David Miliband visits new housing scheme

South Shields MP, the Rt. Hon. David Miliband, was the first visitor to a brand new housing scheme in Whitburn on Friday.

East Croft in Myrtle Avenue has been purposely designed for older people and provides 30 two bedroom apartments along with 20 two bedroom bungalows.

Mr Miliband was invited to new Housing 21 development by local councillor
Tracey Dixon who was a driving force behind the regeneration of the site.  She was on hand to show him around the facilities at the new Housing 21 development before taking tea and cakes in the scheme’s communal lounge, where they were joined by some of the residents who are looking forward to moving in from the end of August.

David Miliband said: “I am delighted that the new Housing 21 project is now complete.  The regeneration of this area is greatly welcome, I know that Cllr Tracey Dixon has been at the forefront of ensuring this scheme became a reality and she has kept me updated with developments on site.

“Thanks to Housing 21’s innovative designs, the new apartments have been built with the residents in mind.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all partners for all their efforts in ensuring East Croft was built which has helped transform the area.”

Councillor Dixon added: “I’m very happy that East Croft is now only weeks away from welcoming the first tenants. It’s a lovely development which has been built to a very high standard and is a very welcome addition to the village.

“Whitburn was desperately in need of more accommodation for older people – especially sheltered flats and two-bedroom bungalows to rent.  I’m sure East Croft will be extremely popular with local residents and will soon become a place which the local community will be proud of.”  

The £5.6 million affordable rented scheme also provides landscaped gardens and seating areas, a well equipped laundry room and a guest bedroom that can be let for short stays by family members and friends. Residents will enjoy the security of a door entry system with intercom to every apartment, a pull cord emergency call system and a full-time scheme manager.

The development at East Croft has been made possible through a close and positive partnership between Housing 21, South Tyneside Council, the Homes and Communities Agency who provided funding of £2.9 million and Frank Haslam Milan (FHM) North East.

Tayo Bilewu, director of property development for Housing 21 said: “East Croft will provide older people in Whitburn with independent and comfortable accommodation. It’s a scheme that we’re very proud of and I’m delighted that David Miliband has been able to take time out of his busy schedule to take a look around and meet the residents and the project partners.”

The East Croft scheme has been developed by North East regeneration specialists FHM North East.  Managing Director David Mellor said: “Delivering specialist, supportive accommodation solutions such as East Croft means that older people are able to remain independent for as long as possible.

“This development will make a real difference to the lives of all the new residents and we are delighted to have been involved in the project.”


Photo - South Tyneside MP David Milliband, third right, and new resident Linda Short, front, get a guided tour around the development at Whitburn by, from left; Housing 21 Director of Development and New Business, Tayo Bilewu; East Croft Court Manager Catherine Hay; South Tyneside Councillor Tracey Dixon; Managing Director of Frank Haslam Milan North East, David Mellor and Frank Haslam Milan Site Manager, Roland Ellis.

Editor's notes

  1. For further information, please contact Wendy Gornicki, PR & Information Officer, Housing 21 on 0370 192 4338 or email wendy.gornicki@housing21.co.uk
  2. Housing 21’s mission is to promote independence and choice for older people through quality care, health and housing services. It provides around 124,000 hours of community care each week and manages 18,200 sheltered and extra care apartments.
  3. Keep up to date with Housing 21 at www.facebook.com/housing21.co.uk or via our website www.housing21.co.uk