Wates enters joint venture to build Manchester homes under pioneering partnership

Planning Houses

Greater Manchester Pension Fund has invested an undisclosed sum to kickstart construction of 244 homes in the city, which will be built on council-owned land by contractor Wates.

Wates has formed a new joint venture company, Matrix Homes, with the pension fund, Manchester City Council, and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to deliver the homes – a partnership thought to be the first of its kind.

Manchester City Council is freeing up five development sites it owns across the city for construction of the homes, with some designated affordable or for private rent.

Places for People will act as agent and manage the rental properties, while Pozzoni is architect.

Works on the first sites will begin next month.

Cllr Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “This is a momentous day and a hugely significant milestone in what has been an innovative and ambitious approach to home building – and the joint venture company, Matrix Homes, is the end product of a huge amount of work that has made sure the project is viable.

“Manchester’s housing investment fund is the first of its kind model to boost home building and we hope its success will lead to larger home building projects in the future.”

Councillor Kieran Quinn, chair of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, said: “The current economic climate has seen home building slow down to an almost standstill, with levels of development not keeping up with the demand throughout Greater Manchester.

“This new innovative model tackles these issues by promoting development opportunities while at the same time ensuring new attractive, affordable homes are available for our residents.

“I’m proud the Greater Manchester Pension Fund is willing to invest in the construction of much-needed homes across the county while also securing a good return for our members’ pensions.

“It’s great to see that the Fund is able to take advantage of this opportunity to invest in new homes that are so clearly needed in Manchester.”