PEMB has been pioneering resident-led housing management and running a range of community development activities since 1994. The original Residents Association was formed way back in 1987 and had successfully campaigned, secured and jointly managed a £5.1 million estate refurbishment contract. In 1994 Plymouth City Council awarded the entire housing management function for the Pembroke Street estate to PEMB, by way of a partnership contract.

During the late 1980’s as a Residents Association and into the early 1990s, as PEMB, the group established its role in providing a significant range of much needed community-based activities. These included youth development work and local employment and training initiatives, all of which became available for the wider Devonport area, putting PEMB at the forefront of regeneration of the wider locality. Here are some of the key milestones:

  • 1987 – Original residents group formed
  • 1988/89 – Local management option explored and Community flat & activities established
  • 1991 – Bid for complete refurbishment made under the Government’s ‘Estate Action’ programme
  • 1992 – Complete refurbishment works approved, and employment / training initiatives started
  • 1993 – Refurbishment works started; new estate management arrangements completed
  • 1994 – Management Agreement signed: PSEMB fully operational as a limited company
  • 1995/96 – PEMB wins several awards including a British Urban Regeneration Award (BURA)

The extensive work carried out by the residents on the design of the buildings, together with community engagement, employment and training initiatives, combined with the on-going management arrangements brought PEMB to the forefront of a study conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Entitled ‘Putting Back the Pride’ the full report and the findings gave positive confirmation on the benefits of investing in local people in order to achieve a sustainable community. Click here to see the summary report

By 2001 Devonport had gained New Deal for Communities (NDC) status securing over £49 million of government funding. Plans for the regeneration of the whole of Devonport were by now well underway, bringing far reaching changes. The earlier, successful turn around of the Pembroke Street Estate underpinned this work. The regeneration plans included widespread demolition of post war flats to be replaced by mixed tenure housing.

Car crime was a major problem during the 1980’s. Vehicles were frequently blown up – often very close to occupied properties.


A view of a Pembroke Street courtyard – circa 1990 – looking across to the nearby Clowance / Prospect Estate
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