Every Day’s a School Day for Housing Delegates

Over 45 delegates from across the globe visited Brunswick last month on a study tour to learn all about the S4B £106m regeneration project transforming the neighbourhood.

Attendees came along to learn all about the S4B PFI, a partnership of specialist organisations to deliver the programme, now in its 10th year. The Brunswick neighbourhood is on the very edge of Manchester City Centre and was originally built by Manchester City Council (MCC) in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Brunswick has a rich, diverse community, with over 41 languages spoken in just a one-mile area.

Starting from the Housing 2023 event held at Manchester Central, the delegates took a short walk down Oxford Road taking in some key landmarks such as Canvas which stands on the site of the former BBC and The Temple bar which is a former underground public toilet.

Some of the visitors grabbed the opportunity of taking a trip to the top of one of the high-rise blocks, Lamport Court, giving them chance to get a bird’s eye view of the area and its proximity to Manchester City Centre. They then walked through the neighbourhood to see examples of the work that has taken place over the past ten years, such as refurbishment works, reversals plus new build properties for sale and rent. It was then over to Gartside Gardens Park to view the new play areas and sports pitches along with the wooden bee carving all created by hand with a chainsaw!

Visitors from as far as Malaysia and New Zealand were amazed at the transformation and the work that has gone into overhauling the neighbourhood in just ten years.

Event Director from Ocean Media Group Ltd, Sarah Payling, added: “Housing 2023 started a week of inspired content with a study tour around the Brunswick neighbourhood. With delegates from as far afield as Malaysia and New Zealand we were able to showcase true long-term partnership working to create sustainable neighbourhoods for residents. Feedback was really positive, and it was a great scene-setter for the week”.

A walk along the new boulevard Sylvia Pankhurst Way led the group to the final destination on the tour, Brunswick Village, an all-new Extra Care development for the over 55’s. There they enjoyed light refreshments and had the chance to chat about what they had experienced.

Onward’s Director of Housing and Home Ownership, Joanne Danaher, said:

“It was wonderful to see so many people from far and wide come along to see our neighbourhood and how it has been developed. The genuine interest shown was quite overwhelming. We are so very proud of what has been achieved here in Brunswick in less than a decade.

“But it’s not just about the bricks and mortar, there was the opportunity for them to meet the real people on the ground, from colleagues and residents to community groups and partners. They have all played their part in making Brunswick what it is today, and we feel very privileged to have been able showcase this at the tour”.

Formed in 2014, S4B is the consortium set up to deliver the 25-year £106m regeneration project of the Brunswick area, made up of four organisations – Onward Homes, Mears, Vistry and Equitix, who deliver the Brunswick PFI on behalf of their client, Manchester City Council (MCC).