Trainees get to work on Upton Lodge YMCA scheme
Trainees have started work on a project to provide disadvantaged young people with housing support, training and advice.
Builders started work on the Upton Lodge Farm House and bungalow in Northampton in February, after West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) pledged funding to refurbish it.
Two young people are now directly involved in the renovation of the building, receiving practical training in a range of trades including carpentry, surveying and plumbing. Once complete, the facility will provide a centre for construction skills training.
WNDC pledged £214,500 of Growth Area Funding and the HCA, owners of the building and surrounding land, contributed £218,000 towards the project.
Led by the YMCA, the scheme will provide disadvantaged young people with the skills, knowledge and confidence to lead successful lives.
Work is now well underway and is still on programme to complete by mid-May 2010 for the first group of residents to move in at the end of that month.
WNDC Chief Executive Peter Mawson said: “It’s refreshing to see young people involved in the renovation of this building. Once complete Upton Lodge Farm will continue to offer disadvantaged young people a fresh start in life.”
Northamptonshire YMCA chief executive officer Peter Storey said: “This is an extremely valuable project for the community, providing life changing opportunities for young people who, through no fault of their own, have had a difficult start to life.”
Dan, a young person from the YMCA who is currently working on the refurbishment of Upton Lodge, said: “I am learning new skills and really enjoying myself.”
Anthony Sowden, Northamptonshire Team Leader for the HCA, said: “The Farm House development, once complete, will be an important facility for the new and existing communities, so it is great to see local young people being given training opportunities and a chance to help construct it.”
The southern section of the Sandy Lane Relief Road, completed by HCA in October 2009, has opened up the Upton Lodge area for development, including plans for up to 1,400 new homes and significant commercial development, mostly on HCA owned land. Following renovation, Upton Lodge Farm will be the centrepiece of community facilities for both the existing and future residents of the area.
Posted : 6th April 2010