Housing provider to invest £190m

Natalie Heppell, (left) Sales and Home Ownership Officer at Bernicia, giving tenant Jennifer Cole the keys to her new build bungalow.
Natalie Heppell, (left) Sales and Home Ownership Officer at Bernicia, giving tenant Jennifer Cole the keys to her new build bungalow.

A social housing provider has outlined ambitious investment plans over the next five years.

Bernicia is looking to invest £190m into new homes, existing properties and communities by 2023.

The company’s aim is to deliver at least 500 new homes – and even more if opportunities arise – to help tackle the demand for affordable housing.

Ashington-based Bernicia, which works across the region, will also invest £60m into improving its existing housing stock and boost support services for its 60,000 customers.

The investment plan comprises £70m for 500 new homes, £60m investment in its existing properties, a £50m repairs programme, £7m on improving the communities and neighbourhoods Bernicia manages, and new digital technology.

John Johnston, chief executive at Bernicia, said: “Bernicia is in an ideal position to help drive forward the north east’s vision for growth and prosperity, especially within the housing sector.

“Our investment strategy is an exciting opportunity for us to build on the high levels of customer satisfaction we have.

“As a company formed and based in the north east, we care deeply about our tenants and the communities they live in.

“We will be investing in those neighbourhoods by not only improving our existing homes, but also by supporting community projects bringing people together and creating opportunities for people to improve their lives.”

James Ramsbotham, chief executive at the North East England Chamber of Commerce, said: “This substantial investment is a tremendous boost to our regional economy and excellent news for businesses that work with Bernicia.

“The north east has a shortage of high quality homes and it’s great to see one of the region’s housing providers making such a strong commitment to change that and help build an environment for economic growth.

“These plans are an exemplar in social housing and really help to set the bar for the homes of the future.”