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Housing Minister’s ground breaking event for new Gateshead homes.

by tac & filed under Gateshead Council, Keelman Homes, Kibblesworth, The Gateshead Housing Company

Housing Minister John Healey today heralded the start of works at a ground breaking ceremony for a major new 150-home housing development in Kibblesworth, South Gateshead thanks to nearly £5million government support.

Mr Healey saw how nearly £5million government cash has helped work get under way on the scheme which will replace the existing 1940s “Airey” houses  which are no longer fit for purpose and are set be demolished.

The scheme will be completed in three years and will include 81 new affordable homes to rent with a further 13 homes for ‘intermediate rent’ – a unique and flexible way for first-time buyers to get on the housing ladder.

All properties will meet the highest specifications to make them energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Construction company Keepmoat are also planning to recruit and train several apprentices once work gets underway, to learn their trade and hone their skills on the site.

John Healey said: “Today marks the beginning of an important new development for Kibblesworth that will provide the quality homes this community needs.

“The power of £4.9 million Government cash helping to build these homes, creating new jobs and training a new generation of construction workers, giving them the chance to develop skills that will last them a lifetime.”

Councillor Angela Armstrong, Gateshead Council’s Cabinet member for Housing, said: “Local councils like us have struggled for many years to match people’s housing needs with the ever-reducing supply of social housing, especially for older people who have very specific housing needs.

“So being awarded the funding – and now starting to build new homes for local people is excellent news.

“We have been given the chance to replace poor quality post-war houses with new homes that will be some of the most modern and energy-efficient in the borough. These new homes will be in great demand.”

The Gateshead Housing Company’s Chief Executive, Bill Fullen, said: “We have already made improvements to thousands of homes across Gateshead through the Decent Homes programme – with less than one in ten homes now needing work.

“We can now literally build on our previous success, through this first scheme to bring new affordable homes to Gateshead.

“And our plans also include a range of improvements to the whole estate to include play areas and landscaping to be enjoyed for generations to come.”

Tom Warburton head of strategy at the Homes and Communities Agency, added: “This scheme will make a real difference for the community in Kibblesworth.

“By providing a wider range of homes, we can make it easier for families to find a quality, energy-efficient home to meet their needs within Kibblesworth.”

David Mellor, Managing Director , community regeneration specialist Frank Haslam Milan (FHM) North East, part of the Keepmoat Group said: “Today marks the start of a very exciting project to help regenerate Kibblesworth, providing much needed affordable social housing for local people.

“These new high quality energy efficient homes will be developed using a timber frame and modern methods of construction.

“The timber frame construction method offers many unique benefits to the customer such as increased insulation levels resulting in lower energy usage costs and will all meet the Government ‘s Code 4 for Sustainable Homes.”

Richard Bass, Managing Director of Keepmoat Homes North East who will be selling the new homes said, “This scheme continues  our successful track record of delivering mixed tenure communities throughout the North East.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Keelman Homes, providing much needed new homes in Kibblesworth.”