from Tony Davison, Chair and Matthew Harrison, Chief Executive
The last year has undoubtedly presented us with some fantastic opportunities, none less than our merger with Equity Housing Group on 1 April 2020. However, this has taken place in the midst of a global pandemic that has brought unprecedented challenges and hardship to our customers, colleagues and society at large.
Our immediate priorities are on continuing to deliver essential merger integration activity, maintaining all services for our customers, investing in our assets, maintaining our development programme and ensuring that those hardest hit by the pandemic have our support where needed.
Despite these ongoing challenges, there have been some fantastic opportunities brought about by collaboration and innovation in what has been a pivotal year in the history of Great Places.
Forming strong and productive partnerships that allow us to maximise the benefits of our profit-for-purpose approach means we are better equipped to deliver excellent services and tackle the housing crisis. We have adapted to an uncertain external environment and are making a significant difference to our customers and communities through the social impact activities that are the beating heart of our business.
Our merger with Equity has created a new, ‘better-than-both’ business that is vision-led, values-driven, financially resilient and ultimately best placed to deal with the challenges ahead.
Remaining true to our values, our new ‘bigger and better’ Great Places will:
- Improve the customer experience – combining the resources, skills and experience of Great Places and Equity will allow us to develop and improve frontline services with an enhanced digital offer and streamlined processes and systems.
- Drive greater efficiency – the new business will share resources, costs and expertise and make efficiencies to reinvest in vital enhanced services for our customers and communities.
- Become a larger and stronger business – the new organisation will be able to build more homes and invest in improving our existing properties.
- Have unique strength in shared ownership and leasehold services – our combined shared ownership and leasehold/managed stock across the new business will be around 5,000 homes, making us one of the largest providers of leasehold and shared ownership services in the North.
- Combine our talent and skills – alongside broadening our collective experience and expertise, our growth means we will be able to attract and retain great people through heightened career opportunities and further investment in colleague development.
- Be more resilient – as a larger organisation, we will be able to better manage risk and find solutions to the challenges we face whilst targeting resources at supporting customers and communities that need our support.
Looking forward to the coming year, we remain absolutely committed to helping customers and colleagues navigate their way through the uncertain times ahead. We are confident that the ‘bigger and better’ Great Places, with its enhanced organisational and financial resilience, is in an excellent position to tackle these challenges.
Other pages in Annual Report 2020