Property and football joined teams in Cannes today as former England captain Rio Ferdinand and housing minister Brandon Lewis launched a new scheme to build create thousands of affordable homes across the country.
The ex-Manchester defender and fellow football stars Mark Noble and Bobby Zamora have clubbed together to set up Legacy, a charity designed to create sports-led mixed use regeneration schemes with McLaren as development partner.
Ferdinand, who grew up in a council estate in Peckham, south London, said he wanted to find a way to make a difference to communities and improve the life chances of children growing up in similar areas to those in which he was raised in.
"We haven’t spoken about our plans before but we now feel that we have the right team in place and the financial backing to make the dream a reality," he told delegates at MIPIM.
Legacy will work with local authorities to build social and affordable housing as well as building schools, surgeries and sporting facilities to support the local community.
Its first scheme announced today will be in partnership with Central Bedfordshire council, where they plan to create a site for between 1,200 and 1,400 homes in Houghton Regis.
The local authority will remain the freeholder, with the scheme funded a private sector investor, who will then receive an annual income from the council.
Ferdinand said: "We will work with major private sector investors to devise a scheme that is both affordable and, indeed, accessible for all. The model can deliver schemes without the Local Authority needing to finance the cost of the build programme whilst giving full occupancy and control when completed.
"We want to work closely with Local Authorities and Central Government to understand precisely what is required in their area and look to deliver a scheme that will empower communities for generations."