Downley Drive Great Places Housing p.planning docs

Great Places is developing 68 homes at Downley Drive in New Islington. Credit: via planning documents

Great Places, MSV open merger talks

The Manchester-based social housing groups aim to complete a full merger by 1 July 2023 to create a “larger, more resilient, organisation”.

Under the plans, Great Places Housing Group and Mosscare St Vincent’s Housing Group would join together in a merger. MSV would join Great Places through a transfer of engagement agreement to Great Places Housing Association, a subsidiary of Great Places Housing Group, a spokesperson said.

The two companies already work together on various projects and initiatives, including Hive Homes, Housing First, and collaborative projects across Greater Manchester.

The deal is subject to due diligence, shareholder approval, board approval and FCA approal.

Under the plans, Charlie Norman, chief executive of MSV, becomes chief executive designate of the merged organisation. Current Great Places chief executive Matt Harrison has decided to step down after nine years in the role and more than 30 years with the group and will leave his position at the point of merger, according to a joint statement from the companies.

Said Norman. “In an increasingly challenging environment, there will be meaningful and significant benefits of creating a larger, more resilient organisation. The new organisation will keep a strong local focus and connection to our communities, put customers at the heart of all we do, and value the shared heritage and legacy of MSV and Great Places.

“It has been such an honour to be part of the MSV journey, working with wonderful colleagues, customers, and partners for the last 20 years, and very much in partnership with Great Places in many ways.  I have the greatest respect for everything that Matt Harrison and his colleagues have achieved, and I feel privileged to be given the opportunity to work with everyone to take our new organisation forward with optimism into the future, building on strong foundations.”

Tony Davison, Chair of Great Places, said: “This is a great opportunity to tackle the challenges facing our sector head on, put more money into the communities we serve, and improve services for our customers.”

MSV chair Gareth Hall said the “shared geography, ambitions and vision of the two organisations make a compelling case to join forces and further raise the bar in helping to improve the lives of our existing and future residents”.

The merger talks are subject to full consultation with customers and colleagues. The boards of both organisations are confident that the merger will progress as planned, the joint statement said.

Great Places manages around 24,000 homes across the North West and Yorkshire. With development partner Rownlinson, it is building a 68-home scheme at Downley Drive in New Islington, Manchester, designed by Buttress Architects, among other schemes.

MSV manages almost 9,000 homes in Greater Manchester, and is converting the Boundary Lodge student accommodation block in Hulme into supported housing for 30 young people. In July, it applied for planning consent to build 42 apartments in Salford for homeless people. 

Your Comments

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May as well have the councils buy back all their stocks. So much for the personal touch of the small HA. The tenants don’t like it – but hey, who cares about the tenants?

By Steve Davyhulme

Good news for the balance sheet bad news for tenants and staff!

By Anonymous

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