Grange Farm Estate welcomes residents as first phase of regeneration is completed
The first homes at Grange Farm Estate in Harrow have been completed for local residents, as part of the major regeneration of the 1960s estate.
Higgins Partnerships has created 68 much needed brand-new council homes for tenants through Harrow Council and 21 Shared Ownership properties, with priority given to those living or working in the area or have immediate family in the borough.
Steve Leakey, Managing Director of Higgins Partnerships comments, “These first new homes at Grange Farm Estate are the start of an exciting transformation of the local area and we are pleased to have worked with Harrow Council to fulfil this.
“As well as these homes we have worked closely with the local community on the estate to provide training and employment opportunities, as well as supporting them through a number of initiatives including work with My Yard to host a range of activities and clubs including the Food Club, Food Pantry and a Young Changemaker programme.”
Grange Farm Estate was originally built in the late 1960s and consisted of 282, mainly social rented prefabricated homes arranged in three identical storey clusters. The homes had not aged well and were expensive to maintain and keep warm. Working closely with the local community, Harrow Council developed a masterplan which will eventually provide 574 new homes. Of which half are deemed affordable, along with revamping the estate which has long been in need of regeneration.
Higgins has provided an extensive social value programme during the construction of the project. Working with My Yard the company donated a container which was used as a base and food store to enable volunteers to cook 200 meals a week for vulnerable residents during Covid 19, which were personalised to dietary and cultural preferences and delivered to their homes.
The Young Changemakers programme also supported young people on the estate aged 11 to 18 by spending time to build their confidence, develop skills for work and given them practical job interviews in a safe environment, with the chance to gain 10 hours paid work experience with Higgins as well as being considered int eh future for an apprenticeship.
Each month the programme focused on a particular area, such as mental health, presentation skills and networking, teamwork and CV writing. As part of the programme, the young people also engaged and helped with the creation of the food bags and deliveries for the Food Pantry, with a system developed to earn pints through volunteering their time as they progressed through the programme in order to raise aspirations.
Ahead of the new community centre, being built later in the regeneration programme, Higgins invited a team of decorators from the Social Enterprise and Charity, Bounceback, which provides training in construction industry skills in prison and in the community which can lead to employment on release, to undertake the painting and decorating of the centre. Over two days the team worked hard and transformed the centre for the local community.
Grange Farm Estate masterplan was designed by Hawkins Brown Architects. The overall scheme will deliver a brand-new community centre in the heart of the site and a network of public streets and squares will create open spaces for public and communal use. A series of improved and new pedestrian routes will also increase the connectivity to 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.