North East housing associations Karbon Homes and Byker Community Trust are in talks about forming a partnership to deliver investment in Newcastle’s Byker Estate.
Karbon told the City the boards of the two organisations had “agreed to explore a more formal partnership”.
Karbon owns or manages almost 30,000 properties across the North East and Yorkshire. Byker Community Trust, established in 2012, owns and manages 1,800 homes on the Grade II* listed Byker Estate.
Byker Community Trust’s strategic objectives for 2025 require significant investment, and it hopes a formal partnership with Karbon will help achieve this. The housing association hopes to deliver new homes and upgrade kitchens and bathrooms across the estate.
The trust previously secured a £26m loan facility towards a planned capital investment programme designed to deliver improvements to the Ralph Erskine-designed estate. It has committed to £35m of investment, with a further £11.8m planned to 2025.
Jill Haley, chief executive of Byker Community Trust, said: “The iconic Byker Estate is a unique and special place and this is an exciting opportunity for both organisations to extend this partnership and deliver the transformational change required to make Byker an estate of choice.
“We will be consulting with all our customers and various stakeholders to give them the opportunity to ask any questions or address any concerns they may have. The consultation period will last for six weeks until the end of October.
“Talks are still at relatively early stage and a number of key milestones still have to be reached, including the final business case being approved by the respective boards before being presented to the regulator for social housing.”
Paul Fiddaman, chief executive of Karbon Homes, added: “We’ve been successfully working with Byker Community Trust for a number of years now and have built some strong working relationships as well as an understanding of the Byker Estate.
“This is a really exciting opportunity to work closely with a fantastic local community. We are hoping through this proposed extended partnership we can build strong foundations for even more people.”
The bodies have been working together since 2016, a move they say has saved money, improved performance and increased customer satisfaction.
Karbon has provided a range of services to Byker Community Trust including repairs and maintenance, grounds maintenance, income management and sheltered housing, as well as central services such as finance, IT and HR.
If agreed and approved, the new partnership could be in place by April.