Wellington Street Refurbishment Project

Wellington St Refurbishment Project

Wellington Street, in the Laisterdyke BD4 area of Bradford had four long-term empty properties some of which had been empty for over 10 years.

One of the properties was known locally as a brothel. Another house was home to squatters and used for taking drugs. The area had a significant impact on the quality of life of local residents, especially in terms of crime.

One of the properties was known locally as a brothel. Another house was home to squatters and used for taking drugs. The area had a significant impact on the quality of life of local residents, especially in terms of criminal behaviour and neighbourhood nuisance, local people were constantly complaining to the local authority about the state of the properties.

The Local Authority approached Bradford Youthbuild Trust (BYBT) a small local charity who had a track record of improving empty homes employing local people in the process, to purchase and refurbish the properties. The Trust following an initial financial appraisal agreed to purchase the properties and appointed Cromwell Property Maintenance a local builder to refurbish the properties.

The project brought together the public, private and charity sectors to maximise the overall benefit to local people and stakeholders. The refurbishment provided training for unemployed local people and much needed affordable housing it started in Feb 2016 and was completed in Oct 2016.

BYBT – was established in 2000 to help disadvantaged young people reach their full potential through training and employment within the construction industry. Over a number of years the Trust has managed to purchase and refurbish 43 properties, 25 have been sold with the remaining 18 being rented to local people at affordable rents.

The Trust has recycled property sales receipts to purchases these four new properties and plans to continue to purchase similar properties in future in order to provide more affordable housing alongside training opportunities for disadvantaged young people.

The properties at Wellington St needed a complete refurbishment and the work was estimated to take up to 6 months to complete allowing Imran to provide work experience to a site operative and also an admin assistant to help develop back office skills and support the growth of his business.

To help maximize the training associate with the project, trainees from the ‘Get Bradford Working’ programme employed by Incommunities will be seconded to develop their employability skills and experience.

Outcomes

  • 4 long term empty properties brought back in to use as affordable rented housing
  • 3 jobs created; 1 apprentice and 2 ILM participants both of who subsequently secured employment.
  • Provided on-site training to young learners on the Aspire “I gen” construction skills training course and gave 6 candidates site experience.
  • 290K investment in to a deprived inner city area
  • 4 new housing tenancies provided for local people.
  • Partnership model to be used to bring back other empty properties in to use.

The development is now fully occupied and tenanted. It has brought life back into the area and changed many lives. The council has since visited the site and hailed the regeneration a resounding success.

Partners in the project delivery included: –

Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Facilitated the acquisition through negotiation and the use of CPO powers of the 4 empty and largely derelict properties in BD4 which were blighting the adjoining area and impacting on investment decisions of other home owners in the area

Cromwell Property Services
Local contractor based within the district employing a team of 10 staff with a turnover of over 500K. This includes full-time employees and sub-contractors.   The Managing Director Imran , comes from an inner-city background, who himself started on a training programme run by BYBT over 15 years ago. Because of his background and journey he believes in providing opportunities for local people. He is passionate about supporting local initiatives and has been recognised with various awards in the district providing young learners with site based work experience. Imran is committed to helping others like himself reach their full potential.

Wilson Project Management Ltd
BYBT’s project manager for the project.

Incommunities Group
Project Manager of the ‘Get Bradford Working’ Intermediate Labour Market project who provided 2 work placement participants for Cromwell during the refurbishment period.