Work has started on a housing development where a regeneration partnership will build its 2,000th home.
Established in 2001 to revive communities and economies, the Durham Villages Regeneration Company (DVRC) has brought affordable homes – for rent and for sale – jobs and training to over 20 localities around the county.
A partnership between Durham County Council and the UK’s leading partnership home builder, Keepmoat Homes, it has just commenced construction at Gibside in Chester-le-Street.
Leader of the authority, Cllr. Simon Henig, was joined by the chair of DVRC, Cllr. Carl Marshall and ward Cllr. Linda Marshall, to help get work underway on a project which will deliver 78 two, three and four bedroomed homes, adding to the 1,981 already completed or under construction by the partnership.
Cllr. Henig said: “I am delighted that DVRC will build its 2,000th home in Chester-le-Street. These much needed properties will help meet the growing housing need in the area, while providing work, training and an economic stimulus for the local community.”
When completed – in 2020 – the Gibside development will be the 32nd delivered by DVRC. These will comprise 2,059 homes, of which almost a quarter – 448 – will have been allocated for affordable rent through local housing associations.
And with those sold attracting an average price of around £105,000, DVRC has consistently delivered homes within the reach of local, young people. Over 80% of them so far sold have been bought by those living within 10 miles of the development and around 60% were first time buyers.
By retaining young families within local communities and creating jobs and training opportunities, the partnership has boosted micro economies across the county.
Cllr. Carl Marshall, Chair of DVRC, said: “It is extremely pleasing to see the partnership is continuing to deliver new homes which are within the reach of those living in our small towns and villages, whether renters or buyers.”
Keepmoat Homes’ Land and Partnerships Director in the region, Ian Prescott, added: “It is very satisfying to look back and see what’s been achieved over the years but our focus remains on the future and working with the council to bring forward more developments and homes for local people.”
With developments at Dipton, Peterlee, Seaham and Sherburn Hill also underway, Chester-le-Street will be the fifth live DVRC project.
*Picture caption: Cllr. Carl Marshall, in the digger, with (L/R) Ian Worgan, Keepmoat Homes North East Managing Director; Cllr. Simon Henig; Cllr. Linda Marshall and Ia Prescott.*