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Posted on 7 April 2015

Dedicated apprentices help complete £12m Accrington regeneration

Two dedicated construction apprentices have contributed significantly to work on a multi million pound regeneration project in Accrington thanks to contractors Greendale.

Groundworker Natasha Holt and bricklayer Ben Livesey, both from Hyndburn, have played an essential part in the £12m project, which is remodelling and refurbishing 105 empty terraced properties in the Woodnook area of Accrington to create 71 two, three and four-bedroomed family houses. The developer Placefirst working in partnership with Together Housing Group and Hyndburn Borough Council are bringing these former millworkers houses back to life, as high quality energy efficient homes for affordable private rent.

Natasha said:

“I’d just finished a work placement through college, and wanted to start work on an apprenticeship. I found the position online and managed to get the job.

“I’m really enjoying the work. There’s a great atmosphere – I have such a good laugh with the team and feel really at ease.”

Ben said:

“I find the painting part of my job really enjoyable – it’s the best part of my work and gives me a bit of freedom. I also like working as part of a team.”

The apprentices were supplied through Constructing the Future, a pioneering shared apprenticeship scheme run by The Calico Group.

Both opportunities were provided by PlaceFirst, the specialist developer of empty and new homes, built for the private rental market.

David Skidmore, PlaceFirst’s Development Director, said:

“Placefirst take seriously the need to invest in apprenticeships for young people within all of our projects, and in particular for those from the local surrounding area.  We would like to thank Natasha and Ben for coming to work within our development at Woodnook, and we wish them every success for the future, in establishing new and successful careers”

Jane Smith, Calico’s Skills and Enterprise Business Development Officer, said:

We are really grateful for the support that Placefirst, Together Housing Group and Greendale have given in making the apprenticeship placements happen on the Woodnoook site.

Kevin Ruth, Together Housing Group’s Deputy Group Chief Executive, said:

“Together Housing Group aims to ensure that there are local opportunities fortraining and employment on all of its projects. It’s great to see the benefits gained by Natasha and Ben and we appreciate the support of Constructing the Future in arranging the placements.”

Constructing the Future’s shared apprenticeship scheme is an initiative developed in partnership with Lancashire Housing Partnership, CITB Construction Skills, and the Local Authorities.

The apprentices are employed by Constructing the Future, and then placed with local contractors for work placements of a minimum period of three months.

For more information, contact Jane Smith on 01282 686310 or email

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