Ambitious Pendleton PFI regeneration initiative given go-ahead for £430million housing scheme

By Charlie Bennett

Pendleton is set for a major transformation as Salford City Council gives the go-ahead for a £430million Private Finance Initiative housing scheme.

Councillors voted in favour of the ‘Creating a New Pendleton’ vision at the council’s planning committee yesterday, which will bring radical changes to the area.

These include 1,600 newly built homes, further refurbishment work on more than 1,200 existing properties, a major investment in Clarendon Park and other green spaces, and a new shopping promenade and new sports pitches at the Fit City development.

The scheme has grown into one of the country’s biggest development projects, with a number of consortia bringing forward plans for how the areas should look.

But the winner of the four-year bidding process was the SP+ consortium.

Paul Hayes, director of new business at SP+, said:  “This is one of the UK’s biggest regeneration schemes and we are proud to be bringing it forward.

“It has been a long journey but now the real work begins to build new neighbourhoods for residents and deliver this amazing project.”

The SP+ consortium is made up of around 10 different organisations including a housing organisation, house builder, bank and various development specialists – who has worked closely with the both the Council and the local community on developing its proposals before submitting them to the local authority.

The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) is an alternate means for the Council to secure funding to improve, manage and maintain public goods by signing on private sector contractors to hold onto the Council’s services, which typically lasts 30 years.

Councillor Gena Merrett, Assistant Mayor for Housing and Environment at Salford City Council, said: “The plans that were approved today bring us one step closer to realising our vision for Pendleton. Not only will the scheme create better housing for residents, it will also bring the community together, with new public spaces, green spaces and community facilities.

 “It was really important that these plans gave the community what they want and need, which is why there has been significant consultation with local people to shape the plans for the development. Now that we have approved plans the contractors will be able to get on site and start creating a new Pendleton.”

The first phase of the development is set to begin later this year and run until 2016.

Phase one work includes the building of around 300 new homes and refurbishing 1,253 properties, including the area’s nine tower-blocks, with new kitchens, bathrooms and windows.

Around 500 new jobs will be created by the plans along with 2,000 work experience placements and training opportunities for 3,200 people.

 Tom Miskell, Group Chief Executive at the Together Housing Group, the organisation leading the SP+ consortium, said: “This project is about more than just bricks and mortar; it is about creating neighbourhoods that the people of Pendleton can be proud of, both now and in the future.”

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