Nationwide unveils £50m housing investment

Nationwide said the move is part of a wider social investment programme
Nationwide said the move is part of a wider social investment programme

Britain’s biggest building society has given its backing to a multi-million pound housing project.

Nationwide Building Society said a new partnership with Swindon Borough Council will seek to establish a significant community housing project in its home town, including provision for affordable homes.

The Oakfield project, in Swindon, will receive around £50 million in investment from the society across several years, with building expected to start in 2019, subject to planning.

The society said the initiative is designed to break even through sales and rentals, with profits reinvested in other Nationwide community projects.

While the community will decide on the scale of the project, the brownfield site could potentially accommodate more than 200 homes.

An initial consultation on key aspects of the development, including green spaces and facilities to benefit the wider community, could last up to six months.

Nationwide said the move, which is part of a wider social investment programme by the society, follows strong feedback from its members that it should support new practical approaches to housing.

It said the one-off project did not mean it was becoming a house builder, though elements may be replicated elsewhere.

Natiowide CEO Joe Garner said the move was in line with its heritage and aims as a mutual.

“We hope to make an innovative contribution to the national housing debate.”

Cllr Toby Elliott of Swindon Borough Council said: “I’m delighted we’ve found a fantastic partner in Nationwide Building Society to help deliver local homes in a new way.”