Hillcrag development wins national accolade for second year running

Gentoo Homes has scooped the top prize at the national Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Bricks Awards for ‘best social housing development of the year’ the second year in a row.

1Nov
  • 1st November 2017

Hillcrag development wins national accolade for second year running

Gentoo Homes has scooped the top prize at the national Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Bricks Awards for ‘best social housing development of the year’ the second year in a row.

Celebrating the very best in the house building industry, the LABC Bricks Awards assess house builders from around the country and recognise those who stand out from their competition by going the extra mile to achieve outstanding build quality, regardless of their size, to deliver high standards in construction and design.

Our affordable rent scheme, Hillcrag, beat more than 3,000 schemes from across the UK to take the top prize, as we came out on top for development's superior design and construction quality.

Hillcrag, which was built on brownfield land at the former High Ford Estate in Sunderland, is one of our last remaining renewal sites as part of our major multi-million pound city-wide regeneration programme. Since 2004, we have built more than 2000 new homes in Sunderland and transformed many areas of the city, including High Ford Estate where the new Hillcrag development is situated.

Hillcrag is 132-home estate consisting of two, three and four bedroomed houses and two bedroomed bungalows, costing a total of £14.3m to build. £2.9m of this was funded via grant from the Homes and Communities Agency as part of the Affordable Homes Programme.

Mr and Mrs Manners, who were some of the first Gentoo customers to move into their new home on the estate, said:

“We love our new home, it’s fantastic. We watched the houses go up from our kitchen window just across the road, the area has been totally transformed, it’s been well worth the wait. Our home is a great finished product and we love the size of the rooms.”

Michelle Meldrum, Executive Director of Operations at Gentoo, said:

“This is a fantastic achievement for Gentoo Homes. I would like to congratulate all of the staff that have been involved in creating this outstanding development. To be recognised once is a fantastic achievement, but for our staff and this development to be recognised at a national awards ceremony for two years running is just phenomenal. It’s a real testimony to the hard work that has gone into creating such an outstanding place to live and delivering much needed rented homes for the people of Sunderland.”

Mike Swatton, LABC Warranty Business Development Director and Head Judge commented:

“We have seen a good, consistent level of build standards across the board with some exceptional workmanship and quality in construction. The standard of nominees put forward for this year’s The Bricks has been unprecedented, raising the bar for next year.”

Hillcrag is one of a number of current live new housing developments in Sunderland, with £112.8m currently being invested in eight sites across the city, delivering 823 new homes in areas such as Houghton-le-Spring, Downhill, High Ford, Doxford Park, Washington and Hetton-le-Hole.

This is in addition to the £48m Gentoo Homes is investing annually in other sites across the North East, with new homes being built in places like Prudhoe, Wylam, Carlton, Benton and Guisborough.