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Revealed: Metropolitan Workshop to work on building society's housebuilding debut

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Metropolitan Workshop has been appointed to work on a debut residential scheme marking Nationwide Building Society’s headline-grabbing move into housebuilding

The AJ understands that the London-based architect has been lined up to carry out the design work after Nationwide confirmed developer Igloo as its development partner on the inaugural project.

The practice will start work on proposals for more than 200 homes on a 5ha brownfield site in Swindon, close to Nationwide’s headquarters, following a bottom-up consultation exercise with residents in the area.

Nationwide’s chief executive Joe Garner said: ‘Building on our housing heritage, our mutual purpose, and our founding principle that people can achieve more together than they can alone, we aim to show that it’s possible to develop quality homes at fair prices.

‘By challenging existing practice in just a small way here in Swindon and ensuring the views of locals shape our development, we hope to make an innovative contribution to the national housing debate.’

Nationwide said that it did not wish to confirm the name of the architect before the consultation process was complete.

Metropolitan Workshop has already worked in Swindon on a five-year delivery plan and movement strategy, commissioned by the council’s regeneration agency Forward Swindon and published in late 2016.

The initial consultation, which started this week, could last for up to six months and is aimed at determining aspects of the development including green spaces and facilities to benefit the wider local community.

Nationwide hopes to create affordable homes on the site, and aims to break even through sales and rentals, with any profit reinvested in other Nationwide community projects.

Nationwide said that it expected to invest an additional £20 million by 2022 to help communities across the country tackle housing issues.

Garner added: ‘From supporting the world’s first garden city in the early 1900s, to championing the creation of homes for returning servicemen after both world wars, Nationwide has played an innovative role in helping millions of people secure a home of their own. After all, we are a building society.’

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