Two merge to form Symphony Housing Group

Liverpool-based Vicinity Housing Group and Contour Housing Group in Salford have now amalgamated to form Symphony Housing Group.

Symphony will comprise seven stock holding member organisations in the North West with property portfolios ranging in size from 1,000 to 12,000. The new group will own and manage over 40,000 homes.

United as a federated partnership, members include Atrium, Beechwood Ballantyne Community Housing Association, Cobalt Housing, Contour Homes, Contour Property Services, Hyndburn Homes, Hyndburn Homes Repairs, Liverpool Housing Trust, Peak Valley Housing Association and Ribble Valley Homes.

Symphony will work across the North West in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire employing more than 1,000 staff.

The organisation combines traditional Registered Social Landlords and stock transfers with non stock holding parents and has a projected turnover of £140m.

Staff and tenants as well as other key stakeholders were consulted and informed throughout the process prior to amalgamation on the Friday 1 April.

Phil Gandy, former chief executive of Vicinity Housing Group who will now take up the reins as chief executive of this new organisation commented: "Symphony Housing Group will focus on the provision of high quality, affordable housing and the delivery of excellent services to tenants. The demands upon social landlords are increasing and our roles extending. This creates new challenges and opportunities that the Symphony Group will be well positioned to grasp."

Chris Jeffries, past chairman of Contour Housing Group and now chairman of Symphony Housing Group, said: "Throughout the process of amalgamation the compatibilities between the two organisations have strengthened and it has been made more apparent that by uniting as Symphony Housing Group we will be in an even stronger position for the future to do more for more people."

Bill Tubey, past chairman of Vicinity Housing Group and current deputy chairman for Symphony, added: "As the housing sector faces new and as yet not fully determined challenges, the stability that has been created through the union of our two organisations will stand us in good stead for the future.

Tubey said all local offices and services remain unchanged post amalgamation with re-structures being made at group level only.

Key changes include the creation of five new group directorates including corporate services, corporate planning and change, finance, investment and initiatives and customer services.

Mike Creamer, former chief executive of Contour Housing Group, will remain at Symphony for a short period post amalgamation to support the smooth transition to the new group.

Vicinity and Contour agreed to merge in the summer last year.

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