Housing associations in merger talks to form a 65,500-home landlord

// HA News

Nationwide landlord The Guinness Partnership and Cheshire-based Wulvern Housing have announced today they are in early discussions about Wulvern becoming part of Guinness.

Both organisations have signed a commitment agreement to look at how coming together delivers greater value for money, offers more opportunities to our customers and employees, and creates more new homes across Cheshire.

Founded in 1890, Guinness has a strong record of growth and regeneration, with nearly 60,000 homes across the country and an established care business.

Created in 2003 through a stock transfer from Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council, Wulvern Housing owns and manages 5,500 homes, and a number of extra care schemes across Cheshire.

Phil Morgan, Chair of Wulvern Housing, said: "We selected Guinness following a rigorous and competitive selection process designed to identify the best opportunity to meet our long term strategic corporate goals."

Sue Lock, Chief Executive of Wulvern, said: "Guinness has corporate objectives which are incredibly well aligned to those of Wulvern and we are delighted at the prospect of providing more opportunities for Wulvern customers and employees, and increasing our impact across Cheshire by joining a strong, influential and growing organisation."

Catriona Simons, Group Chief Executive of The Guinness Partnership said: "We’re really excited about this opportunity. Both organisations have a strong social purpose and share a commitment to customer service."

Neil Braithwaite, Chair of The Guinness Partnership, said: "We already have a strong presence in the North West and coming together will provide opportunities to further improve efficiency and to play a major role in delivering more new homes in an area of high growth and demand."

Both Boards and Executive Teams are working closely together, ensuring customers, employees and stakeholders are kept informed at all key stages. If our discussions progress well, it is likely that Wulvern would join Guinness in early 2017.

Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis MP has shown support for similar housing association mergers in the past, saying "this shows what can be achieved by combining the strengths of each organisation. It will make a real difference to increase their capacity to build, house and help thousands of people."

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