Scheme will offer value for money

PLANS to transform sheltered accommodation in North Tyneside represent good value for money, according to government officials.

North Tyneside Council’s Quality Homes for Older People initiative aims to deliver more than 900 new and refurbished homes in the borough.

The council was awarded more than £100m PFI credits towards the project.

But as with all local authorities delivering PFI schemes, the council is required by the government to submit a value for money assessment.

And now officials have been notified by the Homes and Communities Agency that the assessment has been approved, which means the council can proceed to the next stage of the project.

Mayor Linda Arkley said: “It’s great news that the government has continued to support this important project.

“After I was elected, I asked for a review of the initiative to ensure it better reflected the council’s aims of achieving affordability and value for money.

“It led to some changes being made and I’m delighted that the government agrees that the project offers good value for money for the public purse.”

The council is now able to complete its Final Business Case, and once approved by the government, the local authority will be able to invite the two bidders – Solutions for North Tyneside and Tynecare – to submit their final tenders.

The chosen company will carry out the refurbishment and construction work, as well as be responsible for the repair and maintenance of the buildings and their gardens for up to 30 years.

The project will involve extensively refurbishing 16 existing sheltered schemes and building ten new ones.

The works will also include communal facilities, landscaped gardens and energy efficiency measures.