A Government minister has praised a ‘first of its kind’ Bury St Edmunds development which has been built in a partnerhip between a college and housing association.
Brandon Lewis, Minister of State for Housing and Planning, was shown around the ‘College Mews’ development after being welcomed by the town’s MP Jo Churchill.
Construction students from West Suffolk College have worked with Havebury Housing Partnership to build the £900,000 project, which includes three houses and four flats on a former garage site, in Mitchell Avenue.
The new homes are due for completion later this month.
Mr Lewis said house building was at its highest level since 2007 and it was ‘great to have seen in West Suffolk how apprentices are benefiting from these new opportunities’.
Mrs Churchill added: “This is an innovative scheme that promotes housebuilding and apprentices across Suffolk and is thought to be the first of its kind anywhere in the country. I’m delighted that the minister was able to come to Bury St Edmunds to talk to local providers, the college and see this excellent programme in action.”
Students from all of the trade courses at the college including bricklayers, plasterers, carpenters, plumbers and electricians have been involved in the project. They worked with contractors at every stage of the delivery including members of the Havebury team, Infinity Architects, Cocksedge Building Contractors and Oxbury and Co.
Dr Nikos Savvas, college principal, said: “We were honoured and delighted that Brandon Lewis visited the College Mews housing project. This innovative ‘first of its kind’ project saw vocational education demonstrated at its finest - students working at the heart of industry to build real life homes and serve this community.”
Scott Bailey, development director at Havebury, added that it was an ‘excellent example of partnership working’.