and is home to 2,100 residents. It featured in the controversial BBC Panorama documentary in 2012 which many believed painted them in an overly negative light.

Now, as part of a new five-year agreement between the two companies, the area will benefit from a major 'place shaping' strategy which will eventually reach all of THG’s 36,000 residential property portfolio across the north of England.

Place shaping will enhance the quality of the physical environments that make up THG’s estates, through enhanced public realm, better community infrastructure and neighbourhood management. It will also include the construction of new homes and remodelling others to make them more energy-efficient and relevant to the needs of today’s households.

PCG will act as THG’s development manager to deliver over 100 new homes through remodelling existing stock, new build on infill sites and major improvements to the public realm on the estate.

The project will also improve community assets and build social infrastructure and provide access to work opportunities, events, information and support. Properties across the estate will benefit from facelifting works and the installation of renewable heat infrastructure through air source heat pumps.

Work is currently underway on the redevelopment of Unit 2, adjacent to the Shadsworth Hub, into a resource and consultation hub where the development of the area will be rooted. The full consultation programme will be unveiled to the community in November. Remodelling of empty properties on Staffa Crescent will commence shortly (subject to planning) to provide show home garden and balcony flats.

Kevin Ruth, deputy chief executive, Together Housing Group said: "Following a rigorous open market procurement process, we are extremely pleased to appoint Place Capital Group to help deliver our Corporate Plan priority of 'Creating great places to live' by 'investing in place'.

"We were impressed by the quality and vision of PCG particularly in their approach to placemaking and deep-rooted real-life developer experience. The partnership will help to focus and build capacity in core strategic areas of our business so that we maximise impact, build social infrastructure and deliver a first-class neighbourhood management service within our communities.”

David Smith-Milne, Place Capital Group chief executive said: "This is not a traditional development management contract that simply requires technical, consultancy or project management expertise to deliver a set of predetermined plans.

"At the core of this project is the need for visionary development expertise, to help THG to set a new future and vision for some of its most challenging neighbourhoods. We’re determined and motivated to do this alongside THG through imaginative and innovative design that is deliverable, maximises social impact and is grounded in the technical and cost realities that THG’s neighbourhoods present."

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