DEMOLITION work has begun on the project to create flats for some of the district’s ‘key workers’.
The Warwick House building is a former headquarters of Stratford District Council but has remained empty for a number of years.
In December 2014, Orbit Homes put forward proposals to create 82 one- and two-bedroom flats at the site and the scheme was given the green light just over six months later.
Orbit completed the purchase of the office building in January and will manage the new accommodation while Stratford Town Trust is set to retain the freehold.
Work to knock down the existing building – on the corner of the Birmingham Road and Clopton Road – started recently and is expected to last up to six weeks. The construction of the flats will begin at the end of March.
The apartments will be initially marketed to ‘key workers’ employed in public services.
It is hoped the partnership will help bridge the gap between salaries and high private rents – allowing those such as teachers and NHS staff to privately rent in the town ‘at a reasonable price.’
The project is scheduled for completion in Summer 2017 and when the building re-opens, it will be known as Fordham House.
The new name was suggested by Stratford Town Trust’s deputy chairman, Joan McFarlane, and is designed to reflect the site’s history as the former location of Flowers Ales’ brewery, which was founded by Edward Fordham Flower in 1831.
Adam Cooper, private rented sector director at Orbit, said: “We are delighted to be retaining the historical importance of the site and it has been a pleasure working with Joan to understand the contribution the Fordham family has made to Stratford.”
Helen Munro, chief executive of Stratford Town Trust, added: “It’s fantastic to see work beginning on site and to see such an important part of Stratford’s history recognised in the new name.
“This is all about Stratford – about providing high-quality but affordable town centre accommodation for those working hard in our hospitals, schools and businesses. We are proud to be involved.”