Latest News | 4 April 2023

Work begins on transformational housing scheme for young people

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Work has officially started on new apartments in Derby, which are specifically designed to help young people get on the housing ladder.

The scheme, which will see 60 apartments built in Cotton Lane, is being delivered by a partnership involving YMCA Derbyshire, Nottingham Community Housing Association and Blueskies consortium.

It follows extensive research by the YMCA, which found that young people entering work or on low wages faced considerable barriers to accessing the housing market.

It said that with affordable and social housing are both in short supply – and as the private sector requires references, deposits and rent in advance – this type of housing is beyond the reach of these young people.

Gillian Sewell, chief executive at YMCA Derbyshire, said: “This project has been four years in the making and we are so pleased that, thanks to support from our partners Derby City Council and Derby Homes, we’ll be able to provide this offering to young people in Derby.

“It’s so important that we invest in the youth of our city as they become the future leaders of our businesses and our communities.”

The location of the Cotton Lane scheme has been influenced by its proximity to some of Derby’s largest employers, particularly those who provide apprenticeships for young people.

The development, which is due to be completed by September next year, is near to both Rolls-Royce and Alstom.

The area also has good public transport links for education and work purposes.

Gillian said: “Our services over the last 12 months have enabled 52 young people to gain employment, 41 to secure a volunteering role, 61 to enter education, seven to get to university and 59 to attend training courses.

“We aim to support even more young people to achieve their goals and fulfil their potential with this project.”

To mark the beginning of work on the scheme, a ground-breaking ceremony was recently held at the site.

YMCA Derbyshire trustee Tony Walker CBE, who is chair of its capital development committee, said: “The start of construction of these 60 flats is a significant milestone for YMCA Derbyshire.

“The build will strengthen the YMCA’s ability to support young people who have had a difficult start in life become independent and to live self-reliant lives. It was such a joy to be present at the ground-breaking.”

Fran Cropper, development and new business manager at Pelham, speaking on behalf of the Blueskies Consortium, said: “We are delighted to see works commence at Cotton Lane.

“We have experience of working with clients to inject new high quality housing schemes on derelict sites, which will bring a new lease of life to the area.

“Our design has been driven by the needs and requirements of the young people who will live and thrive in these new homes.

“The flats will be energy efficient to reduce fuel poverty and utilise green energy to help reduce running costs.

“Our specialist architects and development team will be working very closely with YMCA Derbyshire to bring this plan to life.”

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