Former student flats at Bramall Court, a 15-storey tower block on Cannon Street, Salford are to be refurbished and turned into affordable accommodation.
Salford City Council has partnered with Mears to bring Bramall Court into use for affordable housing.
Mears, which currently manages the block as student accommodation, will invest more than £2 million in refurbishing the block in return for the council entering into a lease agreement for the use of the completed units.
It’s the first time the council has partnered with a housing provider in this way and could pave the way for other such partnerships to bring under-used buildings back to life.
City Mayor Paul Dennett said discussions began late last year after demand for accommodation in the block slumped and Mears started to explore alternative uses.
“There are currently 115 one bed to four bed flats in the block but with the pandemic and more choice available in the student market demand for Bramall Court has fallen away and it is no longer commercially viable as student accommodation,” he said.
“However there is huge demand for housing and particularly high rise housing in Irwell Riverside where Bramall Court is situated.
“Mears will carry out extensive refurbishment to bring the flats up to modern standards, including fire safety works, rewiring, new kitchens, bathrooms and décor and converting 12 of the three-bedroom flats into two bedrooms as demand for this type of property is higher.
“Salford City Council will retain the right to allocate tenants to the properties and the building will be used as a mixture of affordable and temporary accommodation to relieve pressures on the housing waiting list and the pressures around temporary accommodation provision.
“Refurbishment work will start later this month and the first 40 flats will be available before Christmas with another 40 early in the new year and the remaining 35 by March 2022.”
Mears will provide housing and tenancy services and the arrangements will run for an initial 10 years with the option for the Council to extend by a further five years.