NEWS STORY: JANUARY 2007

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Northwards in the news

Older Ancoats residents have lift off!

Victoria Square 1898

Victoria Square 2007

The residents at Ancoats' famous Victoria Square on Oldham Road have cause for celebration in their elevation - all thanks to two state-of-the-art lifts installed in the Grade II listed building.

Northwards' Asset Manager, Paul Maidment led on the project to transform Victoria Square to its former glory. He said, "We've turned it into perhaps the most desirable places to live in Manchester for older tenants. Before we took over the management, we struggled to fill this place. Now, we have to tell people that it's full. These new lifts have improved accessibility for tenants with disabilities and they look fabulous. I wish I could live here in my retirement!"

Victoria Square was built in 1894 and was originally built to house 848 people in a bid to clear the slum dwellings in the area. It was the first purpose-built social housing in Manchester and nowadays it's home to 166 people in their retirement.

Since Northwards Housing took over the management of Victoria Square, it's had major improvement works, such as tightened security, landscaped gardens, gas and electrical work and the new lifts. And next year every tenant living in there will have a choice of a free top-of-the-range fitted kitchen or bathroom.

Marie Marshall, who has lived in Ancoats all her life, remembers living at the square as a little girl during the Second World War - "It's changed so much! During the war, it wasn't the nicest place to live, but I wake up these days to a square that looks the bee's knees."

Pat Fahey has lived at Victoria Square for five years, "The lifts are so much bigger and better looking than the old one - now you can get wheelchairs in to come down to the community room for bingo! We're so lucky to live here. Who would know we're a stone's throw from the city in this little haven?"

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