Northumbrian housing firms planning merger

Bernicia chairman Ian Armstrong.
Bernicia chairman Ian Armstrong.

Two leading North East housing providers are drawing up plans for a proposed merger.

Ashington’s Bernicia Group and Berwick’s Four Housing Group started talks earlier this year about joining forces.

Bernicia chairman Ian Armstrong said: “Initial discussions have been extremely positive.”

“There is a clear geographical and cultural fit between the organisations.

“This provides an opportunity for us to come together to manage risks, deliver services with greater efficiency and, in doing so, produce an organisation that is stronger than the sum of the two individual parts.”

Bill Worth, chairman of Four Housing, added: “Both organisations have much in common in relation to vision, values, culture and business aims.

“We feel that a merger would deliver positive outcomes for tenants and customers.

“It will enable us to continue to build homes to help meet existing and newly emerging need, to continue to deliver excellent services and to do more to support the communities where we work.’

The merged housing group would be one of the North East’s largest, owning and managing 14,000 social homes and providing services to a further 13,000 private owners.

Over the coming months, consultation with tenants and stakeholders will be carruied out.