French school pupils open £3.2m Narbonne House development as part of twin-town visit
Today French school pupils visiting from Narbonne, twinned with Eccles in Salford, opened a £3.2m apartment complex in the heart of the town.
The three-storey development from City West Housing Trust, a member of the ForViva Group, is on Corporation Road has been named Narbonne House in honour of the relationship between the two towns.
It includes 33 much needed homes for affordable rent.
After cutting the ribbon on the new homes, the 16 year old pupils from the Lycee polyvalent Ernest Ferroul school set off on the Eccles Town Trail to learn more about the history of their twin town.
Stops on the trail include the original Eccles cake shop, New Regent Picture House, St Mary’s Parish Church and historic Star Inn.
The children will also be doing work experience at The Lowry Outlet and a shop in Eccles during their visit.
This visit from the school pupils and the naming of the new scheme as Narbonne House is testament to the rich history of the twin towns dating back to 1957, when a teacher from Eccles Grammar School whose pupils were learning French took them to visit Narbonne.
Matt Jones, Managing Director of City West Housing Trust and Villages Housing Association said: “We are delighted to welcome pupils from Eccles’ twin town of Narbonne to open this state of the art apartment complex named after their beautiful hometown.
“This new development will provide much needed affordable homes for local people and comes as we commit to building four more developments worth over £8m in Salford over the next 18 months.”
Councillor David Lancaster who chairs the twinning associations in Salford, said: “The French school pupils opening the building on their visit to Salford was a fitting way to officially open Narbonne House.
“A special relationship exists between the two places and I hope the young people enjoy their visit and experience the friendliness and warmth of Salfordians while they are here.”
The students from Narbonne are in Salford until 3 December. Their school has strong links with Salford City College which is planning to take A-Level French students across to Narbonne in 2019.
Built by Mangrove Estates Limited and designed by Grays Architecture, the scheme received £944,000 of funding from Homes England and comprises 18 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom apartments.