City Mayor officially opens new Leicester housing development
City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby has officially opened our new Wolsey Point housing development in Abbey Meadows, Leicester.
The historic Wolsey Island site – known locally as Sock Island after the hosiery factory that once stood there – has been transformed into a vibrant community of 188 new homes.
It is part of a £58million plan by us and our development partner Countryside Partnerships East Midlands Ltd., to regenerate brownfield sites in Leicester and build almost 400 new homes.
The Mayor, who has been a key supporter of the Wolsey Point project, was invited to give a speech and unveil a plaque, marking the development officially complete.
He said: “Over the last two years we have watched new homes be completed and a community start to move in to Wolsey Island. This is an important scheme boasting a beautiful waterside setting and has acted as a catalyst for further regeneration within this part of the City.
“I’m delighted the development incorporated the retention and restoration of the former Wolsey chimney and distinctive water tower, preserving Sock Island’s important industrial heritage for future generations.”
Wolsey Island was designed to be a balanced new community from the outset, incorporating a range of apartments and family houses for affordable rent, private rent, shared ownership and outright sale – including three wheelchair-adapted properties.
We've recognised the site’s important industrial heritage with the preservation of the iconic Wolsey chimney and a three-storey water tower, which has been converted into a unique three-bedroom family home.
Glenn Harris, our Chief Executive, said: “It was great to return to Wolsey Island now the development is complete and see how a true community has been created on what was an unsightly disused factory.
“We’re grateful for the Mayor’s continued support for what is a very important development for us. Not only does it provide much-needed affordable housing in a great location close to the city centre, it affirms our commitment to delivering more high-quality, genuinely affordable housing for families and individuals in Leicester.”
Our ambitious scheme with developer Countryside also includes the former St Mary’s allotments off Old Saffron Lane, Aylestone, and an abandoned industrial site off Green Lane Road.
The St Mary’s allotments site comprises 113 houses and 12 flats, 51 of which are for affordable rent and 36 for shared ownership. A further 49 properties for affordable rent and 33 for shared ownership have been delivered at Green Lane Road, with a second phase of houses nearing completion.
Glyn Mabey, Managing Director, Partnerships East Midlands, Countryside, added: “Countryside has a long history of transforming disused, brownfield land into viable and vibrant neighbourhoods, having worked on more than 45 regeneration schemes already throughout the UK. Therefore, we’re delighted to further strengthen our partnership with Midland Heart, and continue our expansion into the Midlands region, by assisting in the creation of this brand new community through the development of these much-needed, high-quality, family homes.”
(Photograph shows, left to right: Glyn Mabey, Managing Director, Partnerships East Midlands, Countryside; Glenn Harris, Chief Executive, Midland Heart; Sir Peter Soulsby, Mayor of Leicester; John Edwards, Chairman, Midland Heart.)