Sign up to build your own home in Oxfordshire

We told you all about our exciting new partnership with Cherwell District Council on 30th July. Well we’re delighted to say that the scheme seems to have caught the public imagination and is generating a lot of interest in the press.

We’re helping people train and qualify to build their own houses – a double whammy perhaps? New house and new career? Well, why not.

Read all about it in the following article by Fran Bardsley of the Oxford Mail:

‘AN INNOVATIVE new project is offering people the chance to build their home and get free qualifications while doing it.

Cherwell District Council launched the Build! scheme last year, which gives people on its housing register a chance to work on the construction of their new home in exchange for cheaper rents or a lower purchase price.

The council has teamed up with Kidlington’s ACE Training to offer free 12-week courses in the skills needed.

ACE managing director Adam Marsh said: “People are effectively earning their deposit, quite a sizeable deposit on a property, and if they are involved from the outset they are going to have a say on how it is finished.

“It really is building your own home.”

Courses, either in carpentry or brickwork, run for 12 weeks, twice a week, and lead to an NVQ Diploma Level 1.

Those taking part will also train for their Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, which allows them to work on site.

Mr Marsh said: “Some people may well be qualified already and we may be able to assess their work while they are on the project to get them an NVQ, while others will need to take the course.”

The first courses start on August 19 and people will be referred via the council.

Ten spots will be available in each building discipline but Mr Marsh said extra courses could be put on to meet demand.

He added: “There is a huge demand for skilled trades, so if through the Build! project we are able to get more people skilled up and into their own home, it’s a no brainer.”

It is open to anyone on the housing register who works, lives or studies in the district.

No experience is necessary and applications from all ages, fitness abilities and backgrounds are invited.

It is part of the council’s plan to create 250 new homes across the district by 2016.

The homes will be built across Banbury including West Street, Lincoln Close and Warwick Road. There will also be projects in Middleton Road and London Road, Bicester.

Work will start on most projects later this year. They will be completed next year.

Cherwell spokeswoman Jemma Callow said: “The Build! project is an ever moving project with various sites at different stages in the process including purchase, planning consent and active construction.

“With all projects of this size costs can fluctuate greatly so full costs for each site will not be known until the final completion.”

Debbie Pickford, lead member for housing at the council, said:

“By completing a construction course, trainees will not only gain self-build skills but also nationally recognised qualifications which they can use to improve their job prospects.

“By signing up, trainees will have a hand in construction of their own home and receive financial savings.

“We feel this ticks all the boxes.” ‘

To learn more, call Ness on 01865 370040, e-mail or contact her via our contact form.

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