A NEW development company, created by the boss of a Kirkdale kitchen firm, has won a £25m contract with Liverpool City Council to refurbish and build homes in the Granby Four Streets area, Webster Triangle and Arnside Road in Wavertree.
The contract, which is still subject to the completion of a legal agreement, will see the money invested in refurbishing 149 houses and building 50 new homes, backed by London-based investor William Pears Group.
The company, Leader1 Liverpool, was created last October by Eddie Reed of Noname Kitchens and was selected by the council in a tender process following the collapse of the Government's Housing Market Renewal Initiative.
The project involves refurbishment of properties for sale and rent ranging from two to five bedrooms, as well as improvement to local streets. Work is expected to start in May and take about three years.
Cllr Joe Anderson, leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "The partnership between Leader1 Liverpool and ourselves offers the potential to bring massive benefits to neighbourhoods in need of renewal in Liverpool. In tough economic times, it is more important than ever that we find creative ways to work with the private sector and bring in the investment so vital to our future. The city council is always looking at new ways of driving forward regeneration, improving housing and delivering major schemes for the benefit of our residents."
Huyton-born surveyor Paul Iredale, a partner in Leader1 Liverpool, said: "It is important to point out that this project is not just about refurbishing empty houses. A priority for us, going forward, is to continue our dialogue with the local people, businesses and organisations to deliver an effective, holistic regeneration plan."
"In the main, these are great houses, which when extensively refurbished and the areas renewed, will make fantastic homes and neighbourhoods for those families wanting for a property of their own."
Chris Wheatcroft, of William Pears, which has experience in renovating Victorian homes, said: "We are committed to use local craftsmen and businesses. Our investment will directly benefit Liverpool people and local families, bringing these properties back into use and we look forward to getting started on the ground.
"We have further plans to assist Liverpool City Council, to deliver regeneration on a comprehensive basis in these areas, and we will be sharing these plans with the council soon."