Social housing chief moves with the times
9:31am Monday 3rd September 2012 in News
BERNARD Gallagher is Bolton born and bred. For 30 years he has worked in the social housing sector.
Now group executive for the Regenda Group, which is based in Bolton, Mr Gallagher is determined the sector should move with the times.
Regenda is one of the North West’s leading housing associations, with assets of more than £380 million and a turnover of £47.9 million.
It manages 12,000 properties across the North West, providing homes for more than 25,000 people. It has built more than 1,000 new homes.
Mr Gallagher, who still lives in Bolton, grew up in School Hill and attended St Cuthbert’s School as a youngster.
The 59-year-old’s first job was as a trainee with Bolton Council where he was responsible for rent collections in Farnworth.
He said: “I look back on it as a really enjoyable time in my life.”
Mr Gallagher was appointed to his current role in 2004.
In the past, he was the national director at North British Housing Association, which is now the Places for People Group, before becoming chief executive at West Pennine Housing Association in Oldham.
He has also gained a range of array of professional qualifications, including a masters degree in Business Administration, and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing.
The Regenda Group consists of one charity — Regenda Ltd — which is the parent company, provides social and sheltered housing across the region and two commercial subsidiaries.
RHL is responsible for the development, sale and management of homes under shared ownership.
These are homes for people on a modest income who cannot afford to buy a home outright but are able to buy a share in a property.
M&Y is Regenda’s repairs and maintenance service.
Originally a family owned business, it joined the group in 2009 and has undergone a rapid expansion.
It now has a turnover of £6.3 million and more than 150 employees in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside.
The group’s head office is Regenda House at Horwich’s Enterprise Business Park.
Mr Gallagher said: “We’re based here because it is a great strategic centre. It has good motorway links and perfect accommodation. We looked at Wigan and Chorley but Bolton was perfect. We are not more than one hour’s drive away from anywhere in the region. It’s also important that we are a local employer and I’m proud that 17 per cent of our workforce is from the area.”
Mr Gallagher has established Regenda as a key regional organisation. It works in some of the UK’s most deprived communities and aims to transform local areas and improve people’s quality of life.
The group is also improving its green credentials, winning the Environmental Best Practice category at the recent Bolton & Bury Business Awards.
Mr Gallagher added: “We are really proud of what we have achieved over the last decade. We have built more than 1,224 new homes but our role is much greater than that of a landlord and we are equally committed to working with residents to transform their well-being.
“While we remain committed to our social purpose, we are looking to develop new commercial business operations. These commercial arms are vital to tackle the challenges ahead and will support us in providing a social return.”