Council housing programme is delivering affordable homes with heart and soul: Gascoigne 1

24 Nov 2023

Council housing programme is delivering affordable homes with heart and soul


A newly-completed extra care housing scheme has been hailed as a warm and welcoming symbol of Leeds City Council’s commitment to providing quality homes for local people.

The flagship Gascoigne House scheme, on Middleton Park Avenue in Middleton, has 60 apartments for older people who need on-site care and support.

The new apartments, which have been made available for affordable rents, are augmented by a range of communal facilities and attractive outdoor spaces such as a courtyard and roof terrace.

The Gascoigne House scheme forms part of the council’s multi-million pound redevelopment and regeneration of a site formerly occupied by Throstle Recreation Ground and Middleton Skills Centre.

This wider work will, by early next year, also provide 100 new family homes as well as 16 fully wheelchair accessible bungalows.

The redevelopment of the site represents one of the largest projects that has been carried out through Leeds’s Council Housing Growth Programme (CHGP).

And this week two senior councillors visited Gascoigne House to see first-hand how it is transforming lives and making a positive difference to the local community.

Councillor Salma Arif, the council’s executive member for adult social care, public health and active lifestyles, and Councillor Jess Lennox, the council’s executive member for housing, met residents and spoke with staff during the visit.

They also took a tour of Gascoigne House’s communal facilities, which include a café/bistro and hair salon – both opening to non-residents – as well as a laundry room and assisted bathing.

The scheme has been designed to cater for older people with a range of care needs, giving them an opportunity to live independently while also benefiting from services including 24/7 on-site emergency support.

The wider redevelopment’s wheelchair accessible bungalows have been built adjacent to Gascoigne House so that their residents also have easy access to its facilities and services.

The new family homes, meanwhile, are a mix of two, three and four-bedroom properties, all built to energy efficient and eco-friendly specifications that complement the council’s net zero ambitions.

Around 80 of the bungalows and family homes are now finished and, like the Gascoigne House apartments, they have been made available at affordable rents.

The council is also investing in the wider site’s public open spaces, with planned improvements that will make them ideal for activities such as sport, informal play and dog-walking.

Footpaths and street lighting will enhance access and safety while the area’s bio-diversity will be increased with the help of wildlife-friendly measures like swift and bat boxes and hedgehog superhighways.

Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, public health and active lifestyles, said:

“Leeds City Council aspires to be the very best it can be in all the work it does, and Gascoigne House is a fine example of the results such an approach can deliver.

“It’s a facility I think the whole city can take pride in, with a commitment to quality that shows how we are investing in people and putting ourselves at the vanguard of providing exceptional care for those who need it.

“It was a pleasure to visit Gascoigne House and meet some of its residents – they are clearly enjoying life there and that is testament to the dedication and vision of everyone involved in the scheme.”

Councillor Jess Lennox, Leeds City Council’s executive member for housing, said:

“The transformation of this site in Middleton is a flagship element of our Council Housing Growth Programme and underlines our determination to provide warm, welcoming and affordable homes for people across the city.

“I’m particularly pleased that it will be catering for a mix of needs, with family homes and wheelchair accessible bungalows standing alongside Gascoigne House and its hugely-impressive extra care facilities.

“The work here is creating a happy, thriving community – and, crucially, one that is also very much part of wider Middleton life.”

The redevelopment of the site is being delivered for the council by Wates Construction, with design work undertaken by Leeds-based Watson Batty Architects.

The project as a whole has created 32 new jobs, including four higher level apprenticeships, and has led to various other training and volunteering opportunities as well as a wealth of engagement work with schools and community projects.

More than 80 per cent of spending generated by the contract has been within 40 miles of the site, with 50 per cent happening within 10 miles.

The completion of Gascoigne House also means that, since 2018, more than 300 new homes have been built via the council’s CHGP.

Close to 270 homes have also been acquired as part of the programme, with these properties and the new-builds both playing an invaluable role in the council’s efforts to ease local affordable housing pressures.

Furthermore, they have – by increasing the number of appropriate properties available to tenants looking to downsize – helped free up some homes that are best suited to larger families.

The provision of additional social housing stock through the CHGP is seen as a key way of driving inclusive growth and improving the population’s general health and wellbeing.

Latest figures for the period up to 2025 show that, across Leeds, nearly 1,600 affordable homes are currently under construction or in the pre-construction or feasibility stages of development thanks to the CHGP as well as other council-backed schemes delivered by partners.


For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team