Pottery Street Development

Three Fife youngsters have started their construction apprenticeships on a £3.5 million development by Kingdom Housing Association in Kirkcaldy which will deliver 39 new one and two-bedroomed bed flats for rent.

Kingdom’s chairperson Charles Milne and chief executive Bill Banks made a site visit to inspect progress at the Pottery Road development and meet the apprentices employed by builder Lundin Homes.

As part of its Affordable Housing Programme, Kingdom incorporated various community benefits into the contract and employment and training opportunities were facilitated by Kingdoms employability team, Fife Works.

Lundin Homes is the association’s contractor for the project and with recruitment support from Fife Works, the firm recruited 2 joinery apprentices.

Through the Opportunities Fife Partnership, additional funding support was also identified and a successful application was made for Fife Youth Jobs Contract funding, which allowed Lundin Homes to recruit a third young person, as an apprentice plumber.

Kingdom chairperson Charles Milne said: “Kingdom is continuing to develop new affordable housing projects. The investment allows us to incorporate community benefits into the contracts and the project in Kirkcaldy is an excellent example of the added value that housing associations can deliver.”

Charles spoke with the three apprentices, heard about the training they were being given and wished them well with their apprenticeships.

Apprentice plumber Alistair Robertson said: “I am delighted to train as an apprentice with a reputable house building company. I applied for a number jobs before I got this one and there was a lot of competition so I’m really pleased to have this opportunity.”

The total project cost is £3.5m and £1.16m in funding support has been provided to Kingdom by the Scottish Government to provide homes for mid-market rent.

Lundin Homes chairman and CEO Rae Grieve said: “In the current economic climate we are extremely fortunate to be in a position to have three apprentices across our developments. Delivering employment and training outcomes are part of our community benefits activity and we are pleased we can provide opportunities where they might otherwise not exist.”

The new flats are due for completion from January 2015 and rents will be in the range of £365 for a 1 bed flat and £445 for a 2 bed, per month. Mid market rent properties aim to provide high quality affordable housing for eligible applicants, who are in employment but may be unlikely to access social housing or are struggling to afford owner occupation or private renting.