A North East regeneration company established to revitalise former coal mining villages and communities across County Durham, has praised the work of law firm Ward Hadaway.

For the last 20 years, Ward Hadaway has had a long and successful working relationship with Durham Villages Regeneration Company (DVRC), providing legal advice on all site acquisitions and plot sales since its formation.

The public private partnership, a joint venture between Durham County Council and Keepmoat Homes, specialises in building affordable homes, stimulating economic activity and regenerating communities in former coalfields villages in County Durham.

Since its formation, Ward Hadaway has advised DVRC on the development of 2,059 homes across 32 developments with investment totalling £240 million. The law firm, founded in Newcastle over 30 years ago, has supported the partnership to deliver its vision for County Durham, not only building new homes and communities, but supporting the local construction industry and supply chain, creating and safeguarding jobs, and providing training opportunities for local people.

DVRC recently completed its 32nd development in Chester-le-Street, comprising 78 two, three and four bedroom homes, and handed over the keys to the buyers of its 2,000th property.

Lesley Fairclough, a Partner at Ward Hadaway has been involved in all DVRC transactions and has led a team of specialist property lawyers and support staff to assist their client in delivering its vision.

Lesley commented: “This has been a hugely successful partnership over the years, which has delivered significant regeneration across the whole of County Durham.

“We are extremely proud to have supported our client using our experience and expertise within the sector and the Built Environment. We have acted for the partnership on all acquisitions of land for development pursuant to the partnership and the sale of all new homes. The successful delivery of these developments for DVRC demonstrates our client-centric and hands-on approach to regeneration and the delivery of new homes.  The positive economic impact DVRC has had and its legacy is phenomenal.”

Ian Prescott, land and partnerships director at Keepmoat Homes said: “The DVRC initiative was formed to help revitalise former coal mining villages and communities across Durham. This has been achieved through major investment creating jobs and training opportunities for local people.

“The homes for sale have been targeted at first time buyers, helping to keep young people in the former coal mining settlements and preventing the loss of economically active people from the areas that were at risk of decline. The affordable homes created have helped those in housing need.  Now, with 2,000 dwellings and after a £240 million investment, it is clear that the partnership between the council and Keepmoat has had a major impact in this respect across the county.”

The 32 developments are located across County Durham in villages including: Bearpark, Bowburn, Brandon, Byland Lodge, Cassop, Chester-le-Street, Croxdale, Dipton, Esh Winning, High Pittington, Meadowfield, New Brancepath, Newton Aycliffe, Newton Hall, Peterlee, Seaham, Shadforth, Sherburn, Sherburn Hill, Spennymoor, Ushaw Moor, and West Rainton.