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Blacon transformation gives apprentices chance

Published date: 01 April 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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NEW apprenticeships are set to begin when a large housing trust development is completed in Chester.

Up to 11 apprentices could soon be working at Sanctuary’s development at The Parade, Blacon, where 62 affordable new homes are being built.

The housing and care provider pledged to build a brighter future for Blacon as it started work on the regeneration of The Parade and the creation of these new apprenticeships is the next step in fulfilling this promise.

Thanks to Sanctuary’s partnership with contractor Rowlinson Constructions Ltd, young people will take up construction apprenticeships.

Each will provide an opportunity to learn a skilled trade, with paid employment and career prospects.

Sanctuary’s development at The Parade includes 36 apartments for the over 55s as well as a mix of apartments and houses for general rent, plus a community and enterprise centre and creation of public open garden space.

Blacon councillor Carolyn Graham said: “It is so very important to give apprenticeships to local teenagers, giving young people an opportunity to learn a real trade which will set them up for life, but also giving youngsters a true sense of civic pride by being engaged in a project which will transform the local landscape.

“Plans for The Parade are now really taking shape and the development will certainly be a big boost for the Blacon community, with local homes transformed from plans to bricks and mortar next year as well as apprentice and social enterprise opportunities. It’s great to see over a decade’s worth of hard work and community aspirations finally pay off.”

David Soothill, Sanctuary’s head of operations – Chester, said: “The redevelopment of The Parade is extremely positive for the local community and it is set to create vital employment and training opportunities throughout the construction process as well as new homes and local facilities.

“We now know this will include a number of apprenticeships as well as several work placements at the site, fabulous news that really will help young people from the surrounding areas take a first step towards a career in construction.”

He said the apprenticeships in Blacon, provided with Rowlinson Constructions and its supply chain, would include college-based learning supported with practical experience on site.

He said further information on the new apprenticeships would be publicised locally shortly, with full details on who to contact at Rowlinson Constructions.

Steve Weir, construction director at Rowlinson Constructions, said: “We share Sanctuary’s commitment to creating training and employment for local communities and together with all our delivery partners will be pleased to assist Sanctuary in providing training and work placement opportunities throughout this project”

The Parade is part of Sanctuary Group’s wider investment in the Chester area, creating a total of 230 new homes at a cost of £31 million, with investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Land for the £19.5m project in Blacon was provided by Chester West and Chester Council.

The HCA is providing funding towards the apartments for the over 55s and the European Regional Development Fund is providing funding towards the community and enterprise centre.

The development is expected to complete in phases between March and November 2015.

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