A new £4.9 million affordable housing development in South Tyneside has been officially handed over and is now ready to welcome new residents.
Contractor Tolent has handed not-for-profit housing provider South Tyneside Housing Venture Trust the keys to Whitburn Towers, a 36-home development in the village of Whitburn.
The development features 32 apartments within a three-storey tower block and four apartments within a separate two-storey annex block at the back of the site.
Completed in partnership with South Tyneside Council and Homes England, Whitburn Towers is the latest development by South Tyneside Housing Ventures Trust for over-55s in the area, replacing a sheltered accommodation facility that was demolished in 2017.
Chris Price, regional director for Tolent, said: “Seeing the transformation that’s happened on site is extremely rewarding for us all.
“The improvement in the quality of the homes Whitburn Towers now offers, when compared to the previous scheme is second-to-none. It’s been a pleasure to work with all the partners on this scheme.”
South Tyneside Housing Ventures Trust was established in 2013 to build affordable housing for rent, with help from South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes.
It mainly caters for people over the age of 55 or people that live with a disability but also provides new and refurbished family homes and starter homes in South Tyneside.
The not-for-profit company has already built or plans to build 435 properties for affordable rent, while it has also brought 43 long-term empty homes back into use with a further 10 planned.
Peter Davidson, chair of South Tyneside Housing Ventures Trust, said: “On behalf of the board at South Tyneside Housing Ventures Trust, I would like to thank and acknowledge the tremendous work delivered by the team at Tolent in the completion of Whitburn Towers. We are delighted with the outcome.
“It’s an amazing development that also demonstrates great collaboration from our partners at South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes.”
Cllr Mark Walsh, lead member for housing and transport on South Tyneside Council, said: “The borough has an ageing population and creating this kind of modern, quality accommodation that allows older people to live independently for longer is a key priority for the council.
“The former sheltered accommodation block was outdated and not fit for purpose and the transformation here has been fantastic; these attractive new apartments provide a real boost to the area.”
Tolent recently announced plans with Durham County Council and the North East-based Home Group to build a £190 million garden village near the seaside town of Seaham.
The proposed plans for South Seaham Garden Village include 1,500 houses, half of which will be affordable homes. Half of the village will also consist of managed green space including extensive parkland, a football pitch, play areas and allotments.
Image: Representatives of South Tyneside Council, South Tyenside Homes, South Tyenside Ventures Trust and Tolent at Whitburn Towers. Credit: Tolent