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Village pupils tour construction site as new homes take shape

Pupils from Iron Acton Primary School in South Gloucestershire have been given a behind-the-scenes look at the new homes being built in the village.

Local housing association Merlin and its construction partner Lovell invited children from the school to leave their classrooms and don hard hats and hi-vis jackets to tour the building site. More than 80 children aged four to 11 visited the site during the day and were able to see some of the machinery in action and ask questions about the new homes.

Pictured right: Pupils from Iron Acton Primary School in South Gloucestershire were given a behind-the-scenes look at the new homes being built in the village. Local housing association Merlin and its construction partner Lovell invited the children to tour the construction site.

Merlin development manager Ellen Copeland says “This is a large development for Iron Acton and we wanted to give children from the school the chance to see what we’re doing and learn about staying safe on a building site. With the older children we talked about how the new homes will make a positive difference to the village by giving people somewhere affordable to live.

“The pupils seemed to have a great time and asked lots of interesting questions during the day about housebuilding. Maybe we’ve inspired them to become the next generation of builders.”

Lovell community coordinator Bernadette Vickery adds: “This was a fantastic opportunity to show the Iron Acton pupils and their teachers the work we are doing in partnership with Merlin to create modern new homes in the village. We try to engage with local schools wherever we can through our commitment to being an active part of the communities where we are building. It allows us to communicate important messages to pupils about staying safe when they’re near construction activity, as well as helping children learn more about the work we do within the industry and the different careers and jobs it offers.”

Iron Acton Primary headteacher Mike Riches comments: “The children very much enjoyed the visit. It was great to see what is going on in our local area and for the children to find out more about the house-building process and the roles involved.”

Activities organised for the Iron Acton pupils included a talk by Paul Jones, Lovell’s local site manager, about the process of building new homes and a chance for the older pupils to meet the company’s regional training advisor Darryl Williams, who talked to them about jobs in housebuilding, including opportunities for women in construction. The visit was part of a series of activities being organised by Lovell and Merlin for the Iron Acton pupils, with future events set to include a talk on ecology and how construction companies work to protect the natural environment.

Merlin is building 27 new homes in Algars Drive, Chilwood Close and Nibley Lane to replace 18 old properties. The new homes are part of 72 Merlin is building in the village and nearby Coalpit Heath as part of its ongoing development programme. The first four homes were completed before Christmas and residents have already moved in.

Work on the homes in Iron Acton are due to be completed in phases throughout 2018.