L&Q and East Thames merger confirmed

7 December 2016

Housing associations L&Q and East Thames have confirmed their merger and their plan to deliver 100,000 homes, helped by  £2.6bn refinancing package and a new training academy.

The combined organisation owns and manages more than 90,000 homes across the UK worth £22bn.

It will implement a 10-year financial plan, which will allow for £15bn gross capital expenditure in building new homes, as well as a £250m community investment fund and £5m a year for the new academy.

The new training academy will help local communities and residents into construction and housing-related jobs to support the house building programme.

The company also plans to create a 6,600-home specialist care and support subsidiary, which will have an annual turnover of £47m.

It said it will have a continued commitment of 50% affordable housing through shared ownerships and rent.

The company will accelerate development through London and the south east, including the Thames Gateway corridor, which it said was a “long term national priority for growth”.

The merged organisation will also look to strengthen existing relationships and create new ones, largely in the south east, although it added that it was open to expanding into new regions where appropriate, such as in the north west with Trafford Housing Trust.

Under the merger L&Q chief executive David Montague will become the company’s group CEO and Yvonne Arrowsmith will remain as East Thames chief executive.

Meanwhile, Hyde Housing Group – which was to have been a third party in a three-way merger before pulling out in August – has announced its first venture with house builder Hill.

Under the partnership the two organisations will develop 287 homes in Brent.

The £150m development of private and affordable homes covers three brownfield sites and has secured planning permission, with construction due to start this month.

It marks the final stage of the £225m Stonebridge Estate regeneration.

David Gannicott, group director of business development at Hyde, said: “We are delighted to be working with Hill to develop and deliver homes for those most in need. Our core purpose is to help create sustainable communities for people to live in, and for the homes to stand the test of time. The joint venture with Hill allows this to happen.” 

Andy Hill, chief executive of Hill, said he hoped the development marked “the start of a very successful partnership and that together we will deliver the multitude of new homes which are desperately needed across a number of other London boroughs”.

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