Picture caption: Sharon Guest, Executive Director of Housing Services, Longhurst Group and Steve Coombs, Divisional Director, Wates Living Space
Wates Living Space has cemented its position as the UK’s leading social housing maintenance provider following its appointment by Midlands-based housing provider Longhurst Group in a contract worth close to £100m.
This ten-year contract will see Wates deliver a programme of repairs, void refurbishments and planned maintenance works across Longhurst Group’s residential housing stock, spanning approximately 16,000 homes across the Midlands.
Servicing this wide geographical spread will require Wates to take a multi-location approach, basing its staff across a number of cities and towns including Birmingham, Wellingborough, Boston, Nottingham, Grimsby and Lincoln. Wates will import accounting and IT infrastructure from its repairs and maintenance contract with Birmingham City Council, the largest of its kind in Europe.
Wates has appointed a team of 96 operatives to deliver the programme, which will involve working across Longhurst Group’s subsidiaries including Longhurst and Havelok Homes, Spire Homes and Friendship Care and Housing Limited.
As part of its commitment to the local community throughout the delivery of this contract, Wates has pledged to provide a range of training and employment opportunities for local people.
In addition, Wates is in the process of formalising its local supply chain to help fulfill the contract. This has included hosting a Meet the Buyer event to grow its network of regional suppliers and to ensure that local subcontractors benefit from the contract.
Wates has also committed to supporting the region’s social enterprise sector by engaging with organisations that are dedicated to addressing important societal causes across the Midlands.
David Morgan, Managing Director of Wates Living Space, said:
“Being appointed by Longhurst Group to deliver this contract is further evidence of our status as a trusted provider of large scale maintenance services of exceptional quality to housing associations and councils throughout the country.
We are currently finalising the mobilisation of our team to ensure a seamless handover from the previous incumbent, and to ensure Longhurst Group’s residents receive an outstanding service from day one.
The commencement of this hugely significant contract also represents a boost to employment opportunities across the Midlands. We look forward to making a significant contribution to the careers of the next generation of workers across the region.”
Sharon Guest, Executive Director of Housing Services at Longhurst Group, commented:
“We are delighted to be working with Wates Living Space to provide a new and improved repairs service to our customers.
Having a single contractor to manage repairs across three of our member companies and the many communities we serve will ensure that we can provide a more efficient and consistent service to our customers.
The new online reporting facility and being able to book specific appointments will also ensure greater flexibility.
It was crucial that we found the right contractor to deliver this service and we are thrilled to have appointed Wates Living Space.”