£2million investment transforms 1970s block into ‘wonderful’ new homes

A £2million project has been praised for transforming an unpopular block of flats into ‘wonderful’ homes in one of Manchester’s most sought-after areas.

Steven Court, in Chorlton, had become difficult to let and known for problems with anti-social behaviour, before Contour Homes started a major refurbishment last year.

The housing association set about work on the 1970s complex, fitting new kitchens and bathrooms, re-designing the main entrance, and re-rendering the outside to give it a new, modern image.

The building was also given extra security with CCTV and a video door entry system, while landscaping created attractive gardens.

Now the development has been officially opened and residents say they are delighted with the results.

New tenants moved into the flats once the work was completed earlier this year, signalling a fresh start for the development.

Retired John Pemberton, aged 66, who lives with partner Pauline Tanker, aged 65, said:

“It’s a brilliant place to live. I’ve always lived in Chorlton and the block is absolutely wonderful.

“We’ve got patio doors that open onto the garden and it’s really handy for the Metrolink to town and Didsbury, and for the local shops.”

John and Pauline gave Contour Homes Managing Director Judith Winterbourne and guests a tour of their flat at an official opening last week.

Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Jim Battle, also attended, along with partners from developer Keepmoat, and Michael Hyde and Associates architects.

Resident Eulin Turpin, aged 47, who cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony, said:

“It’s lovely here and I really like the communal gardens and my balcony. I lived in the city centre for 13 years but this is great.

“It felt like a historic moment cutting the ribbon and it’s good to know that everybody has settled in.”

A total of £2.2million, including around £700,000 from the Homes and Communities Agency, has been spent on the redevelopment and the flats are being let for affordable rent.

Contour Homes Managing Director Judith Winterbourne said:

“The redevelopment at Steven Court has provided modern, affordable homes in Chorlton – an area of Manchester that is incredibly popular.

“The building is in a fantastic location, close to the Metro-link and local shops, and it has been wonderful to see the transformation take shape. The residents I met told me how happy they are living there and how pleased they are with their homes.

“The project is a result of true partnership working and is a huge credit to everybody involved.”

Contour Homes – part of Symphony Housing Group – is based in Salford, owning and managing around 11,000 properties across Greater Manchester and the North West.