Urban renewal

Danish delegation visit Lyng estate to gain insight into urban regeneration

An estate-based community housing association in West Bromwich has been showing off its multi-million pound regeneration programme to a delegation of Danish housing experts.

Lyng Community Association (LCA) was formed in 2000 to regenerate what was originally a run-down 1960s-era estate.

Decaying buildings such as flats and maisonettes were pulled down to clear the way for the construction of new homes in a community-led redevelopment programme. The organisation currently owns 190 homes for rent on the estate and this will rise to 200 when redevelopment is complete.

Working with local authority Sandwell Council and development partner Barratt Homes, it is regenerating the estate with 364 homes (for rent and sale), open space, public artwork and supporting infrastructure.

LCA played host to a 40-strong delegation of employees and tenants from KAB, one of the largest housing associations in Copenhagen, Denmark, to show off what it has achieved since it embarked on its regeneration programme.

LCA general manager Tony Nash and chair Wendy Bodenham also gave a presentation about the redevelopment and answered questions from the delegation.

The visit was part of a week-long UK tour by the KAB team aimed at sharing ideas and best practice for building homes in town centres.

“The visit went really well and it was good to meet the Danish team. They seemed really interested in what we have done here and asked lots of questions,” said Nash. “I think they found it useful and informative, and it was a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase the great work we are doing here.

“Our Chair, Wendy, was able to talk about how things have changed over the last 15 years as she has been involved from the very beginning, so that gave them a first-hand account of what we’ve achieved.”

The transformation of the Lyng estate, spearheaded by LCA, scooped a hat-trick of awards last year. It was named ‘Residential Project of the Year’ in the Builder and Engineer Awards and ‘Best Regeneration Scheme’ in the Housing Excellence Awards, as well as winning the MADE20 award as one of the 20 best development projects built in the Midlands over the last five years.

LCA has worked in partnership with Sandwell Council and Barratt West Midlands on the Lyng redevelopment, building new homes, creating a play area and developing public open space for residents to enjoy.

Since the old run-down estate was demolished, LCA has built 200 homes for affordable rent, with another 250 built for private sale by Barratt.

The £50 million project has also acted as catalyst for the ongoing redevelopment of West Bromwich.

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