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Midlands-based Bromford and South West-based Merlin have officially launched their new organisation after finalising the legal aspects of the deal, it has been announced.

The new organisation, which will retain the Bromford name, went live today, Monday, seven months after discussions were first announced. Bromford will now provide services for 90,000 customers and delivering one of the largest housing association-led new homes programmes throughout the South West and Midlands, with a planned investment of £1.5bn in 14,000 new homes over the next decade.

Bromford’s neighbourhood coaching approach will now be extended to even more customers including South Gloucestershire resident Debs Nott (right) who is seen here chatting to Kay Rose, community insight and investment officer

The news comes in the week that Moody's affirmed long-term issuer rating of A1 negative outlook for Bromford, with a view that this would continue for the new organisation. In reaffirming the sector-leading rating, Moody's noted Merlin's financial strengths which were confirmed in the release of its financial statements for the year that reported record turnover of £15m and £120m liquidity at year end.

The housing association now owns and manages almost 40,000 homes and plans to roll out Bromford's localities programme and neighbourhood coaching approach to even more customers by the end of the year. Talks are also progressing positively with Tewkesbury-based Severn Vale Housing Society over a merger with expectations that they will join the new organisation in early 2019. This will take the overall homes owned and managed by the new organisation to almost 44,000 and delivering an extra 1,000 homes in the next 10 years, taking the total to 15,000.

Philippa and Robert celebrating the creation of a new Bromford

In a joint statement, CEO Philippa Jones and CEO designate Robert Nettleton, said: "The new organisation allows us to combine our financial strength to make an even bigger impact in the communities where we work.

"The newly-shaped Bromford will enable us to build the crucial homes to help solve the UK's housing crisis and, even more importantly, allow us to extend the benefits and expertise of our newly-combined teams, including our neighbourhood coaching approach, to even more people and communities."

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