PlaceFirst begins next phase of Accrington project

PlaceFirst has secured Hyndburn Council's approval for phase two of a £15m scheme to bring 131 empty homes back into circulation.

The £4m second stage of the Accrington project will see the refurbishment of up to 60 empty homes across Woodnook, and includes further adaptations to the 71 properties currently being developed in phase one.

The is being delivered through a joint venture between PlaceFirst and Twin Valley Homes in partnership with Hyndburn Council.

The completed project will include homes for sale and rent to families as part of a wider regeneration of Woodnook by PlaceFirst. There will be a new public square, community garden and environmental improvements to Nuttall Street.

Following Cabinet approval by Hyndburn Council, PlaceFirst and Twin Valley Homes will now acquire the latest phase of empty properties from the council and other local landlords. Contract terms are being finalised and work on the properties is anticipated to start in spring 2014.

David Smith-Milne, managing director of PlaceFirst, said: "This project builds on the success of our first phase and is the next step in re-establishing Woodnook as an attractive, vibrant community within a short walk of the town centre.

"These properties will be refurbished to a very high standard and significantly improve the local housing offer through professionally managed rentals and some sales. We believe our customer-focused approach will establish Woodnook as a new benchmark in quality private rentals."

Cllr Claire Pritchard, deputy leader of Hyndburn Council, added: "Woodnook is the council's top regeneration priority. We are delighted to give consent for the next phase of Woodnook's regeneration and really appreciate the commitment shown by PlaceFirst and Twin Valley Homes in supporting the council's plans to make Woodnook a much more desirable place to live."

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