Streamlining the Connexus Group

We restructured the Connexus Group to help it achieve its core objective of serving its tenants well.

Housing associations are an essential part of the UK housing market, providing affordable homes to tenants up and down the country. Connexus Group, a community-focused rural housing group, serves residents in the counties of Shropshire and Herefordshire.


In 2017, Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) helped create the Connexus Group by joining together a number of housing associations. In total, the housing associations owned 10,500 homes.


However, after establishing the Group, it was clear the number of housing associations within the Group should be streamlined to deliver a better service. And, in April 2021, we created Connexus Homes, merging four of the Group’s housing associations into one single stock owning housing association.


“We knew that Connexus Group would need to revisit their new structure to simplify it, reduce running costs, lower borrowing costs, and give the organisation greater flexibility.”
Peter Hubbard, senior partner, Anthony Collins Solicitors


Removing complexity to ensure service delivery

The goal of this restructure was to cut out unnecessary complexity and financial wastage to enable Connexus Group to continue delivering an excellent and effective service to clients.


Over an eight-month period, Catherine Simpson, senior associate in the governance and commercial team, led 25 ACS advisors across five different teams in delivering the work on the merger. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the teams worked seamlessly together, bringing the best of ACS’ legal expertise and corporate values to serve Connexus Group.


“People worked really well together on this project which is testament to the collegiate atmosphere at Anthony Collins Solicitors. If you asked people for help, they offered it. In the end, things that could’ve been challenging just weren’t as everyone had the sole focus of completing the project on time.”
Catherine Simpson, senior associate, Anthony Collins Solicitors


Value-for-money savings

The project scope of works included,

  • Advising on the transfer of engagements of three of the Group housing associations into one association;
  • Winding down some of Connexus Group’s commercial companies;
  • Offering employment and pensions advice on the transfer of employees from the original four housing associations into Connexus Homes;
  • Renegotiating and refinancing £130m of existing loans, and
  • Advising on all the ongoing litigation to ensure that Connexus Homes could step into the shoes of all the different housing litigation matters.


The merger of the associations has allowed the Connexus Group to continue delivering a better service to residents, increase the number of new homes they build each year, and to provide greater support to local community organisations such as the Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service. On top of that, the group announced an annual value-for-money saving of £880k.


“The completion of the corporate restructure means we can continue our work of delivering affordable housing and providing services with even more efficiency. Our focus, though, remains the same: the provision of high-quality affordable homes to Herefordshire and Shropshire through the development of new homes and investment in our existing homes.”
Richard Woolley, CEO, Connexus Group

Catherine Simpson
0161 470 0313