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Feature – Anfield’s regeneration – how we did it

David Litherland, head of regeneration at Your Housing Group, and Mark Kitts, assistant director for regeneration at Liverpool City Council, discuss why the £260m Anfield Regeneration Project was established, the ways it has evolved and how the local community is now reaping the rewards.

The partnership

Set up in 2013, the Anfield Regeneration Project is a partnership between Liverpool City Council, Your Housing Group, Liverpool Football Club (Liverpool FC) and Keepmoat Homes. It came together because Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, Liverpool FC and Brian Cronin, the Group Chief Executive of Your Housing Group, had a shared vision to revitalise the community surrounding the football stadium and improve the local area for residents. Traditionally it had high levels of deprivation, swathes of empty homes and seemed to only come to life on match days. They wanted to give back a sense of pride and meaning to the local community.

Community relations

Picture by Chris Bull for Social Communications 4/10/17
Your Housing Group –  Anfield Rockfield Road refurbished homes.
www.chrisbullphotographer.com

In 2010/2011 the economic downturn had a major impact on Anfield and there was real frustration in the community. By 2013 the Group had established a new vision for Anfield and wanted to make positive changes. Following this, in 2014 a plan and blueprint was drawn up and a steering group established with the key ambitions to address housing issues, the environment and employment. A six-week public consultation took place to help with community engagement. Initially, there was real hostility to the regeneration plans, residents felt they’d been promised so much before and it had never materialised.

New homes

Early activity on the ground and the commencement of the new build housing programme helped to change perceptions in the community. The Group delivered on its promises and over the last five years more than 600 new homes have been built and 600 existing properties have been refurbished. Now that phase three of the house building has completed, phase four is progressing well bringing new residents into the area.

Your Housing Group has invested more than £30m into the scheme and partnered with Penny Lane Builders, CPC Project Services and Halsall Lloyd Architects to develop 179 new homes for private rent and shared ownership and regenerated 103 homes for affordable rent.

Empty properties have been brought back to life and essential maintenance work has been undertaken so they are in-line with current building standards. Older homes, In Anfield Village, have gone through four phases of refurbishments and residents were rehoused while this work was underway. Many homes have seen novel and quirky redevelopments which included knocking two properties into one to created larger model homes fit for the future. These homes have high levels of insulation helping to reduce resident’s household heating costs.

Project aims

The ultimate ambition of the Group has always been to create a neighbourhood which offers unique opportunities as a place to live. It has created high-quality homes, revitalised the high street and improved parks and green spaces. The purpose has always been to ensure the community benefits from the redevelopment of Liverpool FC and the Anfield community has a chance to thrive.

Keepmoat Homes was appointed by Liverpool City Council to transform and regenerate the area for the benefit of the wider neighbourhood. Andy Denton, Head of Land and Partnerships at Keepmoat Homes, said: “Our role in the partnership has been focused on delivering much needed new housing to the area. To date we have completed over 500 homes for both affordable tenures, in partnership with Your Housing Group and for private sale, increasing home ownership in the area. Phase four of our development is nearly complete and the final fifth phase, a further 86 new two, three and four-bedroom homes, is underway.

“The partnership has worked well throughout the project, with each of the organisations involved unified in the common goal of revitalising the area and supporting the community. As part of our commitment to support the local community during this project, we’re proud to have engaged local schools and supported a traineeship and offered Rotunda College staff training, in areas including health and safety.”

Improvements

The streetscape in Anfield has altered hugely and derelict properties have been demolished and new houses with gardens have been created. Previously 45 percent of homes in this part of Anfield had been unoccupied but now there is actually a waiting list for people wanting to move back. The housing market has been turned on its head as a direct result of the regeneration and improvement of the environment.

There is a real sense of confidence within the community and the area is improving, local people are taking pride in the area and from an environmental perspective less litter is being dropped. Residents can see change happening and know this is a long-term project with five more years of work scheduled.

Commercial properties

The next phase of building work is developing the commercial space in Anfield. The area is attracting interest from national companies who believe investing in the community is a sound proposition. Local businesses and social enterprises are emerging, such as a local laundrette, which gives the area a sense of community and character.

Benefits

The Anfield Regeneration Project has brought commercial and social benefits to the area. For example, Liverpool FC’s decision to stay at its home ground really has benefited the community and its stadium expansion has generated 1,000 new job places. New businesses such as Hestia Careers, a hospitality-focused organisation specialising in recruiting 18 – 24-year-olds, have created opportunities for local young people. This is based at the Isla Gladstone Conservatory in Stanley Park, a Victorian structure from 1870, which was also completely renovated thanks to the support of all partners at the Project.

The Group has also supported the Homebaked Community Land Trust, a thriving co-operative project, situated opposite Liverpool FC. The project bought the high street space for £1 from Liverpool City Council and it has now attracted funding from other providers. This community-run business offers training opportunities in baking, cooking, construction and urban design. It bakes pies and affordable fresh bread, which are sold within the community and on match days and the centre hosts a variety of hands-on baking workshops. Co-operative members can attend training, events and have a say in the high street development and the future of the neighbourhood.

The future

L-R Ann O’Byrne, Liverpool Deputy Mayor , Mark Tattersall chair of Your Housing Group and Brian Cronin, Chief Executive of Your Housing Group.
www.chrisbullphotographer.com

The Anfield Regeneration Project has been a resounding environmental, social and commercial success and will continue for a further five years in its current form. The project will continue to grow and there are plans in place to attract more commercial businesses, which will in turn create employment. More importantly, a sense of community spirit has once again been instilled in Anfield, which will raise the aspirations of residents and benefit those who once felt socially excluded.

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Robert
Robert
5 years ago

Great story about the beneficial impact of regeneration on a community

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