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Gloucestershire Business News

City leaders back community regeneration plan

A plan for the community regeneration of Matson and Podsmead has been support by Gloucester MP Richard Graham and the leaders of the city and county councils with Gloucester City Homes.

The Matson and Podsmead Community Regeneration Vision Statement aims to make life better for the people living in the areas.

Mr Graham said: "The statement commits us all to work as partners and contribute in different ways to a major Estate Regeneration in both these important wards - creating a master plan with residents that will ultimately provide better homes, shops, employment opportunities and lives."

The Vision Statement builds on a successful £1.25 million government bid, recognising that some of the housing in both wards is not as good as it could be, and that a better mix of social, affordable, shared equity and owner occupied housing is a future ambition.

Gloucester City Homes chairman Tim Dare said: "Estate regeneration in Matson and Podsmead is a major task and we need the full support, funding and assets that each of our organisations can bring to the table and then work closely with residents to develop a master plan.

"With building costs and values as they are we need to stretch every pound to succeed.

Gloucester City Homes gained ownership of several sites in Matson and Podsmead after it became an independent housing association in 2015. The city council transferred its housing stock to GCH when the government agreed to wipe out £50 million of historic housing debt.

Tim Dare said: "This is the next stage of our goal to work with our tenants and all stakeholders, to create modern, new homes which are more energy efficient and greener in communities where everyone can be proud.

"This has been a long running plan for GCH to be at the forefront of change, making homes and developments that really matter to residents. This collaboration is key to making the most of the land owned by different organisations, while accessing all funding available to maximise this opportunity in Matson and Podsmead."

City Council leader Paul James added that "we've been working with GCH on this from the beginning, and as land owner, planning authority and as the only organisation focused entirely on the well-being of the city, I want to see us help respond to Podsmead and Matson's needs and get this right. The impact should be considerable."

Richard Graham said: "If GCH can partner effectively with the right developer(s) I am convinced there will be a lot of positive change for the communities. Better shops, better health and skills access are all part of the mix. I'm delighted we all feel the same way."

County Council leader Mark Hawthorne said, "It's important that all organisations work together on this ambitious plan to support these communities. I'm glad we've published this strategy today that outlines what we plan to do and I look forward to seeing the results."

Pictured: Richard Graham MP, Tim Dare, Cllr Paul James and Cllr Mark Hawthorne signing the Vision Statement alongside the city member for housing Cllr Colin Organ.

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