Winchester City Council has been part of the Wayfarer partnership for five years and in that time its involvement has led directly to the authority securing £8.5 million in funding that has so far helped to support the development of more than 150 new homes.
Fully aware that Winchester is an expensive city to live in, the authority understands that housing affordability is an issue that needs addressing – especially for young people and families. It also has a particular focus on developing attractive, suitable homes for older people – with an overall ambition to build 1,000 new homes.
Securing Homes England funding has been a particularly important part of this drive, with £6 million of the funding Winchester has been awarded through the Wayfarer Partnership coming from this source.
Working as a member of the Wayfarer Partnership, Winchester City Council is able to access critical strategic advice and practical guidance that helps it to optimise the – consequently successful – bids it makes for grant funding.
Andrew Palmer, Head of New Homes Delivery at Winchester City Council, explains the vital role that being part of the Wayfarer Partnership has played in the authority being able to access funding for its ambitious affordable homes development plans:
“Being part of the Wayfarer Partnership allows us to bid for grant funding at the best rates per property and access vital information on different Homes England initiatives. Wayfarer knows how to position bids for grants so that they have the best possible chances of securing funding. Without Wayfarer’s help I cannot imagine how the Council would be able to bid effectively for Homes England grant funding.”
One example of where this funding has been directly responsible for allowing the authority to develop new affordable homes is at The Valley, where it has recently completed 77 new homes, a mixture of flats, houses and one bungalow – offered both for affordable / social rents and on a shared ownership basis.
The development has been designed to be low carbon and is as energy efficient as possible, with high levels of insulation and solar panels on all blocks, and electric vehicle charging points throughout the site.
Looking to the future, Winchester City Council has just started on site at Winnall Flats, with completion planned for 2023. This new development will be accredited to the PassivHaus low energy building standard and will provide a total of 73 new flats in two blocks and three new houses. Once again, Winchester City Council has been able to secure Homes England funding with the help of the Wayfarer Partnership.