Buildings jobs and skills through bricks and mortar

In the past year the Building a Better Nottingham programme has seen a number of new homes completed across the city, as more than a hundred are on their way up.

Since October 2013 Nottingham City Council (NCC) and Nottingham City Homes (NCH) have built brand new homes at sites in Sneinton, Bestwood Park, and Clifton, as well as beginning work in Lenton and Radford.

The latest project to get underway in the city is in Broxtowe, where two former council homes (more recently being used as a community resource, which has since been relocated) have been demolished and Notts construction company, Woodhead, has started the building work on four new bungalows.

Woodhead will be using apprentices and tradespeople from social enterprise scheme, BEST (Broxtowe Education, Skills and Training), which is based just across the road. Site managers and experienced tradespeople from Woodhead will be on hand to guide the trainees, providing them with valuable site experience, as well as sharing their skills and knowledge.

Anna Mimms is chief executive at BESTbuild which she established in 2010 to provide construction employment and apprenticeship opportunities for local people. She believes that local employment for local people is key to giving the Broxtowe community a sense of ownership and pride:

“At BESTbuild we aim to teach transferable workplace skills, encourage a positive work ethic and empower local people to take control of their own lives. where possible we try to start this process with young people as we believe it will be handed down to future generations.”

For every £1 spent, £2.05 is reinvested back into the community, through the use of local labour, training opportunities and investment in the local supply chain – with some sites achieving nearly 100% local labour and materials.

Cllr David Liversidge, portfolio holder for housing and community safety at Nottingham City Council, said:

“I have watched as this scheme has progressed so dramatically over the past 18 months, with not just vast changes to the landscape and skyline across all parts of the city, but with the transformation of communities.”

“Carrying out a programme of works to enhance the look and feel of our communities, and provide sustainable energy efficient homes for generations to come, wasn’t enough for Nottingham. We wanted to make sure that whatever we did had a positive social impact on the surrounding areas. There’s no better way to do that than providing local people with jobs and training opportunities, as well as supporting local businesses.”

The four bungalows being built on Denton Green will provide much-needed energy efficient homes for older or vulnerable people, who need single storey living.

Nick Murphy, Chief Executive of Nottingham City Homes, said:

“The Denton Green site is one of our smaller developments, with just four new homes.”

“But the site has real significance within the Building a Better Nottingham programme. Through the demolition of two older properties, and by using local labour we are able to rebuild four brand new energy efficient homes, meeting the needs of our tenants and creating jobs and training opportunities in the process. This is what our programme of work is about and that is why it has had such an impact already across the city.”

Work on site in Broxtowe is expected to be complete by Spring 2015.

Glenn Slater, Director of Business Development at Woodhead, said:

“We are delighted to be working with Nottingham City Homes again following our completion of the first phase of the programme in March this year.”

“We’re also really pleased to be working alongside BEST on this project. On all our sites we aim to involve the community as much as we can, often working alongside schools and community groups, as well as inviting budding construction apprentices to find out more about careers in the industry.”

“I hope we’re able to share our skills and knowledge and give BEST’s team the right level of site experience to propel them onto a fantastic future in the construction industry.”

For more information on Building a Better Nottingham, please visit the website:

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