Higgins is committed to delivering social value on all of its projects and since being awarded the contract at Grange Farm in South Harrow to build 68 much needed new council homes and 21 shared ownership properties, the company has been working closely with Harrow Council to support the local community.
A major focal point for the residents is the community centre, where charity MyYard hosts a range of activities and clubs, including a Food Club, Women 50+ sessions and youth club activities, to support the whole community.
Ahead of plans for the brand new community centre being delivered as part of the overall masterplan, Higgins and Harrow Council were keen to give the existing facilities a facelift and enable the community to continue to use it.
Amy Ross, Head of Social Value at Higgins explains, “There is a strong established community at Grange Farm which we are already supporting through a number of events and projects run by MyYard, Christchurch Roxeth and Harrow Council.
“The existing centre was looking tired so we were eager to help and approached the Social Enterprise and Charity, Bounceback, which provides training in construction industry skills in prison and in the community leads to employment on release, to undertake the painting and decorating of the centre. Over two days the team worked hard to transform the centre.”
Rachel from MyYard added, "A massive thank you to everyone involved in making the community centre look incredible. This has given a massive boost to all the community and volunteers! Can’t wait to use the space again!"
Mary Hannington, Regeneration Manager, at Harrow Council comments, “It has been a pleasure working with the Bounceback team; they have done a fantastic job freshening up the community centre, and our thanks to Higgins for enabling this.”
Grange Farm Estate was built in the late 1960s and the 282, mainly social rented prefabricated homes arranged in three identical three storey clusters, have not aged well. They are expensive to maintain and keep warm and have come to the end of their lives.
Working closely with the local community, Harrow Council developed a masterplan that will provide 574 new homes, of which almost half are deemed affordable, along with revamping the estate which has long been in need of regeneration.
Grange Farm Estate masterplan was designed by Hawkins Brown Architects. The regeneration of the estate aims to create an exemplary mixed tenure community which will set a new standard for mid-density suburban developments in London.
The overall scheme will also deliver a brand-new 1,082 m2 community centre at the heart of the site which will provide for a range of activities for residents of the estate and the local area.
A network of public streets and squares will also create open spaces for public and communal use along with a series of new and improved and new pedestrian routes which will increase connectivity with the wider area and local transport. All routes will lead to the heart of the project, where a new civic square will provide a gathering point in front of the community centre, with a ‘Village Green’ beyond.