During the visit, Cllr Doyle was taken on a guided tour of the development to learn how the project has progressed since starting on-site in March. They shared how Liverpool City Council (LCC), who developed the scheme in partnership with housing association Riverside, worked with Lovell to create valuable work experience opportunities with local colleges and create a bespoke social value programme.
Cllr Sarah Doyle said: “I’m very impressed with the progress that’s been made by Lovell at the Denford Road site, and I’m even more impressed with their approach to training and skills development for apprentices. This is a landmark scheme for the council which sets out the vision of how we want to develop the city and rebalance our housing offer in the future. Its vitally important that the social value benefits are fixed in at the outset, from the construction jobs it supports and creates right through to the families who will lives in these homes and the community they develop.”
The development, which is funded by Homes England, will offer a series of two, three- and four-bedroom homes, and is Liverpool City Council’s first major housing scheme in 30 years. Currently on-target for an early 2023 completion, the project will also see 74 council homes built, comprising of 20 homes for social rent and 54 homes constructed for affordable rent. A number of one or two-bed bungalows have also been designed for vulnerable tenants with mobility issues and support requirements. The first properties will be handed over to Riverside in January 2022.
Jack Cross, apprentice at Lovell also joined the group in their tour of the development, as they discussed their hopes for Denford Road. Jack was one of the initial five students from Liverpool City College selected to take part in Liverpool City Council and Lovell’s bespoke pre-employment programme. Together with fellow student Marcin Galon, Jack has gone onto secure employment with a carpentry and joinery apprenticeship at Lovell.
Jack said: “Since joining the company in November, I have grown from strength to strength developing my skills, and have received great advice from my mentors. As a student, I’ve really benefited from this scheme - as with one day a week at college and the rest on-site, I’ve really enjoyed the hands-on experience and the opportunity to take my first steps in the construction industry.”
Plans are underway to provide additional construction placements on the site next year, as part of the city council’s ‘Routeway into Construction’ short course that aims to provide students with four weeks of work experience placements across sites in Liverpool. In the new year, Evolve, a subsidiary of Riverside and maintenance and facilities management company, will also provide placements to support three students in completing their joinery qualifications.
Tahreen Shad, partnerships director at Lovell, said: “We are delighted that Sarah chose to visit us at the Denford Road site, which provided a fantastic opportunity to share our progress to-date. We share her passion for creating affordable housing and career opportunities to the people of Merseyside.
“We look forward to seeing Denford Road become home to a thriving community and are proud to have played our part in this development.”
Constance Somerville, Project Manager at Riverside added: “Riverside are thrilled to be delivering 31 properties for affordable rent in partnership with Liverpool City Council and Lovell. It’s fantastic to be part of a project with such a focus on social value and providing employment opportunities for local residents”.
Lovell has also shared reading materials and resources with Blueberry Park Primary School and are building closer ties with secondary schools to provide careers advice and industry activities into 2022 through a comprehensive social value programme.