Acis creates repairs joint venture
A 5,500-home landlord has launched a joint venture with Willmott Dixon that could see it sell repairs and maintenance services to other social housing providers.
Acis Group, which owns and manages properties in South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, created the joint venture with the construction firm following a competitive tender, having taken the decision earlier this year to take its own repairs and maintenance contract in-house in a bid to improve performance.
The new partnership, Galatia, will begin a £25 million contract to service Acis’ homes next month before competing for external work from other housing associations.
‘Within 18 months of getting up and running we would like to be bidding for other work,’ said Valerie Waby, chief executive of Acis. She added that the new company intended to be making 25 per cent of its turnover from third-party contracts within two years.
‘It is something new for the sector; lots of organisations will be thinking about how they can be more commercial. We did it because it was about getting the best service for our customers, but it’s also created a commercial vehicle for us,’ she said.
The new company will be 60 per cent owned by Acis, with Willmott Dixon owning 40 per cent.
The in-house contract will run for an initial five years from May, with the option of extending it for a further five years. The contract will cover planned repairs work, gas inspections, emergency repairs and void maintenance work.
Ms Waby said she expected the joint venture to generate savings, including savings on VAT, compared with the cost of previous contracts, but she would not be drawn on how much.