A tree planting ceremony has been held to mark the completion of a new 46-home development in Rushden.
Allen Road, which used to be the home of Grenson’s shoe factory, is the result of a partnership between Spire Homes (part of the Longhurst Group) and East Midlands developer Westleigh Partnerships.
Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough, was joined by the chairman of East Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Colin Wright, on Friday (September 15) at a celebration event that also included a tour of the scheme.
Longhurst Group chief executive Julie Doyle said: “Everything we do at Longhurst Group is about improving the lives of our customers and Allen Road, with its range of fantastic affordable homes, is another shining example of how we as a group continue to do that.
“This type of development will really make a difference to the area and the people living here and it would not have been possible without the Homes and Communities Agency and the support East Northamptonshire Council, helping to bring about much-needed investment to this part of the town.
“We’re very proud of Allen Road and were delighted to showcase what it had to offer at this celebration event.”
Comprising two sites that span Allen Road, the scheme received £1.15 million from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and has redeveloped the former Grenson’s shoe factory site into 32 homes for affordable rent and 14 shared ownership properties.
East Northamptonshire Council leader Steven North said: “Through working in partnership, an attractive new development has been delivered which provides a great place to live and is an asset for the local neighbourhood.”
While the majority of the former factory site has been cleared, some of the factory buildings are listed and have been retained and incorporated within the development.
This includes the two-storey façade facing onto Cromwell Road, which now forms the frontage of eight new homes.
There is also the single storey façade of the original buildings on the smaller site that faces onto Allen Road, which provides the frontage for four bungalows.
Development and new business manager John Henderson said: “This development has completely transformed a former brownfield site, bringing it back into use for the benefit of the immediate area and surrounding community.
“Through sensitive and high-quality design, we have retained an important connection to the history and heritage of the site of which we are very proud.
“This scheme provides much-needed affordable housing in this part of Northamptonshire, offering a wide variety of homes, from flats for single people through to family homes and bungalows.”
Westleigh’s partnerships and investment manager Dan Gooch said: “The Grenson factory was a hub for the local community in years gone by, before it was vacated and sadly fell into disuse, so we are delighted that the site of the factory is now home to a vibrant and growing community once more.”
The Homes and Communities Agency was unable to attend the event, but a spokesman said: “We are very proud to have played a vital role in supporting this development – not only is it providing much-needed affordable housing for Rushden, but is also preserving an iconic part of the town’s history.”