Our Executive Director of Development tells us why he supports #backthesouthwest
Here's what Russell Baldwinson, LiveWest Executive Director of Development had to say about the brilliant campaign #backthesouthwest and how LiveWest is showing their support...
''Although the South West region is one of the most desirable we are at times constrained by our geography. One of the biggest challenges is that being peninsular we don’t have an employment pull from many different directions. It’s important we grow and keep talent so the region benefits from their expertise and their passion for the South West. After all, it is such a wonderful place to live and work.
Within the construction industry, there is a general skills shortage across the board. This ranges from actual skilled labour through to qualified individuals, LiveWest work with partners to run Skills Academies offering the opportunity for people to gain work experience.
We run our own apprenticeship programme and support ex-veterans to gain skills in construction. Many have gained roles within our repairs teams. The nurturing of local talent is something we are passionate about, the Nelson Project in Plymouth, provided skills opportunities for 12 ex-service personnel. They obtained construction qualifications whilst working on site. This offered them the opportunity of employment during the construction of the project, as well as a home when completed. Due to the success of the project, we are already starting work on the second phase in Plymouth.
Setting LiveWest apart is our unrivalled investment plans for the South West; we enjoy doing business here and are committed to the region. This includes a development and property investment programme that sustains 6,500 jobs in the building industry. The supply chain and will increase the number of new affordable homes developed in the region.
Two big projects we're involved with in delivering new homes are Sherford, Plymouth, and Cranbrook, Exeter. When they reach their full potential of 3/6000 homes they will become urban extensions of these cities. The majority of homes we're providing on these schemes are more generally affordable homes for rent or shared ownership sale. Besides to this we also build private sale homes and deliver more. Our focus is very much on investing in communities where there is significant demand for housing for those on low incomes. A recent National Housing Federation survey revealed that the average house in the South West costs more than 10 times earnings. The average family would need a household income of at least £61,700 to afford a mortgage. House prices across the region continue to grow, at or above the national levels. We also experience local high levels of inward migration into the county putting further upward pressure on house prices.
Our strength allows us to develop new homes at an unrivalled scale with a projected capital investment in the local economy. We have the capacity to develop at least 15,000 new homes in the South West over the next 10 years.''