A project to regenerate some of the homes in Granby Four Streets in Liverpool has scooped the UK’s leading contemporary arts prize.
The Turner Prize has been won by Assemble, a group of architects who are working with Granby Community Land Trust (CLT), set up by local residents, to refurbish a number of properties on Cairns Street and create a community ‘hub’.
The Four Streets were due to be demolished under the Government’s Housing Market Renewal Initiative, but this was abolished by the Coalition in 2010.
In 2012, the council started discussions with the local community about how they could be involved in a new approach to regenerating the area by breaking the area up into a number of different projects.
The Community Land Trust scheme is part of a £14 million regeneration of the area agreed in 2014.
Mayor Joe Anderson said: “It is fantastic news to hear that the Granby Four Streets have won the Turner Prize in recognition of the efforts of the local community, partners and Liverpool City Council to create a fresh start for the area.
“Like so much else in Liverpool the Granby Four Streets represents our sense of community, determination and joint working to find new ways of doing things that will protect what makes our city so great.”
Deputy Mayor, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “What an amazing feat from Assemble and the residents of Granby!
“This incredible achievement is a testament to the residents of the Four Streets and the creative spirit of the people of Liverpool.
“We have known it in this city for a long time – but it’s wonderful to see it recognised in such a prestigious way – that something doesn’t need to be hanging in a gallery to inspire, surprise and delight or to be worthy of being called art.”
The regeneration is also seeing Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH) and Plus Dane Group refurbishing properties on Beaconsfield Road, Cairns Street and Jermyn Street.
Five properties are part of the council’s Homes for a Pound initiative in which first time buyers buy a property for £1 and bring them up to Decent Homes Standard .
Also in the pipeline is the refurbishment of homes on Ducie Street, while a further five houses that need work on Cairns Street are set to be transferred to a housing co-operative.
And the council also recently agreed to offer 34 remaining residents improvements to the frontages of their homes.
Councillor O’Byrne added: “Anyone who has been down to the Four Streets recently knows that it is a hive of construction activity with a huge amount of work going on, and the area is literally being reborn.
“The turnaround in the area in a short space of time has been little short of remarkable, and huge thanks must go to the local community and our partners for working with us positively to come up with a new plan after many years of false dawns.
“Granby Four Streets is just one area of the city where we are making a difference. In Anfield, hundreds of homes have been refurbished as part of a wider £260 million regeneration scheme in partnership with Liverpool FC and Your Housing Group; while in Norris Green 428 properties have or are being constructed.”
Money for the schemes has come from Government initiatives including the Empty Homes Fund and Registered Housing Providers (housing associations). In addition the CLT and Co-op have secured private finance and Nationwide Foundation funding for the delivery of their schemes.
Since 2012, Liverpool has tackled, or plans to bring back into use a total of 4,000 empty homes and the number of long-term empty homes has dropped by a third over the last three years to around 6,000.