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King’s Lynn regeneration project gives careers boost to nine apprentices

A large-scale homes regeneration project in King’s Lynn is enabling nine apprentices to learn their trades working on the scheme.

The Hillington Square estate is being comprehensively redeveloped by housing regeneration specialist Lovell for Freebridge Community Housing. The long-term project has provided opportunities for Lovell and its construction subcontractor partners to train nine apprentices through the estate refurbishment programme, now into its third phase.

Lovell construction manager Michael Saunders says: “One of the rewarding aspects of the work we are doing in King’s Lynn is being able to bring about benefits for the local community, alongside the direct improvements created by the construction programme.

“The apprenticeships being delivered in partnership with our subcontractors are giving local young people the chance to gain significant industry experience on site, helping them as they develop their skills and work towards their qualifications.”

Eight apprentices employed by three King’s Lynn companies – Elecsure Electrical Engineers, plumbing and heating specialist Kevin Moulton and structural steel fabrication and welding specialist Arc Fabrications – are working on the Hillington Square scheme. One apprentice is directly employed by Lovell. Elecsure director Jon Curtis says: “As the Hillington Square scheme involves such a wide range of electrical work it’s given us as a great opportunity to show our apprentices the many different aspects involved in the job. It’s also allowed them to work on a long-term project and see it through from start to finish; by seeing the project grow and the difference it is making to the area, they have a much better understanding of the bigger picture.”

Colin Davison, director of property at Freebridge, comments: “Developing the skills of young people in our area sits perfectly with our vision of supporting a better West Norfolk.

“The Hillington Square project has always been focused as much on community regeneration as it has been on housing, and we are delighted to be able to continue working with Lovell as they provide life-changing opportunities for local residents.”

Lovell started work in 2013 on the £30 million redevelopment of Hillington Square, which includes the refurbishment of its 320 flats and the extensive remodelling of the layout of the 1960s-built estate.

The company is now working on the third phase of the project. The scheme has delivered wide-ranging community benefits including job and training opportunities, student visits, site tours for the public, activities with local schools and support for local organisations.