A MANAGING director of a housing association who masterminded a £30 million modernisation programme is retiring after 12 years.

Gwynne Jones, of Ruthin, joined Cartrefi Conwy after it was created by a majority vote by tenants in 2008 in favour of transferring the 3,800 properties from the ownership of Conwy County Borough Council.

Among his proudest achievements was planning a £30 million modernisation programme of the properties and bringing them all up to the required Welsh Quality Housing Standard.

Cartrefi Conwy was one of only a handful of social housing landlords to complete the mammoth task by the 2012 deadline, set by the Welsh Government.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Cartrefi Conwy Housing win a Green flag award for the Tre Cwm housing estate; Picture Mandy Jones

A ceremony marked a double coup for Cartrefi Conwy in 2019 when it was praised for managing the first Welsh housing estates to be awarded with Green Flag status.

Mr Jones, who originally comes from Llanrwst, said: “The opportunity to work for Cartrefi Conwy was one I could not have refused really because it gave me the chance to make a significant difference to our communities.

“The mission to create communities to be proud of has been the driving force of the organisation from day one.

“Cartrefi Conwy has always been an innovative organisation, with new ideas coming through all the time and always raising the bar in terms of standards

“From the early days, we had a huge task in front of us to deliver the improvements that the tenants had voted for. We wanted to do that but also to try and create a legacy.

“When you look back at 2008 after the financial crash, Cartrefi Conwy was investing heavily in the local economy, creating jobs and providing work experience and training for our tenants.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Cartrefi Conwy Housing Tre Cwm estate, Llandudno. Picture Mandy Jones

“Sophie Howe, the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, said that if she could bottle what Cartrefi have done in Tre Cwm, Wales would be a better place and that made me feel very proud, so whatever else, I’ll always have that in my mind.”

Six years ago the Peulwys estate in Llysfaen, above Old Colwyn, became the first to receive the internationally-recognised accolade after a massive £4 million environmental improvement programme.

The Tre Cwm estate in Llandudno followed suit after an £1.4 million transformation which reconnected youngsters there with the natural environment by creating communal areas which families can enjoy and where children can safely play.

The estate has also benefited from redesigned roads, setting out car parking spaces, footpaths and changing concrete areas into green spaces - all brightened up by a major programme of planting trees, shrubs and flowers.

The work came on top of the £2.75 million spent by the housing association to improve the estate’s houses, flats and maisonettes which were built in the 1970s.

He is also proud that Cartrefi Conwy has set up an award-winning subsidiary, Creating Enterprise, which has set up an Employment Academy and is now building modular, carbon free homes and providing work and job opportunities.

Mr Jones has also played an important role in developing a £45 million strategy to build 428 homes over the next three years.

His track record of success was rewarded at the Welsh Housing Awards organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru (CIH) last December.

Mr Jones received the outstanding commitment award, which was among four honours won by the housing association.

His career in social housing began when he started out as a temporary rent collector for the old Arfon Borough Council in 1987, later working for the then Denbigh-based Cymdeithas Tai Clwyd, now part of Grŵp Cynefin, before joining the newly-formed Cartrefi Conwy as operations director in 2008.