April 2 2019 @ 12:07 by Richard Dawson
A new team of 32 repairs and maintenance specialists this week begin delivering an expanded in-house service to scores of Bernicia tenants in a £1m business investment.
The joiners, gas engineers, plumbers, bricklayers and administrators will carry out repairs to 4,000 of Bernicia’s homes from Gateshead to Teesside.
They will join the existing in-house team at Durham, boosting its numbers to a total of 46 staff.
The new team – recruited from across the North East – will operate from a newly-fitted out depot in Spennymoor and from offices in Pity Me.
North East housing association Bernicia has invested £1m to expand its in-house Property Maintenance Division, increasing the division’s staffing numbers to 175 across the business with an annual turnover of more than £15m.
This southern area expansion replicates the successful business model already employed in Bernicia’s northern operations and will assist in delivering over 75,000 repairs, maintenance and servicing operations across the business each year to 14,000 properties from Redcar to Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Among the new team is Mark Allison who will help manage the gas service programme.
“I’m really looking forward to working for Bernicia to deliver a great service to our customers,” said Mark.
“We got to meet all the directors of the business at an open day recently and learned about their plans for the future. We feel welcomed into their team, which they’ve got big plans for.”
Steve Eltringham, Bernicia’s managing director of property and construction, said: “We’ve listened to our tenants who told us just how much they value the quality of the service directly delivered by our Property Maintenance Division.
“This £1m expansion is a further demonstration of how we respond to tenant feedback and the commitment we have given to invest in communities across the North East.
“The expansion of the repairs and maintenance team will allow Bernicia to deliver a greater range of quality services, alongside work experience and apprenticeship opportunities.”
The repairs and maintenance investment is part of Bernicia’s five-year corporate plan to invest £190m into homes, services and communities, to support the social and economic prosperity of the North East.