The Guinness Partnership
The proposals for the Matalan site are being brought forward by The Guinness Partnership.
In 1890, Edward Cecil Guinness, the great grandson of the founder of the Guinness Brewery, gave £200,000 to set up The Guinness Trust. This is the equivalent of £15 million in today’s money. He wanted to help improve the lives of ordinary people, many of whom couldn’t afford decent homes.
The first homes were provided in London in the 1890’s and over the past 130 years, Guinness has maintained the key principles established at the Trust’s foundation: to provide good quality homes in communities that are stable and supportive.
You can find out more about the story of The Guinness Partnership by visiting its history website.
The link with the Guinness Brewery disappeared a long time ago, but The Guinness Partnership today is a nationwide Registered Provider of social housing and one of England’s largest Housing Associations. Guinness provides great homes and services to over 140,000 people across the country – from Manchester to Cornwall, London to Liverpool. Comprising approximately 65,000 homes, Guinness’s portfolio is continuing to expand and a target has been set to provide a further 5,500 new homes by 2024.
Most of Guinness’s homes are for rent at prices significantly lower than those charged in the private market and on tenancy terms which offer far greater security. Guinness also provides affordable home ownership options and homes that people can purchase outright on the open market, recognising that the shortage of housing in this country affects those seeking to buy a home too.
The housing provided by The Guinness Partnership meets a range of needs, and any profit made on homes for outright sale is used to invest in and build more affordable homes.Guinness is driven by a desire for effective place-making, building successful, balanced communities and the delivery of mixed tenures.
Stevenage Borough Council (‘SBC’) is undertaking a major, 20-year £1bn regeneration programme designed to redevelop and improve the town’s existing central areas.
The redevelopment of the Matalan site has always been part of the Council’s overall vision and Guinness’s proposals seek to respond positively to SBC’s aspirations.
A number of private sector-led projects including the redevelopment of Market Place, Vista Tower, Six Hills House and Park Place have already been completed with work on the Town Square and Queensway North underway. The planning application for the SG1 town centre project is currently under consideration by SBC. This proposes a 14.5 acre masterplan introducing new homes, shops, offices, places to eat and drink, leisure facilities and public services into the heart of the town centre.
The Borough Council’s Stevenage Even Better website gives an excellent overview of the projects that have been completed and those that are currently under construction or planned for the future.