Constructive experience at new affordable city housing development inspires South Leeds students

Constructive experience at new affordable city housing development inspires South Leeds students

Going behind the scenes at an affordable housing development taking shape in Belle Isle, South Leeds, proved a constructive experience for Design and Technology students from nearby Cockburn School, Beeston.

The Year 9 pupils enjoyed a supervised tour of the new development in Newhall Gate and Walk, Belle Isle, where city-based partnership housing developer Lovell is building 33 much-needed affordable homes for Leeds Federated Housing Association.

Organised by Leeds Federated, Lovell and CHY Consultancy, the visit gave the 13- and 14-year-old students the opportunity to find out more about the housebuilding process by talking to the site team and trying their hand at bricklaying, guided by Lovell experts. Pictured above from left to right are Cockburn school students Jack Stead and Skye Dodd try bricklaying, guided by Lovell’s John Rutherford.

Lovell and Leeds Federated will continue their work with Cockburn School in the autumn by visiting the school and discussing issues surrounding the UK’s need for new homes with the students.

“We are most grateful to Lovell and Leeds Federated for giving our year 9 students the opportunity to experience first-hand the way in which the skills learnt in school can be transferred into the workplace,” said Emma Husband, Assistant Headteacher at Cockburn School. The site visit allowed a cohort of our GCSE technology students to see building works at Newhall Gate and the processes which surround the development of new housing. The Year 9 students were really engaged by the talk around the trades within the construction industry helping them consider their next steps after leaving Cockburn in Year 11. They also particularly enjoyed the chance to try out some of the practical skills on the site such as bricklaying.

“At Cockburn we ensure our students receive high-quality careers guidance. We prepare them not only with academic qualifications but to aspire to ambitious and exciting futures. We work closely with a number of local and national employers and hope to continue to strengthen our link with Lovell in the future.”

 Leeds Federated’s head of development, Steve Ellis commented: “The site visit provided an opportunity for the students to learn more about affordable housing and the role of housing associations like Leeds Federated in providing good quality homes. There is a national housing shortage and we want to encourage them to consider a career in construction. We also want to inspire them to think about what affordable housing might look like in the future and how it could be built quickly and cost-effectively to meet the growing demand for homes.”

Lovell Regional Managing Director Robert Adams said: “This kind of event is a great way of opening students’ eyes to the different career opportunities available in the construction industry, enabling them to learn from people already working in the business, gain practical experience and take a close-up look at life on site. For us, it’s also about extending the benefits of the work we do more widely, allowing us to create learning opportunities for local young people in the areas where we are building homes and encourage more teenagers to start thinking about construction as a potential career.”

Lovell began construction work last autumn on 33 new houses — 20 two-bedroom and 13 three-bedroom homes — at Newhall Gate and Newhall Walk, which will all be for affordable rent through the housing association. The scheme is part of Leeds Federated’s Affordable Homes Programme and is funded by the Homes and Communities Agency and was developed with support from Leeds City Council. The construction team have now completed work on the roads and sewers serving the new development with work also under way on the structure of the new homes. The first completed homes are set to be handed over to Leeds Federated later this year.

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