Booming Byker development launches after two decades derelict

A £9.7m new home scheme in Byker has officially opened on land at the former IRDL factory site – which has remained derelict for more than 20 years – injecting new jobs and investment into the region, as well as housing.

Byker opening

L to R: Coun Ged Bell, Lord Mayor of Newcastle Coun Ian Graham, Richard Bass – managing director of Keepmoat North East, and Mayor of Bergen, Marte Mjos Person

Community regeneration and housebuilding specialist Keepmoat is working in partnership with the City Council, Leazes Homes and Your Homes Newcastle to deliver 80 two and three bedroom houses at The Grove development, as well as twelve bungalows aimed at older persons and 36 apartments as part of an assisted living block. Keepmoat and Leazes Homes welcomed Councillor Ged Bell Cabinet Member for Investment and Development, alongside the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Ian Graham and Mayor of Bergen – Newcastle’s twin city – Marte Mjos Person, to launch the sites sales office and unveil the much-anticipated show home. Despite the sales office only just opening, Keepmoat has revealed 15 of the 17 homes released for sale so far have been snapped up off plan. Richard Bass, Regional Managing Director for Keepmoat in the North East said: “We are delighted that the Mayor of Bergen was able to join the Lord Mayor of the City of Newcastle and the Cabinet Lead for Development and Investment to celebrate how regeneration is successfully being delivered in the City despite all of the current economic challenges. “The Grove is a fitting example of how partnership working can deliver an exciting new community that will be enriched by a variety of residents of truly mixed age and ability.  Together, we have taken vacant land and stimulated economic growth and housing solutions; and the appetite is clear from the home sales we have taken already.” The Grove is set to compliment the delivery of the City Council’s £25m Future Homes Programme, which is designed to meet the crisis in family housing and help increase the number of homes to be built on brownfield sites across the city. Councillor Ged Bell, Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment and Development said: “This marks a key milestone in delivering housing that meets the needs of local people, with a wide range of choices that caters for everyone.  The Grove will create a new community in Byker that reaffirms the council’s commitment to deliver a more inclusive housing offer, injecting new life into the area and creating jobs for local people.
Byker Development artist impression

Byker Development artist impression

“We look forward to working in partnership with Keepmoat, Leazes Homes and Your Homes Newcastle in delivering more balanced communities.” Bill Midgley, Chair of Leazes Homes, added: “Leazes Homes is very pleased to be involved in the development of this site, which will offer an impressive mix of housing in the heart of a fantastic community in Byker. We are particularly proud to be helping bring derelict land back into use to provide good quality homes for those who need them. “Our extra care scheme, Lawson House, will offer 21st century living accommodation and support services for older people.  It will be carefully designed to meet a range of care needs and provide a supportive environment, while at the same time encouraging independent living. “High quality accommodation for those with additional support needs is extremely important, particularly as we have an aging population here in Newcastle. Lawson House will offer a value for money alternative to the increasing costs associated with residential care, which reduces pressures on council budgets and the purse strings of those requiring support and offers peace of mind that residents are in safe hands.” The Grove is the latest in a number of Keepmoat schemes bringing £186m investment to Newcastle.  Keepmoat will soon be completing a £7.2m scheme to restore Byker Wall as well as delivering several more schemes with the Council and Leazes Homes. For more information regarding Keepmoat or the homes at The Grove please visit