THE Malvern-based Partnership Housing Association has announced a merger with Spa Housing Assoc-iation of Droitwich.

The new organisation, to be called Festival Housing Group, will be the third-largest such association in the West Midlands.

The merger, which will take place on March 31 next year, will create a group with an annual turnover of £30 million.

Partnership's chief executive Chris Almgill, unveiled the merger plan at a meeting of Malvern Hills District Council on Tuesday.

Partnership evolved from Elgar Housing Association, which was launched in 1995 with the £46 million transfer of Malvern Hills District Council's housing stock.

Mr Almgill said that Partnership was a success story and the merger will build upon that success.

The new organisation will be based at Partnership's existing headquarters at Grovewood Road, Malvern Link.