Staffordshire set to benefit from new affordable homes funding
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A leading developer of affordable housing is planning to bring new homes to Staffordshire, after being allocated over £15m of public funding towards projects in the West Midlands region.

Westleigh plans to build 500 new homes across Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands metropolitan county.

The developer will receive the funds over a period of five years from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), under the 2016-21 Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme.

The subsidy comes as part of a wider agreement that will see Westleigh build a total of 1,590 affordable homes across the Midlands and Yorkshire.

Ian Jones, Managing Director at Westleigh, said: "We are delighted to have been allocated this funding, which will allow us to bring new affordable homes to communities which need them across the Midlands and Yorkshire.

"There is an ever-increasing demand for homes that offer a route on to the property ladder. This funding offers vital support to projects which will make those homes a reality."

Westleigh has been active in the West Midlands since 2014, providing both affordable housing projects and homes for the open market, and is now planning its first developments in Worcestershire and Shropshire.

The developer is part of the Homes & Communities Agency Delivery Partner Panel on both the Midlands and Northern lots and works closely together with housing associations to build affordable new homes through the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire. For further information call 0116 277 3324 or visit

Wren Sterling signs agreement with Tipton & Coseley Building Society
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Palatine Private Equity portfolio company Wren Sterling has signed a deal with Tipton & Coseley Building Society enabling members to now have access to independent financial advice.

Former Tipton & Coseley Financial Services adviser, Paul Grew, has moved across to Wren Sterling and will continue to look after all existing and new Tipton & Coseley customers.

The Tipton is Wren Sterling’s ninth partner in the building society market as they continue to grow their presence.

Paul Chafer, Chief Commercial Officer at Wren Sterling, said: "Financial advice naturally complements the traditional building society services of savings and mortgages because the customer typically takes a sensible and considered approach to managing their finances. Our in-branch, whole of market service gives choice and convenience allowing customers to access wider financial advice, which is being well-received by building society members across the UK."

Lee Judson, General Manager, Sales & Marketing at the Tipton said: "The Society remains committed to providing customers with exceptional service, and our partnership with Wren Sterling strengthens this. Paul Grew will now be able to provide members with independent financial advice helping to satisfy the financial needs of local people in the communities the Society serves."

Royal Bolton Hospital selects Vernacare infection prevention technology
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Palatine Private Equity portfolio company Vernacare has been selected by Bolton NHS Foundation Trust to provide their infection prevention technology which ensures effective, hygienic  disposal of single-use toileting and washing products.

Vernacare's fibre moulded bedpans, urinals, wash bowls and other products are already used across Royal Bolton Hospital. Now, ageing disposal machines have been replaced with Vernacare's Vortex technology, which disintegrates and flushes away the disposable products and human waste to reduce the risk of cross infection.

The Vortex is the only disposal unit on the market that has a closed-drum system, which ensures that only a fine waste water slurry is discharged to the drains. 

John Ashworth, Maintenance Estates Officer for Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The Vortex machines are very reliable and we've had fewer call-outs to deal with breakdowns. The machines are in constant use so regular machine care is important. If anything does go wrong with the Vortex machines, it's usually due to misuse and on the rare occasion that our team can't sort out the problem, we get very fast service from Vernacare's engineers. The machines look very smart and they're very easy to use. Once the lid closes, the cycle starts automatically so it couldn't get much easier."  

The Vortex technology has been designed for easy maintenance, with a self-diagnosing LCD screen and manual emptying override.  Independent tests have shown that the Vortex discharges waste water more rapidly than alternative machines, with substantially lower and less variable solids content, which assists with drainage flow.  The system uses a 24 litre cold water cycle, which reduces energy costs as well as environmental impact.  

Vernacare is the only company worldwide to manufacture a complete single-use human waste disposal system and has been the global market leader for more than 50 years.  The system is proven to help reduce the risk of cross infection and improve environmental performance, while saving nursing time and generating cost savings.  

The Vortex is manufactured  to ISO EN 9001:2008 standards at Vernacare's global production site in Bolton, UK, where the company's fibre moulded infection prevention products are also produced. The Vortex is tested to ensure compliance with CE and BS requirements and is also independently tested for compliance to PAS 029, including stringent five-stage testing to ensure 100% effective breakdown of disposable products for effective discharge via the drains. 

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