News

Chief Executive Appointed To Spearhead £1.8billion Redevelopment of North Solihull

(30th April 2006)

Janet Bradbury, one of the UK's most experienced professionals in large-scale regeneration, has been appointed to head up the ambitious 15 year Regenerating North Solihull initiative.

Mrs Bradbury – who has previously been Chief Executive of two other high profile regeneration projects – will spearhead the delivery of the entire £1.8bn North Solihull investment programme, which encompasses a series of new primary schools, five village centres, improving 12,500 homes and building 8,000 new properties. The three wards of Chelmsley Wood, Smith's Wood, Kingshurst & Fordbridge, which make up the 1,000 acre regeneration zone, also fall within the UK's top 10 per cent deprived neighbourhoods.

The development consortium is the North Solihull Partnership LP, consisting of housebuilder Bellway Homes, investment-led regeneration company Inpartnership, Solihull Council and Registered Social Landlord Whitefriars Housing Group.

Janet Bradbury, Chief Executive of the North Solihull Partnership commented: "Spearheading the delivery of Regenerating North Solihull is a challenge I was delighted to take up. This is one of the UK's largest community-led regeneration projects and its scale and requirement for intensive intervention is necessitated by the unsustainable nature of its housing stock, community facilities and school buildings.

"The 15 year business plan involves introducing choice into the housing market to encourage people to stay in the area when their accommodation needs change. However, what will be key to improving the lives of the 40,000 residents is the creation of a series of new primary schools to raise educational attainment and provide better support to children and their families. Additionally, we will be developing new state of the art community facilities, including enhanced local health care provision, and improving the quality and safety of the public open spaces."

Janet Bradbury has enjoyed a successful 25 year career history working on complex urban renewal projects. She has joined the North Solihull Partnership from Meden Valley Making Places Ltd – a special purpose vehicle tackling the poor housing and associated environment in 11 of the former coalfield communities in North Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Ms Bradbury took up the post of Chief Executive in 2003 and subsequently the initiative was officially launched by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM).

Her previous two posts were Executive Director of Regeneration for Pendle Borough Council, a post she held between 1998 and 2003, tackling issues such as a failed housing market and severe urban deprivation. From 1993 to 1997 Janet was Chief Executive of the successful Blackburn City Challenge initiative.                                                     

Prior to Mrs Bradbury's appointment to head up Regenerating North Solihull, a specialist development vehicle was established and has been working strategically for the past two years to analyse the wide-ranging needs of the local community.

Duncan Sutherland, Managing Director of Inpartnership, commenting on behalf of the four partners in the North Solihull development consortium said: "We are delighted to have secured such a highly respected industry figurehead to head up this unique regeneration programme. Janet has an enormous amount of experience in tackling challenging community projects in deprived areas, and we are confident that her extensive knowledge base will enable this project to become a benchmark for large-scale community-led regeneration.

"The biggest challenge facing Janet and the Partnership is the fact we are embarking on an intensive intervention process to enhance the area, whilst existing homes and schools remain occupied. Our whole ethos for this project is based on keeping disruption to a minimum and enabling school children to stay within their existing buildings until the new schools are ready to occupy. In turn, we will also ensure any residents that do need to be relocated to make way for regeneration are re-housed within the area, so that no community links are severed in the process."

North Solihull Partnership is on track to deliver the first new primary school in 2007 and design work on the first two village centres is well underway. For the housing elements, final Phasing Plans have been distributed to all residents in the first two 'pilot' neighbourhoods: Craig Croft in Chelmsley Wood and North Arran Way in Smith's Wood, where the first stage of intervention is due to commence later this year. Further consultation across the regeneration area will also continue later in the year.

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For further information, please contact Charlotte Crossley, Core Marketing, 0121 643 8151 or 07818 033 122, cc@core-marketing.co.uk