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October 2019
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Robert Napier, Chairman of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), visited Merseyside this week to see the positive impact the Agency’s investment is having in the area and to assess what still needs to be done.

He was joined by a number of key partners during the visit, which took in the Anfield/Breckfield area of Liverpool. His first stop was to look at the area directly around the Liverpool Football Club stadium followed by an extensive tour of the adjacent Streets. The party then moved on to see the completed works at the Rockfield project and saw the proposed school site at Adam/Davy Street.

Robert then went on to visit Birkenhead, seeing several ongoing schemes, including the Group Repair at Craven and Paterson Street, as well as being shown the extent of the problem of derelict housing in the area. Finally, he visited the Castlefields regeneration project in Runcorn, looking at new housing, the village square local centre and a subway art gallery project.

The Housing Market Renewal programme for Merseyside is managed by NewHeartlands. It works with local councils and the HCA to allocate funding to projects in some of the sub region’s most deprived communities.

Robert Napier, Chairman of the HCA, said: -There is no doubt that HCA funding is starting to have a real impact in Merseyside. I was particularly pleased to get such positive feedback from residents who are feeling the benefit from the improvements that we, along with our partners, are bringing about. That said, there is no denying that there is still an awful lot to do in the area; my visit has put that firmly in perspective. I was keen to get the chance to speak to residents at Anfield as we are very much aiming to bring about changes for people. With our partners, we must continue to rebuild communities and tackle related issues such as poor landlords, crime and antisocial behaviour.

Brendan Nevin, Managing Director of NewHeartlands said, -We were delighted to welcome Robert Napier to the Pathfinder so that he could witness not only the vast improvements that are being made across our HMR areas but also the level of regeneration still needed in order to revitalise these neighbourhoods to make them sustainable for future generations.

Wirral Councillor and NewHeartlands Board Member George Davies said, -A key part of the visit for us was the chance to show the Chairman an area of the Pathfinder which he hadn’t visited before. Birkenhead is an area of high deprivation and we welcomed the opportunity to show Mr. Napier the neighbourhood, how the programme is working on the ground and why the continuation of funding is needed to complete the programme.

Cath Green, Executive Director Community Services at Liverpool City Council, said, -Residents from Anfield Breckfield appreciated the opportunity to speak directly to Robert Napier about the plans for their area and their hopes for a New Anfield.

Chief Executive of Halton Borough Council, David Parr, said: -This visit was an excellent opportunity to showcase Castlefields and what partnership working can deliver on the ground.

-Castlefields has seen a real transformation in recent years, with new homes and facilities already delivered and more investment planned, to improve the quality of life for residents.

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