Season’s Greetings: Residents Move into New Affordable Homes in Wigan Ready for Christmas

Season’s Greetings: Residents Move into New Affordable Homes in Wigan Ready for Christmas

The first six new affordable homes at Worsley Mesnes in Wigan have been handed over to local residents.

Jigsaw Homes Group is working in partnership with Wigan Council to deliver 42 homes for affordable rent, rent to buy and shared ownership, with a further 127 for sale through national homebuilder Keepmoat.

Work started on the development, known as The Seasons, in 2022 and now the first residents have started to move in, just in time for Christmas.

Katie Smith, a self-employed beautician from Wigan, has just moved into a 3-bed home with her children, having spent the last few months living in a hotel.

She said: “I was previously in a privately rented home but then my landlord put the house up for sale and I was struggling to find somewhere I could afford. I was dreading spending Christmas in the hotel, and it was really not ideal for the children.

“When I got the call saying I had been allocated this house and being offered it after viewing and interview, I was absolutely made up. We are still unpacking but knowing we will be here for Christmas was the best news and it already feels like home.”

Keepmoat was selected as Wigan Council’s preferred development partner to regenerate the area, which will see several new clusters of two, three and four-bedroom homes, as well a new shopping parade and green open spaces.

All the homes will include enhanced insulation as well as energy-efficient designs for a lifetime, to help keep energy bills as low as possible.

Maria Runaghan, Assistant Director of Development at Jigsaw Homes said: “We are very pleased to hand over the first of these high-quality new homes at Worsley Mesnes and see the first people moving into their new homes. By working in partnership with Keepmoat and Wigan Council, we are delivering affordable housing to help meet local housing need and create a new community. These homes are designed to be more energy efficient and cheaper to run and we hope our residents will be very happy here.” 

Peter Barlow, Regional Managing Director for the North West at Keepmoat, added: ‘’We are delighted to be working with Wigan Council and Jigsaw Homes to deliver a total of 169 new energy-efficient homes that feature enhanced insulation, with 42 of those being affordable via Jigsaw Homes.

‘’Keepmoat is committed to developing thriving communities that prioritise connections, health and wellbeing, and eco-conscious living while working in partnership with the local council and affordable housing association. We are also working with local partners to deliver value through training and employment opportunities including work placements, apprenticeships and supporting local schools, colleges, and universities with educational talks and site visits.’’

Councillor Susan Gambles, cabinet portfolio holder for housing and welfare at Wigan Council, said: “It was a real pleasure to meet the first people making this new development in Worsley Mesnes their home.

“As a council, we are investing in new, much-needed homes for local people across our borough, and this development at Worsley Mesnes is a really exciting partnership project. A new shopping parade has already opened and there will soon be further demolition to make way for more houses with this development set to be an affordable, attractive and vibrant place to live, integrating with the local community.”

The sites were selected following extensive community consultation and included the demolition of a number of low-rise flats.

New shops have recently opened in the area, meaning that in January 2024, the former shopping parade can start to be demolished and is due to complete in February 2024.

Wigan Council has also undertaken work to the highways, introducing traffic calming measures and enhancing local open spaces including Parsons Meadow and Scotman’s Flash.

The affordable homes will be handed over to residents between now and late 2023, with the whole development expected to complete in 2026.