A HOUSING body has appointed a new manager to help develop new services for tenants.

Social landlord Derwentside Homes, which manages 6,700 homes in North Durham, has taken on Vicky McCourt as its new business development manager.

The 49-year-old, from Framwellgate Moor, is joining from Durham County Council, where she worked as an area regeneration manager and a housing regeneration project manager.

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Among her tasks will be to develop new services for tenants and the local community.

Derwentside Homes already operated several scheme including Shed, which provides training for unemployed people, Silver Talk, a telephone befriending service for older tenants and The Smarterbuys Store, a weekly payment scheme set up as an alternative to doorstep lenders.

It hopes to develop new community-based services as part of a five-year growth strategy.

Ms McCourt said: “These are very exciting times for me and Derwentside Homes and I am pleased I have the opportunity to be a part of that.”

Keith Tallintire, director of resources at Derwentside Homes, said: “Vicky is an excellent new addition to Derwentside Homes and will be a great asset to the team.

“She brings with her a wealth of experience, knowledge and contacts, which I’m sure will benefit the business in future and she is looking forward to working on and delivering some key projects for us over the next couple of years.”