A BRAND new affordable apartment building has been named in honour of two late Redditch Councillors.

The former site of the Redditch Trades and Labour Club on Bromsgrove Road has been transformed into 40 new high-quality flats all available for social rent and reserved for local residents.

The new development has been named Passingham Place in memory of Betty and Ron Passingham, who served as councillors in the town.

The husband-and-wife duo clocked up more than half a century of service between them as councillors representing wards in Redditch at both a county and district level.

Mrs Passingham served as the first Labour mayor of Redditch in 1983, when she welcomed the Queen to the borough for the official opening of the town hall.

Redditch Advertiser: Ron and Betty PassinghamRon and Betty Passingham (Image: Family handout)

Both Betty and Ron remained active in the community and supported a wide range of local groups until they passed away in their 80s in 2008 and 2012 respectively.

Ron and Betty’s relatives and Labour Party colleagues were recently given a tour of Passingham Place, reflecting on the visit Sue Yeng, Betty and Ron’s daughter said: “As a family, we are honoured to see that the Trades and Labour Club, were my mum and dad spent many evenings socialising and sat in party meetings, has been converted into affordable housing.

“Although they never sought the limelight, both my parents would definitely  approve of the new use for the Labour Club as they dedicated their lives to the people of Redditch and would be pleased to know that some of those most in need are being given a roof over their heads.

“Passingham Place will bring a smile to my face every time I walk past as it will for the many others whose lives Betty and Ron touched during their decades of public service and community involvement in Redditch.”

Redditch Advertiser: Passingham PlacePassingham Place (Image: Green Square Accord)

Councillor Bill Harnett who represents Church Hill Ward on Redditch Borough Council said: “Betty and Ron were old long term friends of mine and spent their time together working for a better Redditch. Their focus was always on our community and improving local people’s quality of life .

"Both Redditch and the local Labour Party were fortunate to have Betty and Ron and their legacy lives on in the town through the many projects they fought for.”

Another of Betty and Ron’s colleagues, Councillor Andy Fry, who represents Arrow Valley West division on Worcestershire County Council, said: “ Passingham Place is an excellent name for the new affordable housing development on Bromsgrove Road. This ensures that Betty and Ron’s impact on the town they made home will be an important part of Redditch’s future.”

The new development was built by housing provider GreenSquareAccord (GSA).

Redditch Advertiser: Inside one of the apartmentsInside one of the apartments (Image: Green Square Accord)

Carl Taylor, Assistant Director of New Business and Growth at GSA said: “I cannot think of a better alternative use for Redditch Trades and Labour Club, an organisation which helped ordinary working people, than providing affordable homes for the current residents of the town.

"Passingham Place is a fitting tribute to the dedicated public servants who give their names to the building and GSA is proud to have constructed these new, energy-efficient social homes in the centre of Redditch.”