Homes England agrees Strategic Place Partnership pilot with Greater Manchester

Homes England and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) have entered into a Strategic Place Partnership (SPP), piloting a new model for partnership working between the government’s housing and regeneration agency and local authorities. Homes England is also testing the pilot programme with the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA).

The model – which is just one of the ways that Homes England is working with places to support the government’s levelling up agenda – is aimed at sub-regions with the most ambitious proposals for housing growth as part of their broader social, environmental and economic vision for the area. Importantly they must also have a strong pipeline of potential opportunities to deliver these ambitions. The SPP is then centred around a shared business plan that sets out special and thematic priorities.

In Greater Manchester, this means a shared focus on the delivery of growth locations, affordable housing and town centre regeneration. Through the SPP, the partners have set out how they will work together to progress their pipeline of homes and regeneration projects to achieve this, working with both private and public sector partners across the sub-region.

Peter Denton, Chief Executive of Homes England, said:

This new model of partnership is our way of responding to the most ambitious places where there is significant opportunity and a need to partner more closely. Greater Manchester is a mature, well established partner, with huge ambition and the ability to deliver. Together, we can pool our resources to support place-based growth and regeneration, including the supply of well-designed new homes.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:

This partnership will give a major boost to the work we’re already doing across Greater Manchester to address the national housing crisis.

Right now we have to be creating homes and infrastructure that are fit for a better future, and our ambition is to deliver 30,000 good quality, truly affordable net zero carbon homes by 2038. This means unlocking brownfield land for regeneration, and ensuring that development supports sustainable growth throughout the city-region. With the expertise, capacity, and funding tools at their disposal, and working alongside the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and local council teams, Homes England has a vital role to play in this collective effort.

With ASELA, the Partnership aims to transform housing and regeneration in the region – there is a recognised need for, and commitment to, a programme of strategic and tactical interventions that would significantly increase delivery rates. The ambition is to embed outstanding place making principles in every project so local communities can thrive and see a step change in employment and skills, life chances and health and wellbeing.

Cllr Chris Hossack, Chair of the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) and Leader of Brentwood Borough Council, said:

We welcome the partnership with Homes England. It will support our vision for south Essex as a place where communities can thrive and where new homes come hand in hand with new jobs and regeneration of our town centres and high streets.

The SPP pilot is just one of the tools Homes England is exploring as part of the Agency’s broader efforts to reshape the way it works with places, and will not be suitable for every sub-region. In line with the commitments set out in the government’s Levelling Up White Paper, Homes England is adopting a place-first approach to transformational regeneration, responding to the individual circumstances, aspirations and needs of each place, and working with local leaders to unlock barriers.

For example in Sheffield Homes England is developing a bespoke housing solution in collaboration with local stakeholders and have formed the Housing Growth Board to implement this. In Blackpool, the Agency is conducting a study with Blackpool Town Council that will underpin the development of opportunities for investment for reshaping inner Blackpool. While in Wolverhampton, Homes England is working with the City of Wolverhampton Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority to utilise collective expertise and investment tools to unlock new homes.

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