New start at Hillcrag

CUSTOMERS have been raising a toast to their new homes after a Sunderland estate was given a new lease of life.

As part of its ongoing commitment to Sunderland and creating high-quality new housing in the city, we're developing Hillcrag, on the site of the former High Ford estate.

Now, with the first phase of the 132 new build development completed, Hillcrag has welcomed some of its first happy residents.

Adjacent to St Luke’s and Front Road, Hillcrag is comprised of two, three and four bedroom houses and two bedroom bungalows and apartments.

Mr and Mrs Manners have been keen to downsize for health reasons and watched Hillcrag being developed from the windows of their previous home at St Luke’s Road

Mr Manners said: “We got the keys on the Wednesday and moved in on the Monday – it couldn’t have been easier. We love our new home. It’s a great finished product and we love the size of the rooms.”

The £14.3m development was built with £2.9m of Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) grant funding as part of the current HCA affordable homes programme. Homes will also use built in photo-voltaic panels as standard to minimise both energy bills and carbon footprint.

John Craggs, Chief Executive Officer at Gentoo Group, said: Gentoo is dedicated to providing great homes for rent and for sale to meet the needs of our customers.

“Our Hillcrag development will bring our new affordable homes total in Sunderland this year to 183 and we’re proud that our vision has become a reality here. We wish all our new and future residents health and happiness in their new homes.”

The Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Paul Watson added: “This new Gentoo led development is a welcome addition to our city, and will increase the range of high-quality affordable housing and accommodation available for local people living in this part of Sunderland.

“Working with our housing and regeneration partners we can help further strengthen our local communities, by providing the range of size and energy efficient design of houses, bungalows, and apartments which people bringing up their families or living alone can call home and look forward to living in for many years to come.”

Hillcrag is one of four developments currently being carried out by Gentoo at Sunderland, with work also underway at Thurcroft, Doxford Park and Castle Rise, Downhill and Meadow View, Houghton.

Castle Rise, Downhill, will offer a mixture of 88 houses and bungalows and will feature 51 affordable rent properties when complete. Customers will start to move into the development from October.