Published On: Mon, Nov 6th, 2017

West Lothian communities reap benefits from five year social housing programme

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Communities across West Lothian are reaping substantial benefits from a major local housebuilding programme being led by leading provider of partnership housing Lovell, in close partnership with West Lothian Council. In total, the programme is expected to deliver 738 homes – all for social rent – through 15 individual projects located across eight different site locations. The programme has so far delivered 26 new apprenticeships sponsored by Lovell’s subcontractor partners as well as providing training for 30 existing apprentices. It has also supported 33 site jobs, eight graduate jobs and 35 work experience placements.

An estimated 80 per cent of subcontractors working on the programme come from within 40km of the project area. Ten first year apprentice joiners from West Lothian College recently visited Lovell’s Kirkhill site and were given a tour of the site, an on-site induction process and an explanation of the different stages of the build process.

Lovell’s local community benefit activities in West Lothian have recently been bolstered with the recruitment of a dedicated new team comprising Kelly Harkness as training adviser and Ness Stewart as community engagement manager.

Kelly has recently joined Lovell from Competence Matters where she was responsible for identifying, planning and co-ordinating the training needs of a variety of construction sector clients including Laing O’Rourke, Careys plc, Morgan Sindall and Morrison Construction. As a result, she has established links with local training providers including CITB and Skills Development Scotland.

Ness Stewart has been with Lovell for 10 years and worked previously as resident liaison manager, managing communication between Lovell and local residents during the refurbishment of their homes.

West Lothian Council’s Executive Councillor for Services for the Community George Paul said: “Our new build programme is not only delivering much needed affordable housing but also delivering a number of community benefits for local businesses and local people. Providing community benefits is a key aim of our new build project. We are delighted that so many young people are being able to work on the programme, gaining fantastic life and work experience that will enhance their careers.”

Stephen Profili, regional managing director for Lovell in Scotland said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to be working with West Lothian Council to deliver such an extensive programme of new build social housing right across West Lothian. This programme will make a crucial contribution towards meeting strong local demand for new homes for social rent. An important element of our work that we are particularly proud of is the wider benefits we are able to bring to the communities where we work. In West Lothian, this has included providing a range of work for local suppliers, supporting local employment and apprenticeship opportunities as well as offering training and development for local construction students. By delivering these important community benefits alongside a range of new homes for social rent, our aim is to achieve sustainable communities for the long term benefit of West Lothian.”

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