Seddon has been appointed to the newly launched Unitas framework Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s official housing repairs and maintenance company, which aims to improve services for tenants and raise housing standards in the city.
Unitas Stoke-on-Trent Limited will work with Seddon and other local businesses to support the city’s economy, with around an annual £17 million worth of work to be spent locally where possible on contracts or goods.
Around 450 Kier Stoke staff have transferred to the new company and have been joined by a further 30 city council workers. They will be carrying out an average 600 responsive repair jobs a day under a £42 million annual budget, with plans to refurbish 1,500 void properties a year.
In addition, dozens of local businesses will be supplying goods and services after successfully bidding for work such as plastering, plumbing, joinery and bricklaying.
Unitas is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the city council and will deliver repairs and maintenance services to Stoke-on-Trent’s 18,500 council homes and 600 public buildings.
Duncan Williams, regional director at Seddon, said: “With a 65-year history in Stoke-on-Trent, we know the area very well and our appointment to the Unitas framework is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to its housing developments and their communities.
“Working in close partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, we will use our extensive experience in this sector to deliver the best service on projects across the city, while continuing our commitment to offer local employment and training initiatives.”
Councillor Conway said: “I have made clear from the start what I wanted to achieve with the creation of Unitas and I’m proud to have seen my ambitions realised as the company is officially launched.
“Unitas has been designed to offer an improved, more flexible service for tenants and will ensure that property owned by the council is maintained to a high standard.
“It will also continue our push towards making services more commercially-minded – driving efficiency and supporting the local economy.
“As a council, we have had to make a lot of difficult decisions as our funding is cut yet demand for services has increased. And by changing the way we do business – such as the formation of Unitas – we are better able to support local people and invest in our great city.”