North East social housing provider Bernicia today unveiled ambitious plans to invest £190m into new homes, existing properties and communities over the next five years.
The investment package will deliver at least 500 new homes by 2023 – and significantly exceed this number if opportunities arise – to help tackle the demand for affordable, high quality social housing in the North East.
Bernicia will also invest £60m into improving its existing housing stock and boost support services for its 60,000 customers who live in properties across Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, County Durham and Hartlepool.
The company is headquartered in Ashington, employing 550 people at four North East sites with a £70m annual turnover.
Its new corporate investment strategy ‘Housing People, Helping People’ is building on its reputation as one of the region’s fastest growing companies.
The £190m investment plan comprises:
- £70m funding to build at least 500 new homes
- A £60m planned programme of investments in its existing 14,000 properties
- A £50m responsive repairs programme
- £7m spend on improving the communities and neighbourhoods Bernicia manages
- New digital technology to make it easier for customers to access services
Chief Executive at Bernicia, John Johnston, said: “Bernicia is in an ideal position to help drive forward the North East’s vision for growth and prosperity, especially within the housing sector.
“Our investment strategy is an exciting opportunity for us to build on the high levels of customer satisfaction we have, delivering the high quality, affordable homes that our region badly needs now and in the future.
“As a company formed and based in the North East, we care deeply about our tenants and the communities they live in.
“We will be investing in those neighbourhoods by not only improving our existing homes but by supporting community projects bringing people together and creating opportunities for people to improve their lives.
“Bernicia is also investing in digital technologies to transform our services for customers, so that they can access our support at times and in a way that suits their needs.”
James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive at North East England Chamber of Commerce, said: “This substantial investment is a tremendous boost to our regional economy and excellent news for businesses who work with Bernicia.
“The North East has a shortage of high quality homes, and it’s great to see one of the region’s housing providers making such a strong commitment to change that and help build an environment for economic growth. These plans are an exemplar in social housing and really help to set the bar for the homes of the future.”
As well as building new homes and delivering high quality rental properties, Bernicia provides specialist care and management services.
It provides housing services for single people, couples, families and older people and customised help for those that need additional support.