Sanctuary Group is celebrating the start of construction at its Wharf Street development in Port Sunlight, a project that will transform former factory land to create new homes and new employment opportunities in this area of the Wirral.
The leading housing and care provider will be working with Wirral Council and construction specialist Seddon over the next 12 months to build 58 new homes at the former Lever factory site in a £6.5 million scheme part-funded by the Homes and Communities Agency.
The development will include 43 two-bedroom and 15 one-bedroom apartments for those aged 55 or over, available on an affordable rental basis.
The village of Port Sunlight was created by William Lever in the late 1800s to house workers at his nearby soap works. It was designated as a Conservation Area in 1978 and is recognised both locally and further afield as being of major historical significance in terms of its town planning, its public buildings, many of which are Grade II listed, and its public spaces.
Sanctuary’s Wharf Street development will be built on land formerly occupied by industrial buildings linked to Lever’s factory, and will help regenerate this corner of the village with a design in keeping with existing architecture nearby.
The scheme is also set to provide job and training opportunities in the local area through the construction process, to include the creation of new apprenticeships and work experience placements.
To mark the start on site and the new opportunities the development promises to bring to the local area, Sanctuary invited local councillors along to Wharf Street to see the site first hand and learn more about the new homes being built.
David Soothill, Sanctuary’s head of operations – Chester, said:
“This is a unique development in every regard. It will provide much-needed new homes that will allow older residents to downsize yet stay local, and will also benefit the younger sector of the community by providing job and training opportunities on site.
“The new homes will be designed to complement other buildings in the village, and will make a positive contribution to the wider Port Sunlight Conservation Area.”
Cllr George Davies, Wirral Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Engagement, said:
“Having enough appropriate and affordable quality housing across the borough to meet the diverse and changing needs of the community is a priority for Wirral Council and a key objective of our Housing Strategy for 2011-2026. This new development, which will provide a large number of affordable rented homes for residents aged over 55, is very significant and it is great to see work begin on site.”
Jonathan Seddon, Managing Director from Seddon said:
“We are delighted to see this development site come to fruition. Both ourselves and Sanctuary have worked extremely hard in realising the scheme on land originally owned by Seddon, and would like to thank Port Sunlight Village Trust for their guidance on design and working in the conservation area of the nationally important village at Port Sunlight.”