Wulvern Housing has become part of the Guinness Partnership, meaning that the social housing stock of Crewe and Nantwich will be part of a 65,000-strong nationwide portfolio.
That’s great news in my book. There are immediate concerns that the umbrella organisation might swallow up the smaller parts and make savings by centralising some operations. Thankfully, that doesn’t look likely.
The overall Wulvern Housing estate, formerly run by what was Crewe & Nantwich Borough Council, numbers an impressive 5,500 homes. Upwards of 15,000 people live in a Wulvern home. That’s big numbers, and the South Cheshire units will form one of the larger collections of houses that will now come under Guinness control.
There has been no talk of redundancies. In fact, Wulvern’s 200 staff are now employed by Guinness. Customers will still see the same friendly faces delivering services to their homes and neighbourhoods. The main office will remain on Electra Way, part of the Crewe Business Park.
Members of the Wulvern Executive Team have also taken up new roles in Guinness. Sue Lock, Wulvern’s Chief Executive, takes up the role of Director of Strategy and Policy for Older People; Nicole Kershaw becomes Director of Customer Experience; and Kevin Williams becomes Director of Asset Strategy.
On the day of the merger, new customer Monika Hala was the first person to sign up on a Guinness tenancy agreement at the local office on Electra Way. She was welcomed by her Neighbourhood Worker, Louise Parker, and Paul Roberts, a member of Guinness’ Executive Team.
Catriona Simons, Group Chief Executive of The Guinness Partnership, said: “We were thrilled to be chosen by Wulvern as their merger partner, to continue their tradition of outstanding customer service. We are very pleased to be welcoming their staff and customers to Guinness.”
Sue Lock, former Chief Executive of Wulvern Housing, now Director of Strategy and Policy (Older People) for Guinness Care, said: “This merger will deliver clear benefits for our customers, as well as delivering more new homes across Cheshire. The merger process has been very smooth and I am delighted to be taking up a new role at Guinness.”
When Wulvern Housing took over the management of social housing in the Crewe and Nantwich area there was a noticeable increase in investment. Large estates have been revamped, and many new-builds have appeared around the old borough.
The switch to Guinness will hopefully be the dawn of another new era, further investment and improvements, plus an expansion of some of the excellent neighbourhood schemes that Wulvern Housing has always been part of.