Rio Ferdinand’s company to be part of Houghton Regis area’s revamp

Rio Ferdinand, business partners Mark Noble and Bobby Zamora, with children

Rio Ferdinand, business partners Mark Noble and Bobby Zamora, with children

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A deprived area in Houghton Regis is set to undergo a transformation with a major new sports facility and over 1000 new houses built – thanks in part to Rio Ferdinand’s company.

Former England captain Ferdinand today announced plans to partner with Central Beds Council and regenerate the Kingsland area of town

It will undergo development for a world-class sports academy, education and community facilities to transform the lives of young people.

Legacy – Ferdinand’s regeneration company, set up in 2015 with footballers Mark Noble (West Ham United) and Bobby Zamora (Brighton) – will partner Central Bedfordshire Council to revitalise the area.

Kingsland is currently among the 20 per cent most deprived areas in the UK, with 41 per cent of children living in income deprived households.

The project comes with givernment backing and housing minister Brandon Lewis MP, is set to ‘turn housing on its head’ by building more than 1,000 new homes with community as its focus.

Mr Lewis said: “The Houghton Regis project that Legacy are announcing with Central Bedfordshire Council will show the way to creating vibrant communities, backed by private sector investment, and using new and innovative approaches to building new homes to buy and rent.”

Set in the 22-hectare Kingsland site, this is an scheme which Legacy aims to roll out across the UK.

Today, alongside Rio Ferdinand and Brandon Lewis, Central Beds council leader Cllr James Jamieson introduced a six-month period of exclusivity with Legacy to develop the plans for the Kingsland project.

Cllr James Jamieson said: “We want to provide starter homes to give young people in Central Bedfordshire the chance to get on the housing ladder and homes for those employed locally, to truly make Central Bedfordshire a great place to live and work.

“Kingsland will help further regenerate Houghton Regis, an important town in which we are already committed to two planned major extensions. These will provide up to 7,000 new homes, 40-hectares of employment land, and a range of retail, leisure and other facilities, plus community infrastructure, including education, sports and green spaces.”

And Rio Ferdinand said: “Kingsland is a great example of the developments Legacy wants to roll out to key locations across the UK. We aim to start on site in early 2017 and to be delivering the first of our high-quality homes to a new generation of home-makers in Houghton Regis within a year of that date.

“Central Bedfordshire responded quickly to our request for sites, agreeing to work together to bring forward much-needed regeneration. The funding is in place via institutional and private equity, so we’re up and running.”

Legacy and funding partner Aviva Investors is developing privately rented homes and homes for sale, together with social housing, with superior quality and designs of homes that form a community. The Legacy scheme will stimulate economic growth by including commercial and community facilities within the development, meeting local needs and contributing to the local economy.

Central Bedfordshire and DCLG will be working alongside the Legacy team on the Kingsland Houghton Regis development, which includes Aviva Investors, agents Colliers International and planning consultants Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners.