50th home completed on former Walsall bakery site

The 50th new home has now been completed on the once-derelict site of the former Harvestime Bakery in Walsall
Vistry Partnership-35

The 50th new home has now been completed on the once-derelict site of the former Harvestime Bakery in Walsall, with construction continuing despite the pandemic. The 88-home development by Vistry Partnerships has been made possible by a £1.5m investment by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) which has been used to clean up the site and make it suitable for housing. The scheme is one of a growing number of disused industrial sites that are being redeveloped under the West Midlands Mayor and WMCA’s ‘brownfield first’ regeneration programme, bringing long derelict sites back to life with homes and jobs for local people. Harvestime closed nine years ago and the 4.6-acre site remained derelict until the WMCA stepped in to fund the clean-up and prepare the ground for new housing. 

A focus on housebuilding on brownfield sites is a key part of the region’s covid recovery plans with the WMCA continuing to seek further funding from Government to extend its brownfield-first programme. Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “The redevelopment of derelict sites across the region is a key part of our economic plan to unlock our region’s potential. Ploughing on with developments like Harvestime during the pandemic is helping our economy recover from the impact of covid, kickstarting the creation of new jobs and good quality, affordable homes for local people.”

Of the homes, 66 will be made available for private rent through Gatehouse Bank. At least 20 per cent of the homes in any scheme the WMCA invests in are required to be affordable under the Combined Authority’s own locally applied definition, which is linked to real world local wages rather than property prices. Once complete, these properties will be available through local housing association WHG.

Image: (l-r) Paul Stockwell (Gatehouse), Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, Vicky Kirby (Sigma), Cllr Mike Bird, John Bedford (whg), Darren Beale (Vistry), Sarah Morgan (Vistry). Courtesy WMCA.

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