What are the timescales involved with the partnership?

There are four key stages throughout this process and each one is just as important as the next. One of those stages is Customer Consultation and we need to ensure it is carried out in a fair and robust manner.

Consultation lasts for six weeks and finishes on Friday 22 November (it commenced on 7 October).

The four keys stages to the process are:

STAGE 1: Agreeing the terms (up to 1 October 2019)

We have now agreed these terms and understand more about how our partnership will operate. Both Boards have signed off these proposals to enable us to move to the next stage - Due Diligence.

STAGE 2a: Due Diligence (October 2019 to December 2019)

Due Diligence’ describes the detailed checks and information gathering that each party does before entering into a partnership, to understand how each business operates.

Both Great Places and Equity will undertake ‘Due Diligence’ on each other and each Board will get a report on the legal and financial facts about their counterpart, highlighting any potential issues that might stand in the way of putting the intended partnership arrangements in place.

STAGE 2b: Customer Consultation (ongoing)

The Regulator of Social Housing requires us to consult with customers before making big changes to management arrangements. You must be given the facts about the proposals for the new organisation, and have the opportunity to share views and ask questions in a fair, timely, appropriate and effective manner.

STAGE 3: Integration and final approvals (December 2019 - April 2020)

The New Year will see a lot of activity as we progress towards the launch of the new partnership and planning for day one to ensure everything goes smoothly.

We hope subject to satisfactory feedback from this customer consultation and the Due Diligence exercise to gain final Shareholder approval in January 2020. We will also need to have secured consent from all relevant funders.

We are planning on Wednesday 1 April 2020 being our first working day as a combined partnership.