Formal consultation will begin next week with Byker Community Trust (BCT) customers and stakeholders about the proposal to extend our partnership with Karbon Homes with the aim of achieving better value for money and delivering customers’ priorities.

The Board members of BCT and Karbon Homes have agreed to explore a more formal partnership between the two organisations.

The proposed partnership would enable BCT to deliver its strategic objectives of:

  • Making Byker an Estate of Choice,
  • Contributing to a thriving Byker, and
  • Ensuring that BCT’s community ethos is sustained

Last year, with the help of the BCT Customer Scrutiny Committee, we consulted with customers and stakeholders regarding the above strategy and to establish what their key priorities were and what they wanted in relation to their homes and the neighbourhood. Here’s a summary of what they said they wanted and what their key priorities are:

  • Transformational investment across the environment
  • Investment in their homes (such as bathrooms with showers and kitchens)
  • New homes to match the changing demographic needs of the community; and
  • To continue with an office on the Estate where they can talk face to face to staff.

The proposed partnership could bring new and faster investment into the Estate between 2021 to 2029. If the partnership goes ahead, this would mean that Karbon Homes will be the new owner of the Estate, but the management area would continue to be called Byker Community Trust, and Karbon Homes would deliver all of the services.

BCT and Karbon has already been working together successfully in a cost sharing partnership since July 2016. The partnership has resulted in significant savings, improved performance and increased customer satisfaction for BCT customers.

Karbon Homes has supported BCT in keeping homes and the neighbourhood safe and secure and our joint staff teams continue to provide key repairs and maintenance and grounds maintenance services in Byker.

Together, we have created a Byker Community Pledge, a document setting out what additional investment and services will be provided to the Byker Estate as a result of the new partnership. The Pledge is based upon what BCT customers have asked for and a copy of the Pledge is being posted out to all BCT customers in the next couple of weeks to find out their views and to give customers the chance to ask any questions they may have. The consultation will run until 30 October and customers can feedback their views in writing, email, telephone or visiting one of the pre-arranged drop-in sessions on the Estate.

BCT’s Board will consider all feedback from the consultation and will then make a final decision regarding the partnership in December 2020. If the Board decides to go ahead, the findings of the consultation will be presented to BCT Shareholders for consideration in January 2021.

If Shareholders agree to proceed, the new partnership with Karbon Homes could be in place by April 2021.

Jill Haley, Chief Executive of BCT, said: “The iconic Byker Estate is a unique and special place and this is an exciting opportunity for both organisations to extend this partnership and deliver the transformational change required to make Byker an Estate of Choice.

“We will be consulting with all of our customers and various stakeholders to give them the opportunity to ask any questions or address any concerns they may have. The consultation period will last for six weeks until the end of October.

“Talks are still at relatively early stage and a number of key milestones still have to be reached including the final Business Case being approved by the respective Boards before being presented to the Regulator for Social Housing. If successful, the aim is for the partnership to be in place by April 2021.”

Feedback can be provided in the following ways:

In writing by filling in the form inside the leaflet and returning it in the freepost envelope that was provided.

By phone on 0800 533 5442 and press Option 5 for Customer Consultation.

By email at customerservices@bykerct.co.uk

In person at the following (please note these dates and times may be subject to change due to Government guidelines):

Monday 28 September – 4pm – 6pm
Saturday 3 October – 10.30am – 12.30pm
Monday 12 October – 4pm – 6pm
Wednesday 28 October – 11am – 2pm

These events will all be held at the Byker Community Centre.