The Secretary of State for Levelling up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, has announced four new non-executive directors are to join the board of the government’s housing and regeneration agency, Homes England.

According to Gove, Pat Ritchie CBE, Lord Austin of Dudley, Mark Henderson and Lesley-Ann Nash will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the board, strengthening its capability and resilience, and playing an important role in helping the agency to build much-needed new homes and regenerate places and communities across the country.

Gove said: “Our Levelling Up White Paper sets out our plan to spread opportunity throughout the country and regenerating our towns and cities is an essential part of this.

“Homes England have been given a hugely important role in this work – spearheading the transformation of towns and cities across the country to create vibrant and thriving communities on previously derelict sites.

“Strengthening the leadership at Homes England is an important step on our mission to deliver these ambitious projects and I warmly welcome these new appointments.”

Peter Freeman CBE, the Chair of the Homes England Board, said: “With a renewed focus on regeneration for Homes England, it is an incredibly exciting time to be joining the agency and I am thrilled that Patricia, Lesley-Ann, Ian and Mark have been appointed to the Board.

“Their diverse range of skills, passion and experience from across the country will be vital in guiding the agency as it continues to deliver on the government’s housing and regeneration ambitions. As the country moves beyond recent challenges and looks towards levelling up, Homes England’s role has never been so important.”

Pat Ritchie CBE, the former Chief Executive of Newcastle City Council and Chair of the Government Property Agency, said: “I am delighted to be joining the Homes England Board as it renews its focus on regeneration. I look forward to helping to create innovative partnerships with local places to drive housing and economic growth as part of government’s commitment to levelling up the country.”

Lesley-Ann Nash, a non-executive director at Workspace Group Plc, said: “Housing is significant challenge facing the country and has the potential to create important social benefits. I am looking forward to contributing to the work of the Board and the agency.”

Mark Henderson, CEO of Home Group housing association and founder of Homes for the North, said: “I am really looking forward to joining the Homes England Board and to working with the agency to deliver well designed and, importantly, more affordable homes for communities across the whole country.”

Lord Ian Austin, who was MP for Dudley North from 2005 until 2019, said: “I am very pleased to be supporting Homes England’s crucial work in supporting the government’s levelling up agenda and delivering transformative regeneration projects that are so important to providing better quality and more sustainable homes for communities around the country.”