Manchester City Council has been named the Outstanding Local Authority of the Year at the UK Housing Awards 2016.
Manchester fought off competition in a category of six other local authorities to take the top honour in one of the industry’s most illustrious awards.
The accolade was awarded for the City Council’s leadership of the partnership to establish a veterans’ village, working with the BBC’s DIY SOS programme, charities Walking With The Wounded and Haig Housing and key construction partners.
The project has also won a North West Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Regeneration Award and North West Building Control award, while the BBC programme has also picked up two Royal Television Society Awards for Best Popular Factual Programme.
In June the project will be in the limelight again, in the running for an award at the North West Regional Constructing Excellence Awards for Integration and Collaborative Working.
The aim of the project was to create a veterans’ housing community within the existing community on two streets in east Manchester, where empty homes were blighting the area.
Completed as part of the BBC programme, the first phase of the project saw eight of the street’s empty homes refurbished to create three larger adapted residential homes for veterans and their families, one standard-size property.
A North West base for Walking With the Wounded was also established, from which they provide a range of advice and support services for veterans.
The entire street also benefitted from street scene improvements with disabled access, a planting scheme, and each of the 62 properties on the street received new doors and windows, and rendering to the front of the properties.
Manchester City Council is involved in the second phase, now underway to bring further empty homes on the street back in to use as homes for veterans.
Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “It’s always fantastic when such a worthy project - which has involved countless hours of work by city council staff, partners and volunteers - receives the recognition it deserves.
“Hundreds of trades and local people came together to build a community that will support veterans and their families to lead a better quality of life.
“I would like to personally thank everyone who was involved and gave their time to make sure the project was such a huge success.”