A ground breaking ceremony was held in Osmondthorpe, Leeds, to celebrate work starting on two new social housing developments.
The Osmondthorpe site is one of two new schemes being delivered by national contractor Willmott Dixon and will deliver 59 new homes in Gipton and Osmondthorpe.
Children from Meadowfield Primary School attended with their assistant head teacher, Andrew Smith, to witness Coun Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, cutting the first sod.
In addition, the children have been invited to take part in a competition to name one of the new streets for the Osmondthorpe development. The developments will be named after the streets they’re located on, The Beeches and The Nevilles.
The £9.3m developments form part of Leeds City Council’s Housing Growth Programme which aims to contribute over 300 new council homes towards the city’s overall annual target of 1,230 new affordable homes from 2019 onwards.
Stuart Kerr, director for Willmott Dixon, said: “These two schemes are hugely important projects for Leeds and Leeds City Council, so we are proud to be part of their creation. These developments will make a huge difference to their local communities by providing something that is always in high demand; housing.
“Over the duration of The Beeches and The Nevilles scheme, we have committed to investing ten per cent back into the local community, equating to a monetary value of £930k. This will see us working with local school and colleges, on community projects, as well as ensuring that at least 80 per cent of local spend and labour is within 40 miles of the site.”
Coun Coupar, executive member for communities, said: “I’m delighted to have been part of the sod cutting ceremony celebrating the start of works on new homes in East Leeds and for the local school to be a part of the development through the street-naming competition.
“As a council we have worked hard to ensure we are in a position to progress and build new council houses across the city for our residents and communities, ensuring that we address the need for affordable housing that families and individuals can reside in for years to come.”
The Beeches and Nevilles schemes will also contribute to the council’s social value charter via the creation of employment, skills and apprenticeship opportunities, addressing social, economic and environmental challenges, and supporting wider regeneration aspirations.
All homes will meet the council’s Leeds Housing Standard in terms of design quality, space and energy efficiency, and will deliver reduced running costs for residents, contributing to reductions in fuel poverty in the city.
The developments, which have been designed by Halsall Lloyd Partnership, are due for completion in July 2020.
Willmott Dixon is experienced in delivering residential schemes across the UK, working in collaboration with the public sector and other private sector partners to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget.
Willmott Dixon is currently working on residential schemes across Yorkshire including schemes to build over 300 homes in Rotherham and Doncaster.