Devon Communities Together has announced the launch of a new trading arm, Constructing Futures Devon, which has been established to facilitate real life construction experience for local young people and provide new homes in Devon.
Designed to be a sustainable social purpose business, Constructing Futures will purchase properties in need of major renovation, as well as new build sites, and construct quality homes to be sold on the open market. Profit will be reinvested into Constructing Futures as well as Devon Communities Together to fund its work in communities throughout Devon. Beginning in the Torbay and Teignbridge areas, Constructing Futures will initially partner with South Devon College, where students will be given the opportunity to work on the construction and renovation of the properties under the project management of college staff, as an off campus “real site” work experience opportunity. Each property will require a variety of trades to undertake a range of specialist activities, which will maximise learning opportunities and enhance the college’s full time learners’ programme of learning.
The sites will also support the skills gap at higher levels through increasing the opportunities for Level 3 apprenticeship frameworks. Currently there is a lack of local employers able to support the requirements for Level 3 students and Constructing Futures will work with employers to provide additional learning opportunities for their apprentices, supporting their progression to Level 3.
Although the initial phase of activity will be focused on South Devon, there are plans to expand Constructing Futures’ geographical reach in future phases to partner with other further education settings, including in Exeter and North Devon.
Constructing Futures is partly funded by £574,320 from the Heart of the South West LEP’s Growth Deal funding. The Heart of the South West LEP’s total Growth Deal is worth £598m; including £239m from Government and £359m match funding. Over the lifetime of the Growth Deal: 2015 – 2021; HotSW LEP estimates the investment will create up to 22,000 new jobs and 11,000 new homes.