A renewed focus on PLACE is a priority for regeneration

Compendium Living is Riverside’s joint venture (with Lovell) residential development company. We specialise in large-scale, place-making projects. But what do we mean by place-making?

A great example of our work with Riverside is our contribution to Riverside’s long-term strategic investment in the Lee Valley area. Since the council’s housing stock was transferred in 2002, Riverside has taken the lead in the physical and economic regeneration of this once very neglected area on the eastern edge of Liverpool.

After ten years’ improving homes and supporting residents, Riverside recognised that a renewed focus on PLACE was becoming a greater priority. The homes had all been upgraded and the area was becoming more popular, but the local environment and the economy were still not meeting people’s expectations.

We collaborated on the development of a major environmental improvement programme, redesigning open space to make it much more usable and popular, and freeing up some sites for the development of a wider range of new homes for older people, for new buyers, and the like. We started building new homes on Wood Lane in 2011. There were 24 affordable homes, and 47 homes for open market sale, these were the first new family homes for sale to be developed in the area for many years. They proved very popular.

Meanwhile, we were supporting Riverside’s local employment initiative, creating apprenticeships for local people and working with local schools on curriculum-based activities. We built another 26 affordable homes for Riverside in Belle Vale, including bespoke accommodation for someone with significant physical disabilities. We then began the development of 115 new homes for sale on the old Joseph Williams School site. With the Help to Buy initiative, these would provide opportunities for people, very many with local connections, to buy an affordable home in an area surrounded by less affordable suburbs.

This work recently culminated in a very successful sales launch, which was attended by local councillors and residents, with local young people – who weren’t even born when Riverside began working in the area – assembling material for a time capsule to be opened in 2068, and local people choosing to buy homes in what is now a very popular area.

The wheel keeps turning, and some of us won’t be around when the time capsule is opened, but there is no doubting the long-term place-making commitment that Riverside and its people continue to demonstrate.

Dave Bullock, Managing Director at Compendium Living

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