Empty homes renovation scheme transforms local area

Click here to read full article in the Telegraph and Argus

Wellington Street, in the Laisterdyke BD4 area of Bradford had four long-term empty properties some for over 10 years.  One of the properties was known locally as a brothel.  Another house was home to squatters and used for taking drugs.  The area had a significant impact on the quality of life of local residents, especially in terms of criminal behaviour and neighbourhood nuisance, local people were constantly complaining to the local authority about the state of the properties.

The Local Authority approached Bradford Youthbuild Trust (BYBT) a small local charity who had a track record of improving empty homes employing local people in the process, to purchase and refurbish the properties. The Trust following an initial financial appraisal agreed to purchase the properties and appointed Cromwell Property Maintenance a local builder to refurbish the properties.

The project brought together the public, private and charity sectors to maximise the overall benefit to local people and stakeholders. The refurbishment provided training for unemployed local people and much needed affordable housing it started in Feb 2016 and was completed in Oct 2016.

BYBT – was established in 2000 to help disadvantaged young people reach their full potential through training and employment within the construction industry. Over a number of years the Trust has managed to purchase and refurbish 43 properties, 25 have been sold with the remaining 18 being rented to local people at affordable rents. The Trust has recycled property sales receipts to purchases these four new properties and plans

Bradford Youthbuild Trust who aims to help disadvantaged young people access training and employment has a long track record of working with BMDC to bring back empty properties in to use. As part of the initiative BYBT has agreed the purchase of 4 properties on Wellington St which have been empty for several years.

The properties at Wellington St needed a complete refurbishment and the work was estimated to take up to 6 months to complete allowing Cromwell Property Maintenance to provide work experience to a site operative and also an admin assistant to help develop back office skills and support the growth of his business.

Partners in the project delivery included: 

  • Bradford Metropolitan District Council
  • Cromwell Property Services 
  • R. Wilson Project Management Ltd
  • Incommunities Group


  • 4 long term empty properties brought back in to use as affordable rented housing
  • 3 jobs created; 1 apprentice and 2 ILM participants both of who subsequently secured employment.
  • Provided on-site training to young learners on the Aspire “I gen” construction skills training course and gave 6 candidates site experience.
  • 290K investment in to a deprived inner city area
  • 4 new housing tenancies provided for local people.
  • Partnership model to be used to bring back other empty properties in to use.

The development is now fully occupied and tenanted.  It has brought life back into the area and changed many lives.  Bradford Council has since visited the site and hailed the regeneration a resounding success.



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