WEHM is an acronym for Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Deedmore. These four neighbourhoods were brought together under the £54 million New Deal for Communities (NDC) initiative between 2001 and 2011.
These neighbourhoods are characterised by being dominated by “no fines” houses built by Wimpey Ltd in the 1950s and 1960s for Coventry City Council. They are located in Henley ward in the North East of Coventry. “No fines” is a concrete made without the sand, being a mixture of crushed pebbles and cementitious liquid slurry. At the time this had better insulation properties than traditional building materials. The no fines building process allows for the quick construction of structures. Henley Green, Wood End and other ‘council estates’ were built to house an influx of workers who were mostly arriving in Coventry during a boom in the Car and other local industry. It is hard to believe now, but at the time of its construction this was award winning, cutting edge design. Houses were built to “Parker Morris” standards are were a very attractive alternative to living in the inner city areas.
The Council houses were all transferred to a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) called Whitefriars in 2001. Unfortunately a lot of the area, particulary in Wood End, was “hard to let” and became an area of social disadvantage, high unemployment and high crime levels.
The NDC programme invested £54 million in the WEHM area between 2001 and 2011. The programme, including supplementary activity, created a new Leisure / Community centre, two new schools, environmental improvements, and the Moat House Business Centre. One of the major outcomes was a “masterplanning” exercise which produced new plans for the ongoing redevelopment of the whole area. These plans have been seriously affected by the economic recession, but are moving forward at a slower pace under the “Spirit Quarters” initiative which will see a £360m housing redevelopment scheme which, in the longer term, will see more than 3,300 new homes built in the neighbourhood.
The successor organisation to the NDC is the Moat House Community Trust. This is a community development trust that is committed to giving a voice to the local community in the redevelopment of the area. It also runs a number of community enterprises including Purple Patch Communications, a communications business; Moat House Cafe and the Moat House Business Centre.