Representatives from Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) and the local community are celebrating the completion of 26 new mutual homes built alongside the historic Toad Lane, Rochdale.
The 26 new family homes mark the first big RBH investment in new homes in Lower Falinge, totalling £3.4m from RBH along with £564,000 from the Homes and Communities Agency. The new homes border Toad Lane where the Rochdale Pioneers founded a co-operative store in 1844, considered to be the birthplace of the modern co-operative movement. The site is now the home of the Rochdale Pioneers Museum.
RBH director of communities Clare Tostevin said: “These new homes have transformed this part of the neighbourhood and the landscaping design has introduced new greenery to the area.
“These homes are at the heart of the local community and provide a greater choice of homes in an area which previously provided only one and three bedroom flats. As a mutual housing society we’re thrilled to be able to build new mutual homes alongside Toad Lane, the birthplace of co-operation.”
RBH is the UK’s first tenant and employee co-owned mutual housing society, managing more than 13,500 homes in the local area. The society intends to develop further in the Lower Falinge community, with a second phase of plans being drawn up to start this year.
In addition to new developments, existing properties are to be improved. RBH will invest over £1m in 2016 to install new double-glazed windows and doors.
The new homes were built on the site of two former blocks of flats and a disused pub. Local firm Casey carried out the building work, designed by Greater Manchester firm OMI Architects to complement the existing buildings in the area.