Housing specialists appointed to lead Lancaster's Mainway masterplan

Social housing specialists Place Capital Group have been commissioned to lead the next steps in breathing new life into Lancaster’s Mainway estate.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Monday, 4th July 2022, 1:56 pm

Constructed in the 1960s, Mainway was refurbished in 1990, but now requires significant investment to address maintenance issues and make it safe and secure for the future.

Over the last two years, in partnership with Beyond Imagination from Lancaster University, Lancaster City Council has undertaken an extensive consultation process, which found that 70 per cent of tenants were in favour of change.

Building on this process, PCG has now been appointed by the council to lead a detailed masterplan of the site, which currently consists of 257 homes.

Mainway in Skerton.

Regeneration of the estate will include the construction of new, energy efficient homes, the innovative remodelling and refurbishment of existing buildings, extensive enhancement of the public realm, and improved community infrastructure.

The masterplan will be driven by the council’s environmental ambitions after declaring a Climate Emergency in 2019 and ensure that Mainway is ‘future-fit,’ with low and zero carbon homes meeting the highest thermal standards, so residents can enjoy the lowest possible running costs.

Work will be phased over a number of years to reduce disruption to existing tenants, with the first seeing two blocks, Lune House and Derby House, undergoing comprehensive refurbishment.

Coun Cary Matthews, cabinet member with responsibility for housing, said: “The regeneration of Mainway is a once in a generation opportunity to provide sustainable new homes and create one of the best, most inclusive places to live in Lancaster.

Lune House and Derby House in Skerton.

“The excellent engagement exercise conducted by the Council Housing team and Beyond Imagination showed there is a real appetite for change amongst residents and I’m excited that the council has appointed PCG for the next stage.

“We want to breathe new life into the estate, with proposals which are vibrant, that create areas of new public open space, and buildings that meet the challenge of the climate emergency.

“Of course, the city council cannot do this alone and engagement with residents will continue to play a key role in creating a genuinely desirable and attractive place to live, work and play.

“I’m looking forward to working with PCG, as they bring a wealth of experience and skills that will benefit our residents for generations to come.”

David Smith-Milne, PCG chief executive, said: “The regeneration of the Mainway estate is a key pillar of Lancaster’s Homes Strategy and a critical priority for the local authority and its citizens. We are pleased to be selected as the council’s partner to help lead and drive that process.

“Like many housing estates of its age, Mainway has a set of complex design, structural, energy, and socio-economic challenges, but at its core is a community that has been bonded together over generations.

"Working alongside that community Place Capital Group will create an exemplar of sustainable regeneration, where zero carbon homes sit alongside carefully curated place making to create a convivial, aspirational yet affordable neighbourhood.”

Chloe Phelps of Grounded, the appointed architect, said: “We’re looking forward to working closely with Mainway residents and Lancaster City Council to create homes they will be proud of for generations to come. Together we can make decisions to create a place that will foster conditions for happy, healthy and economically sustainable lives that tread lightly on our planet.”