A framework that helped housing associations boost efficiency and invest more than £1/2billion in thousands of new homes has been relaunched for a further four years.
Cutting Edge established a go-to pool of consultants, contractors and architects for six North West-based landlords to use, saving them time and money, and allowing construction to begin up to six months earlier than before.
Between 2012 and 2016, members The Riverside Group, Together Housing Group, Onward Homes, The Regenda Group, Magenta Living and Progress Housing Group used the framework to deliver more than 190 new housing schemes worth more than £1/2billion.
The developments – in neighbourhoods between the Midlands and the Scottish border – provided more than 5,000 extra homes for affordable rent and shared ownership.
The Cutting Edge Framework, which is OJEU-compliant, has been re-procured for a further four years – and since the launch two more members, Plus Dane and Salix Homes, have joined.
Mark Patchitt, Director of Development and Growth at The Riverside Group, said: “It’s hard to remember a time when stepping up the supply of new homes and delivering value for money was more important.
“It’s great to see more registered providers joining the Cutting Edge framework so that much-needed housing can be provided efficiently for people who otherwise might never be able to secure a home of their own.
“Having a network of contractors and consultants who have already been through the tendering process removes a lot of unnecessary administration, saving time and money, which allows us to get on site quicker and drive down the cost of building new homes.
“It really does show what can be achieved when like-minded organisations work together.”
The average sector build cost per square metre when developing new homes is over £1,300, but members in the Cutting Edge framework have managed to reduce that by about £100 per square metre.
New homes built under the framework – including a Riverside development in Chollerford, next to the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage site in rural Northumberland – have also been recognised nationally.
Simmonds Court, which provided 14 family homes for affordable rent, scooped a Housing Excellence Award in 2016 and was praised by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) as “crucial in providing choice for people on lower incomes in a beautiful rural area”.
Framework members are keen to hear from other registered providers interested in joining Cutting Edge.
Alan Green, Director of Development at Plus Dane Housing, said: “I’m delighted that we have signed up, as the key aims of the framework echo our own ambitions and commitments.
“I’m looking forward to us all working together to ensure we continue to make improvements around efficient procurement, sustainable development and, most importantly, make sure we continue to deliver value for money.”