Constructing Futures Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid has announced a government cash boost of £43.57 million to the Heart of the South West (HotSW) LEP area covering Devon and Somerset to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth. Devon Communities Together (DCT) is very pleased that our project “Constructing Futures” is one of the ten locally selected Heart of the South West projects provisionally approved for Growth Deal Funding, subject to project appraisal. We are looking forward to working together with the Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver this exciting new project. “Constructing Futures” aims to enable construction students and people from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain experience through renovating properties which are purchased and resold at a profit and reinvested in future projects. Teresa Butchers, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Devon Communities Together said: “This is brilliant news. We are delighted and honoured that we can now take forward our exciting project, giving apprentices and others the opportunity to work in construction, so they can hone their skills on real buildings, and the community can benefit through improvements and additions to the housing stock.” Devon Communities Together CEO Elaine Cook commented: “Devon Communities Together is extremely grateful to have had our project 'Constructing Futures' selected for a Growth Deal3 grant. This is a first for the voluntary sector in Devon and a marvellous opportunity to play our part in supporting Devon's economy by helping young people to develop careers in the construction sector”. The project will help to raise productivity by providing 'real life on-site' construction experience for learners at South Devon College and also for local apprentices, which will enable them to achieve greater skills and widen their experience, thereby giving them confidence to pursue employment or entrepreneurial activity in the construction sector. This is particularly important set against the local context of an existing shortage of construction skills, the need for more house-building generally and the emerging demands for skilled labour at Hinkley Point C. The project will involve the procurement of properties which require renovation for residential use, the refurbishment of those properties by students and the subsequent resale of the modernised properties on the open market. The project is also looking at the possibility of taking on "new build" projects where District Councils are promoting affordable/self-build plots within a development. DCT will also secure social investment for this project.