Building for future; Trainees on homes project in Colne Valley.
TRAINEE builders are creating homes of the future.
They have helped transform properties in Marsden and Slaithwaite into low-rent energy efficient homes for the elderly.
The Colne Valley Futurebuilders project was set up by Connect Housing 18 months ago, in partnership with Kirklees Council, industry support group Kirklees Build and Calderdale College.
Connect, a not-for-profit housing organisation which has offices at Huddersfield Media Centre, recruited eight unemployed people from the valley area who wanted to train for a career in the building maintenance industry.
Since then, they have been working on the properties and attending college each week.
Their studies go towards achieving nationally recognised qualification in maintenance operations.
So far, five properties have been completed, with another two due to be handed over in the next few weeks.
Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney visited one of the renovated houses in Marsden to find out more about the initiative.
The homes have been comprehensively refurbished with modern kitchens, bathrooms and heating systems.
Connect has also installed high levels of insulation and taken action to reduce heat loss through uncontrolled draughts.
Overall, the new tenants can look forward to energy bills at about a third of what they might have been before the refurbishments were carried out.
The project featured at the Warmer Homes Weekend event held by the Marsden And Slaithwaite Transition Town project and appears in the Warmer Homes booklet and film produced by Golcar-based company Green Building Store.
Martyn Broadest, director of regeneration for Connect Housing, said: "Colne Valley Futurebuilders has been an excellent example of partnership working.
"We are delighted to be working with so many local companies and organisations in delivering this project and we are grateful for their support."
[bar] HOME VISIT: Jason McCartney (left) at one of the renovated houses in Marsden with (from left) site training manager John Bramall, Connect Housing director Martyn Broadest and local councillor Donna Bellamy (PW270412Aconnect) Purchase: www.examiner.co.uk/buyaphoto 01484 430000