Byker Community Trust (BCT) housing association was established in July 2012 following a stock transfer with Newcastle City Council.
Since 2016, BCT and Karbon Homes have successfully worked in partnership to deliver a range of services to Byker customers through Karbon Solutions Ltd. Services included repairs and maintenance, grounds maintenance, income collection and various other Karbon services. This successful partnership has resulted in large cost savings for BCT including improved value for money and increased customer satisfaction levels.
In 2019, BCT’s Board agreed to explore how they could deliver what customers asked for by extending the existing partnership with Karbon to help achieve its strategic objectives of:
• Making Byker an Estate of Choice
• Contributing to a thriving Byker, and
• Ensuring that BCT’s community ethos is sustained.
BCT consulted with customers to find out what their key priorities were and the things they wanted in relation to their homes and the neighbourhood. Customers said they wanted:
• Transformational investment across the environment;
• Investment in their homes (such as new kitchens and bathrooms with showers);
• New homes to meet the changing demographic needs of the community, and
• To continue with an office on the Estate where customers can continue to talk face-to-face with staff.
During 2020, BCT and Karbon worked closely on developing the Business Case which informed the transfer of engagements. As part of this process, during September and October 2020, BCT consulted with customers to outline exactly what transferring BCTs business into Karbon would mean to them. The results of the consultation were:
• 175 responses out of a possible 1,806 were received, providing a return of 9.68%.
• 94% of respondents supported the proposals and 6% were not in favour.
The BCT Shareholder ballots were held in January and February 2021. On both occasions, a unanimous 100% voted in favour of the partnership with Karbon Homes.
The ownership and management of all homes and land on the Byker Estate were formally transferred from BCT into Karbon on 1 April 2021.
Even though the ownership and management of all homes has transferred to Karbon, the management area will still be called Byker Community Trust and the BCT office, which is located right in the heart of the community, will remain so that customers can speak to colleagues face-to-face.