Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

2,400 New Homes ... and 250 New Jobs

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

2,400 New Homes ... and 250 New Jobs

Article excerpt

Christopher Knox ? 0191 201 6258 ? THE consortium chosen to front the pounds 347m regeneration of Gateshead's housing stock expects to see the creation of around 250 jobs as well as 24 new apprenticeship positions to support the development.

The results of a two-and-a-half year search for a developer to take on the monumental task of building 2,400 new houses in the borough were announced yesterday.

Evolution Gateshead, a consortium made up of Newcastle-based housing association Home Group and national developer Galliford Try, has been chosen to work across 19 sites.

Homes will be built at Birtley Northside, the former Rail Freight Depot on the Felling bypass, and sites in Rowlands Gill, Chopwell, Bensham and Saltwell.

The procurement process was launched in November 2008 and bidders have been gradually whittled down from an initial list of 19 developers and house builders to only one.

The project will provide a huge shot in the arm for the building trade, which has suffered from a continually stagnant housing market.

Galliford Try, which employs 150 staff at its offices in Ponteland, said the work would create additional employment for around 250 people in the region's building supply chain.

The construction firm will also be bolstering its own resources and said that the development, which is expected to take between 15 and 20 years, would give it the opportunity to bring on an extra 24 apprentices during the early stages.

The huge contract comes as Galliford Try continues to buck the general trend within the construction sector, with its North East office, known as Galliford Try Partnerships North, seeing its pre-tax profits jump from pounds 13.2m to pounds 17m in the six months to December 31 2010.

The North East operations have become increasingly involved in the housing sector following the growth of its Linden Homes business. …

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