Local authorities should be wary of reserving contracts for local suppliers, as recommended by Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 11/20. Other contracting authorities may want to maximise their use of this
Advised by Anthony Collins Solicitors on the purchase of a property, The Springfield Project is also recruiting local volunteers to prepare the houses in exchange for recognised qualifications as part of a house-building apprenticeship.
The houses have been bought with a grant from the Government’s Empty House Scheme. Anthony Collins Solicitors advised The Springfield Project on how to purchase the first property as a charity.
The Springfield Project initially bought one house at auction after parents came to the charity’s community centre with concerns regarding the state of disrepair of their privately rented homes and the impact it was having on their children’s health. It was clear to the charity that additional investment was needed in the area and a successful application to the government’s Empty Homes Community Grant Programme made it possible to purchase and refurbish two more properties to be let to local families.
Head of The Springfield Project, Angie King said: “Our charity’s main purpose is providing support for families, and some of the parents who come to the centre were extremely concerned about their standard of housing. Some went as far to say that their current privately rented accommodation was causing their children to develop health problems, which was very upsetting for them, as they had no other viable housing options.
“The first house in the scheme has just been completed, and was renovated in partnership with Jericho, another Birmingham charity, which provides apprenticeships to young people under the age of 24. Some of the apprentices are either parents, or are expecting their first child. This commitment to families is emblematic of our vision here at the Springfield Project.”
Anthony Collins Solicitors supported the charity with the process of acquiring property, which was something they had not done before. Employees from the Birmigham-based firm even joined members of the charity at the property auction where the houses were sold.
Jennie Patrick, a solicitor at Anthony Collins Solicitors said: “It was a pleasure to be involved with a project that does so much to promote individual development and community camaraderie. To see the tremendous work that The Springfield Project is doing in the community makes us proud to have been a part of it.”
Angie added: “Both The Springfield Project and Anthony Collins Solicitors promote the values of family and community in their individual and joint ventures. This housing project is testament to the exceptional community engagement that we pride ourselves on, as everyone involved benefits, either from the advantages of a new home or by learning new skills that will stay with them for life.”
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