Regeneration business Keepmoat is working with the Byker Community Trust (BCT) to try and raise more interest in construction as a career.
BCT is half-way through a £7 million investment to the Byker Wall in Newcastle, a “vast” renovation project with the work carried out by Keepmoat.
The company has funded a junior construction programme for 10 pupils from Byker Primary School in order to provide them with a basic understanding of the construction industry. The team has delivered safety talks to local primary schools to ensure children understand the risks around a building site. It has also employed nine people from the area and is looking to recruit a further four.
The investment in the Byker Wall, which has seen Keepmoat shortlisted for a prestigious 2015 Considerate Constructors Scheme National Site Award, has included a full external overhaul comprising of a new roof as well as new windows and doors to the Grade II listed Byker Wall, which has remained almost untouched since its construction in the 1970s.
Residents will also see improvements made to the communal stairwells and entrances as well as the instalment of new digital aerial system and the introduction of sustainable technologies in the form of photovoltaic panels to the roof. The work, which is due to be completed in December 2015, aims to ensure the flats become more energy efficient. This investment forms part of a £24.5m investment of the Byker estate by BCT.
David Ward, regeneration North manager director, said: “We are now past the half way stage of our refurbishment of Byker Wall and the feedback we’ve already received has been fantastic. The Byker estate is an important part of local history and we’re thrilled to be involved in restoring it and safeguarding it for years to come. The work the team has undertaken with local primary schools is another example of how Keepmoat is committed to providing opportunities for local people.”
Michelle Bell, head of property investment, development and asset management at BCT, said: “Keepmoat have been a delight to work with and a true partnership approach has been developed during the development and implementation stages of this complex contract. We have received reports of 100% satisfaction from our residents, who are insitu during the refurbishment, which is a true testament to the professionalism of the Keepmoat team.
“Keepmoat’s commitment to employment opportunities has enabled Byker residents to gain valued access employment and training opportunities. Their community engagement initiatives have been exceptional with Keepmoat actively engaging with a number of local diverse organisations.”