Calico and Forrest agree JV

The 4,500-home Calico Group, based in Burnley, has formed a joint venture with contractor Forrest to carry out maintenance for Calico and third parties.

The new company, Ring Stones, is a subsidiary of Calico Homes and is forecast to secure £88m over its 10-year lifetime. Calico currently has a £45m programme of planned works.

A recruitment campaign is underway to hire 30 staff. There will also be training and apprenticeship opportunities.

Preston-based Forrest was appointed by Calico following an open procurement contest handled by Valueworks. Calico said its customers were also involved in the process and on the selection panel.

Michael Birkett, Calico's chief executive, said: "Ring Stones will increase our efficiency through significant VAT savings and direct control of labour and supply chain costs.

"Additionally, we anticipate that a more competitive cost base and a potential use of commercial profits will ensure that we are able to continue to develop new housing supply, particularly post- 2015 when the availability of grant subsidy may be squeezed again."

Lee McCarren, chief executive of Forrest, added: "Our joint venture provides Calico with the means to access additional funding to improve the homes of thousands of its tenants.

"Ring Stones will be based in the heart of Calico's communities and employing people from within those communities, helping to ensure that its investment supports local supply chains and employment.

"From an operational perspective, Calico's on-the-ground understanding of the issues which affect its tenants will be invaluable to Ring Stone's teams as they work in across Pennine Lancashire over the next decade."

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