Massive economic boost

The decision of a housing association to build its new HQ in Abergele has been hailed as a massive boost for the local economy.

Cartrefi Conwy will be bringing up to 100 jobs to the North Wales Business Park on the outskirts
of the town.

The plans also include creating community facilities for the benefit of our tenants and other local people.

Subject to planning permission, construction is due to start later this year and the new building should be ready for staff to move in by next summer.

The news was welcomed by Clwyd West AM Darren Millar who praised Cartrefi Conwy’s forward thinking approach.

Cartrefi Conwy was set up in 2008 and took over responsibility for 3,800 properties from Conwy County Borough Council following a vote in favour by tenants.

The organisation is now nearing completion of a £30 million housing improvement programme.

As a result, they are one of the few housing associations that are on target to bring all their properties up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard by the end of 2012.

Mr Millar said: “I am absolutely delighted that Cartrefi Conwy is coming to Abergele.

“It is a huge boost to the local economy and it will be great to see so many new faces using the local shops.

“Cartrefi Conwy is an organisation that is on the up and there is every expectation that they will continue to expand in future years.

“Andrew Bowden, the Chief Executive, and all the team at Cartrefi Conwy are doing a great job.

“Hundreds of houses in my constituency have benefited from the investment that’s been rolled out. It’s made a huge difference to the quality of life for the tenants.

“In addition, the household bills have come down as a result of some of the energy saving improvements to their properties.

“It is wonderful to see that they are an organisation who actually do what they say they are going to do. It’s great to see them keeping their promise to invest back into the community.

Cartrefi Conwy is currently based in temporary rented accommodation in Colwyn Bay.

According to Cartrefi Conwy Chief Executive Andrew Bowden, the creation of a new headquarters marked an exciting new chapter in the history of the organisation.

As well as providing office space, the £2.5 million building will also become a hub for community activities.

Mr Bowden said: “This is something that we’ve been planning in the background, because our main focus from the outset was to deliver on our promises to improve the homes of our tenants.

“We are on course to bring all the properties up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard and we felt we needed to put our roots down in the county of Conwy.

“This marks the next phase in the history of Cartrefi Conwy and this is about building firm foundations for the future because we want to build and sustain our company for the benefit of our tenants.

“Our intention is to actually enable the new building to be a community hub for our tenants and the communities they live in.

“Among the facilities here will be an open learning centre as well as rooms that will be available to support our tenant’s activities.

“We want everybody – the community, our tenants and staff to be very proud of this building.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Pam Lonie, the Chair of the Cartrefi Conwy Board.

She said: “When we came into being, we knew that strategically our number one priority was to embark on the massive housing improvement programme which we are on schedule to complete ahead of time.

“We also knew that we had to make plans to have a suitable headquarters for our staff to facilitate the provision of the best possible service to our tenants.

“This new headquarters will also be a hub for our tenants.”

Len Wilcock, the co-owner of the North Wales Business Park and Proprietor of the Worldspan Group who are based there, is thrilled about the impending arrival of Cartrefi Conwy.

He said: “It’s great that they have chosen to come here, I think they have recognised the quality of what we have on the site. It’s a quality business park and a lot of thought and effort has gone into making it as good as it is.”

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