Helping landlords create new housing

5 September 2018

The former R.A.O.B Club in Northwich has been restored and given a new lease of life, thanks to help from Cheshire West and Chester Council and private landlord, Avi Aravinthan.

The club in the town centre had fallen into disrepair following its closure and it didn’t seem likely that it would ever be returned to its former glory. That is until landlord, Mr Aravinthan, of Hartford took on the challenge of redeveloping it as a mixture of commercial and residential accommodation.   

Councillor Angela Claydon, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “We are very keen to bring as many empty and dilapidated properties back into use as we can. There is great demand for accommodation across the borough with many people on our housing register requiring affordable housing.  It is great to hear that Mr Aravinthan has brought this former dilapidated building back into use.” 

The club is a listed building and an important feature of the Northwich High Street. However, this came with its own problems and resulted in the contractors working closely with the Council Conservation team and officers in the Empty Homes team. 

Councillor Claydon added: “Our Conversion Grant is there to assist those individuals who are just as keen as we are in transforming former empty and dilapidated properties to provide housing for people on our housing register. The grant is available to facilitate works required to convert a commercial property into residential accommodation.”  

The maximum amount of grant funding available is £10,000, per unit of accommodation created, up to a maximum of £50,000 per scheme. This is subject to grant conditions and inspection by a council officer.  In return for financial assistance, the landlord is required to provide the Council with nomination rights for a five year period. 

Mr Aravinthan said: “The grant funding has helped with the overall cost of the refurbishment and tenants were able to move into the property within days of the works being completed, and as the tenants have come through the Council’s West Cheshire Homes service, I know I am providing homes for people who are genuinely in need.”

Councillor Claydon said: “This is a win-win all round as Mr Aravinthan has benefited from accessing a Conversion Grant which has created eight units of residential accommodation, and residents in housing need have been able to access much needed housing.” 

For more information Mr Avi Aravinthan
Mr Avi Aravinthan

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