It was fifteen years ago the last time the Rt. Hon. Nick Raynsford visited the Byker Estate and a lot has changed during that time.

“It’s really good to see how the Byker Estate has developed under the ownership of the Byker Community Trust (BCT)”, said the former Minister for Housing and Planning, who was in the region as a guest speaker at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s North East Leadership Dinner event, held at Jesmond Dene House last week.

n raynsford visit 3

Mr Raynsford has a particular interest in the Byker Estate, which was designed and built between 1969 and 1983 to a master-plan by the architect Ralph Erskine. For he lives at Greenwich Millennium Village in South-East London, which is believed to be Erskine’s last mixed-tenure housing development.

“You can see the many similarities just by walking around the Estate – the bright colours and grandeur architectural design which Erskine was famous for.

“Erskine built housing schemes for people and communities – he consulted with users during the design process and here we are 45 years later and the Byker Estate is still a good design that is responsive to the place and the people that live here.

n raynsford visit 6

“As former Housing Minister, I have always had an interest in Byker but I have been particularly interested to hear about all the good work that Jill and the team at BCT has delivered on the Estate and how the investment that has been made to date has improved this wonderful area.”

Jill Haley, Chief Executive of BCT said: “It’s been great to give Nick a tour of the Estate and for him to come back here after all these years. He complimented and acknowledged the improvements and change that the BCT have delivered on the Estate and was very interested to hear about our plans for the future with our new Byker-approach.”