Published: April 15, 2020
Region: North West
Unity Trust Bank provides £1.5m social housing funding for Lytham St Annes housing project
A SOCIAL housing complex in Lancashire is to be refurbished following a £1.5 million funding package from Unity Trust Bank.
Windmill (MG) Ltd owns 20 bungalows in Melton Grove, Lytham St Annes which provide tailor-made homes for adults with learning difficulties, sheltered accommodation for elderly residents and affordable housing for homeless people.
Set in four acres and with a woodland nearby, the development provides a peaceful place to live. There, people can integrate with each other and the broader community in a safe environment.
The loan from Unity, the commercial bank with a social conscience, will be used to upgrade the properties which were built in the 1950s.
“We acquired the bungalows in 2011. Two were derelict and most had the original kitchens and bathrooms and a number of them fell short of acceptable living conditions.
“This funding will be used to refinance part of the original purchase and help us to upgrade the existing properties.
“We have been delighted with the support we’ve received from Unity Trust Bank. We chose to work with Unity because their ethics and objectives are aligned with ours.”
Windmill (MG) Ltd, part of The Windmill Group, works in partnership with One Fylde – a not-for-profit agency which helps people with learning difficulties. Three of the bungalows have been specially adapted to help residents with assisted living.
The other properties are let on a ‘life-time tenancy’ to previous council tenants and to people referred by Streetwise, a charity which helps the homeless.
This is a new relationship between Unity Trust Bank and Windmill (MG) Ltd and represents a significant funding investment.
Andy Ledger is a relationship manager at Unity Trust Bank. He said: “There is a massive demand for social housing across the whole country. This loan will be used to continue to provide stable living arrangements for tenants in Melton Grove. It will help enhance their independence and quality of life.
“We are committed to having a positive impact on the communities we serve and are delighted to support Windmill (MG) Ltd.”
The Windmill Group is a residential and commercial development company which is committed to investing in social housing.
Peter Whitehead set up the company in 1999 and his wife, Nicola, joined him in 2007. The couple is actively involved in the local community, supporting a range of causes including Streetwise.
Mr Whitehead said: “Blackpool has four of the most depraved wards in the UK. Streetwise encourages youngsters to progress and make more of themselves rather than get sucked into a malaise comprising drug use and unemployment and is a cause close to our hearts.”
The Windmill Group employs 13 staff including one person with learning difficulties.
Future housing project plans include replacing some of the bungalows with a multi-faceted building to provide further accommodation.