Housing developer Lovell sets housebuilding challenge for Southampton students

Year 10 students at Oasis Academy Mayfield in Sholing, Southampton, rose to a housebuilding challenge posed by housing regeneration specialist Lovell. Twenty students tackled construction-themed activities as they completed the Lovell House project which involves building a mini house. The session tests students' mathematical and design skills as well as exploring environmental issues and looking at the different jobs involved in delivering a housing development.

Lovell, which is working on a large-scale estates regeneration programme for Southampton City Council, linked up with the school as part of its community involvement in schools. "The housebuilding challenge has a practical element but also gets students thinking about the many factors involved in building new housing and the wide range of job roles within our industry," says Lovell community liaison officer Bernadette Vickery. "We're always keen to engage with local schools and give young people an insight into the construction sector – and hopefully encourage them to consider it as a career."

Councillor Warwick Payne, Cabinet Member for Housing and Sustainability at Southampton City Council, says: "Britain, and indeed Southampton, needs more homes and we'll also need the next generation of skilled engineers to ensure that can happen. The council is working in partnership with Lovell on our hugely ambitious Estate Regeneration plans, which aim to breathe new life into our council estates and provide modern, high-quality housing for local families. Estate Regeneration will be a long-running project, and who knows, maybe some of the Oasis Academy Mayfield youngsters might end up working on its later stages."

The Lovell team is working on a major redevelopment scheme at Exford Avenue, Southampton, in partnership with First Wessex, building 127 new affordable homes for rent and shared ownership and housing for open market sale. The Exford Avenue redevelopment forms part of a long-term estate regeneration programme which Lovell and First Wessex are carrying out for Southampton City Council.