Esh Construction has added the largest contract in firm history to its affordable housing portfolio after securing a £56 million scheme in Middlesbrough.

The development will bring hundreds of new homes to Grove Hill and is the third affordable housing scheme Esh will deliver in partnership with Thirteen.

A ground breaking ceremony has officially marked the start on site for the scheme which will see 296 two, three and four-bedroom houses and bungalows built to replace homes demolished more than a decade ago.

The scheme is part funded through Thirteen’s Strategic Partnership with Homes England and with a grant of £2.8 million from the Government’s Brownfield Housing Fund. Tees Valley Combined Authority is responsible for approving the money from the Brownfield Housing Fund.

Two further schemes in Middlesbrough for Thirteen, worth £42 million combined, were announced by Esh Construction earlier in the year. The sites known as Kedward Avenue in Brambles Farm and Union Village in Gresham will provide 250 new homes for affordable rent.

Andy Radcliffe, Esh’s chief executive, said: “This scheme represents the largest affordable housing development that we have secured. As such, it really is a proud moment to stand alongside our client, Thirteen, and representatives from all partners that helped make this development happen, to officially mark the start on site. 

“Combining Grove Hill with developments at Kedward Avenue and Union Village, we are set to deliver more than 540 new affordable homes with Thirteen across Middlesbrough in the coming years. 

“These schemes form part of ambitious plans to regenerate areas of the town, and through a raft of social and economic value initiatives, we will endeavour to create a lasting legacy within the local community.”

The sites form part of Thirteen’s planned £110 million investment to deliver more than 540 affordable new homes in Middlesbrough.

Thirteen’s chief executive, Matt Forrest, said: “We are delighted work is underway to build these vital new homes in Grove Hill, and so much hard work has gone into making it happen. It is a fantastic milestone and another step towards bringing modern, high quality and affordable new homes to the area. We are pleased to be working with our partners to deliver these fantastic homes in the heart of Middlesbrough.”

Middlesbrough Mayor Chris Cooke said: “Affordable homes are more important than ever, so I’m delighted to see the transformation of this important part of Middlesbrough gaining momentum. In partnership with Esh, Thirteen are delivering the sort of homes people want, and Middlesbrough needs.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen added: “It’s fantastic to see work starting on this development to transform this area of Middlesbrough into a great location for people to live.

“Breathing new life into dilapidated sites and creating places where families can set up home and communities can thrive is exactly what this money is targeted at delivering. This is just one of a number of projects across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool where this Government funding is delivering real and long-lasting transformation.”

Esh Construction will work in partnership with IDPartnership Northern, 3E Consulting Engineers, Elliott Associates and ONE Environments to deliver Grove Hill, with the first homes anticipated to be available by Autumn 2025.