Peabody and Catalyst have confirmed their intention to join together following a six-week consultation period.

Both boards considered feedback from residents and have agreed that Catalyst will join the Peabody Group as a subsidiary on 1 April 2022 subject to required lender consents and Catalyst shareholder approval.

The new organisation will be responsible for 104,000 homes, with c220,000 residents across London, Kent, Sussex and the Home Counties.

Brendan Sarsfield has now stepped down as Peabody Chief Executive, and Ian McDermott’s secondment to the role takes effect from 1 October 2021.

Sarah Thomas will lead Catalyst until the merger takes place in the spring. The Designate Board will be led by Lord Kerslake and the Designate Executive by Ian McDermott.

Discussions with lenders have already begun, and an early priority for both organisations will be “to establish new structures to deliver a regional model with more locally based teams.”

Ian McDermott, Peabody’s Designate Chief Executive said: “I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to give us their views during this process. We have heard what you have told us. Customers will be front and centre of the new organisation, and we will be absolutely committed to investing in our local communities.

“Together, we can go further and faster on improving services and driving progress on all our strategic challenges. We’ll invest in our homes and in our people to make sure we’re doing everything we can to support people living in our neighbourhoods.”

Lord Kerslake, Peabody Chairman said: “This merger represents an opportunity to make a real difference and worthwhile contribution to so many lives. Our commitment to genuinely affordable rents in London and surrounding areas is undimmed, and the need has never been greater.

“With upcoming cuts to Universal Credit and an emerging cost of living crisis already starting to hit, people are going to need support more than ever.

“Our combined community investment will rise to over £11m a year and our deeper local presence will help us form lasting partnerships with other like-minded organisations and groups. We want to work together to make the most difference to people who may be struggling.

“At the same time, we’ll continue to ensure homes are safe, secure and sustainable and we’ll invest in communities, people and places to help them succeed for the long-term.”