Wates Residential, the national developer currently building the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust’s (JRHT) £24m extra care development, New Lodge, in the garden village of New Earswick, York, has pledged to support important local causes in the area.
Next month, Wates will host its two-week accredited training programme, Building Futures. Beginning on March 12 and supported by partners including Job Centre Plus and North Yorkshire County Council, the programme will provide local adults aged 19 and above who are not in education, employment, or training with a vital introduction to the construction industry.
Building Futures graduates will receive six months support and assistance after the course, with Wates offering advice and guidance on how to turn the skills learned during the fortnight into a promising career.
JRHT will host the course in New Earswick and hope to encourage residents from the village to take advantage of the opportunity.
Wates’ commitment to boosting opportunities for local people also saw its team help to transform a disused unit in New Earswick into a well-used employability and community hub – better known by residents as the ‘Open Shop’.
Built upon research led by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and supported by the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, the Wates Family Trust contributed to the Open Shop with a £10,000 grant to help cover the costs of refurbishing and decorating the unit.
Combining efforts with JRHT’s Community Engagement Officer, Stacey Parry, Wates’ community outreach programme has already seen safety assemblies delivered to students at both the New Earswick Primary School and Joseph Rowntree School.
The talks also provided an opportunity to convey the importance of housing for the over 55’s, and the positive impact the overall development will have on the village.
Work on New Lodge began in late 2017 and is expected to finish in 2021. When complete, the extra care village will consist of 151 units, comprising one-bed and two-bed apartments and dedicated care suites.
Richard Shroll, group construction director, Wates Group, said: “Our presence in New Earswick will not only result in a much-needed boost for extra care accommodation in the area, but also the provision of opportunities for local people to learn new skills and gain experience that will help them find employment.
“We are also committed to educating local students on the intricacies of large-scale construction projects such as New Lodge, and demonstrating the many exciting and diverse career paths available within the construction industry.”
Joel Owen, JRHT’s deputy director for development and asset management, said: “In providing decent affordable homes and high-quality care services through developments such as New Lodge which meets the needs of New Earswick, we recognise the importance of working with a developer whom also invests in the community and supports local people into training and jobs.
“We support Wates in this initiative and look forward to working with them both on the building site, and on future projects elsewhere in the community – so that more of our residents can live independently and well, whilst also improving their prospects.”