Bristol housing associations begin talks about possible merger

We have agreed to progress discussions with another housing association about coming together to improve services offered to thousands of people across the city.

The boards of United Communities and Solon South West are in the early stages of talks about a possible merger. This could see the creation of Bristol’s largest housing association with responsibility for more than 3,300 homes across the city region.

It follows discussions between respective boards about how United Communities and Solon can work together more closely to benefit residents and staff.

United Communities’ chairman James Taylor said: “Although talks are at a very early stage, we have found that there is a shared ambition between us to do the very best we can for our communities, and a recognition that we could achieve more together than as separate organisations.

“That is why we have started these discussions to explore the combined strengths that both organisations have, and the benefits that working together could bring to our communities and the people who work for Solon and United Communities.

“We look forward to working with Solon to see how we can achieve these ambitions together.”

The organisations are to set up a project board involving chairs and board members, to progress with a detailed due diligence process over the next three months.

Solon South West Chairperson Graham Oliver added: “We welcome the opportunity to discuss with United Communities how we can combine our resources and expertise to do more for communities across Bristol.

“We want to deliver the best services and high-quality homes for people across Bristol and the West of England.

“There is a lot of work to do before any decision can be made, and the project board will play a key role in exploring the case for working closely together.”

Any proposal for future partnership working between the organisations is expected to be presented to both boards before the end of February 2020.

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