An iconic council estate will be handed over to the community
An iconic council estate will be handed over to the community to run after an overwhelming majority of tenants voted to take control.
The Byker estate in Newcastle stands to receive up to £70 million of investment after 64 per cent of tenants, 541 people, voted in favour of transferring the estate to a not-for-profit trust.
A board made up of tenants and representatives from Newcastle Council and Your Homes Newcastle will now be set up to decide where and how to invest the money over the next 30 years.
The homes will still be managed by YHN on behalf of the trust and the funding will come from partners such as the council and YHN to undertake repairs and create jobs and training opportunities.
Professor Peter Roberts, chair of the Byker Steering Group, said: ‘I am delighted that the people of Byker have agreed to support the creation of the Byker Community Trust.
‘This positive endorsement of the proposal to create a Trust will help to safeguard this very special community and will also assist in securing the wider social and economic regeneration of the area.
‘Our task is now to create the Trust and finalise the development programme.’
Byker Community Trust is expected to be launched in early 2012 after contracts have been signed and a board appointed.
John Lee, chief executive of Your Homes Newcastle, said: ‘It’s a huge and very exciting step for the Estate and my thanks go out to everyone who has been involved in making it happen.
‘Tenants will be at the very heart of the Trust and I look forward to seeing their decisions shape the Estate both now and in the future.’
Grant Shapps, housing minister, said: ‘I am pleased that after years of campaigning Byker residents will finally be able to take control of their iconic estate.’