More than 40 representatives from a Danish housing association have visited Manchester to get the inside track on the regeneration transformation of Brunswick.
KAB, based in Denmark’s capital Copenhagen, were given a tour of the area by S4B, which is leading the estate’s 25-year regeneration programme.
KAB’s board members and senior staff travel abroad every two years, seeking inspiration and knowledge to help them tackle housing issues.
After taking in other parts of the UK, S4B was chosen to represent the North of England because of the work it is delivering for Manchester City Council on the PFI project to transform Brunswick.
The Danish guests met tenants and S4B staff, saw extensive improvement work being carried out at the Lockton Court high-rise, and visited the Linden Homes show-home which was open to the public last week. Two, three and four-bedroom homes are due to go on sale and will be offered first to local residents.
Kjeld Poulsen, chair of the KAB board, said: “We are keen to learn more about the experiences of S4B and see the results for ourselves. We have been very fortunate to create contacts at Brunswick.”
The S4B consortium – which has now been working in Brunswick for more than a year – is made up of contract manager Equitix, social housing provider Contour Homes, maintenance company Mears and construction firm Galliford Try.
The regeneration plan includes building more than 500 new family homes – both council properties and homes for sale – new road links, a new play area and new community allotment area and orchard. New shops and amenities, a new neighbourhood office and a 60-bed sheltered housing complex also form part of the masterplan.
Ross Hemmings, Community Regeneration Manager at S4B said: “The Danish visitors were really interested in the mix of social housing, homes for sale and large scale regeneration taking place in Brunswick. They really wanted to meet local people and understand what kind of community projects were taking place. All the visitors enjoyed their time in Brunswick, so much so they are already planning a return trip to see progress”
The Danish guests also met Judith Winterbourne, Managing Director of Contour Homes, who welcomed them during a special presentation held in Brunswick Parish Church.
KAB is a public organisation, owned by a number of housing providers. It manages approximately 50,000 leases and aims to create “a vibrant resident democracy”, good housing and improve wellbeing.
(with pic – Mr John Olsen – Vice Chairman of the Board with Ms Anne Mette Svendsen – Customer Consultant followed by other members of KAB Denmark)