Cumbria housing association merger complete

Mon, 20 Aug 2018 | MERGER

Two of Cumbria’s largest housing associations have now come under one name after completing a merger that followed a legal proceeding agreed upon by both boards.

Impact Housing has now become a subsidiary of Riverside in an attempt to make the business a more viable one. In return, Riverside has vowed to invest £25 million in Impact’s business to improve its 2,770 houses in Lancashire and Cumbria.

Due to growing financial strains placed on Impact as a result of government-imposed rent cuts and the Storm Desmond floods in 2015, the company has since footed an expensive bill of roughly £6 million.

The decision to merge is a longstanding one, with Impact beginning talks with Riverside in January 2018 itself. Impact later faced a tremendous push to become a subsidiary of Riverside in June, which resulted in the merger.

The interim managing direct of Impact, Bryonie Shaw said: “The announcement is the result of almost a year of very intensive work to seek a strong partner that will secure Impact’s future and win the support of our tenants, shareholders and local partners in our joint plans.

“I’m really thrilled that we are now in a position to make a real difference to our customers’ homes and lives whilst revitalising our development programme of new affordable homes within the region.”

All tenants have been guaranteed that no rent increases will follow the merger, and all of Impact’s employees have been assured that their jobs will be secure at least until 2020.

The merger will also offer Riverside the chance to support Impact’s successful community projects such as the Oval Centre in Workington, and the furniture resource centres in Carlisle and Barrow.

Riverside’s group chief executive, Carol Matthews said: “Our priority is now to begin delivering the promises in our partnership pledge with a clear focus on strengthening Impact’s financial position and governance arrangements.

“Over the next two to three years we will be looking to re-ignite Impact’s development programme and begin exploring the potential to bring our two organisations’ operations closer together across the region.”

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