Father and son lead the way with social housing ‘Ultra Site’

A father and son team is playing a key role in building new social housing for Nottingham City Homes as Robert Woodhead builds 39 new homes to deliver the UK’s only social housing CCS (Considerate Constructors Scheme) ‘Ultra Site’.

Mark Hackleton, Site Manager with Robert Woodhead Ltd, is leading a team at the former Morley School site in St Ann’s that includes his 19-year-old son, Tyler. The site, the only social housing Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) Ultra Site in the UK, is part of the Building a Better Nottingham programme that is creating more affordable homes for local families across the city.

The CCS accredits sites which show they are taking into consideration the local environment, the surrounding community, working conditions and facilities for those working on site, and training and employment opportunities for local residents. Ultra Site status is given to sites that go above and beyond the basic expectations of the CCS – sites where the project team does even more to engage the local community and offer opportunities to local people, as well as providing exceptional facilities and support to the site workforce.

“A key part of being designated an Ultra Site is boosting employment, training and work experience opportunities,” said Mark.  “My son, Tyler, and many other young people from the local area have been benefitting from working on site, getting an insight into what it’s like to work in the construction industry and developing their own skills.”

“Woodhead is providing work experience placements for young people that sees them spend 100 hours on site over a five to six week period,” Mark continued. This gives them the chance to spend time in a real world site environment and learn from working alongside experienced tradespersons.

“We also have 12 apprentices on site, and we’re supporting local labour and supply chain providers, using around 20 different sub-contractors across plumbing, electrics, painting, joinery, tiling and roofing.

“We’ve also visited local colleges to deliver construction training and worked alongside NCH’s Women in Construction initiative, which has led to a new female employee being recruited to the team.”

Mark’s son Tyler feels he has benefitted enormously from working alongside his dad. He said: “Working with dad has been great – he has lots of experience, so I’ve been able to learn a lot from him. He treats me just like everyone else on site, so he doesn’t go easy on me.”

Tyler has been working on site since last November and is undertaking a Construction and Built Environment Level 3 Apprenticeship.

“I’m keen to get involved and learn as much as possible – and I now know that I want to pursue a career in construction,” he added.

Philippa McKenna, Senior Development Manager at Nottingham City Homes, has been the organisations’s lead on this project, managing its relationship with the CCS as a client member and leading the team on this first social housing Ultra Site. She says the boost for local residents and the wider benefits of the scheme are key.

“It’s wonderful to see these new bungalows and family homes transforming the local area.

“The new residents will enjoy high quality new homes, which have been carefully designed to meet their needs and the needs of future generations. These homes will be a long-term asset to the area.

“But the wider community benefits are just as important. Work experience placements, apprenticeship opportunities and the use of local businesses, are providing a very important boost for the local economy.”

When completed, the former Morley School site will include nine three-bed houses, 24 two-bed houses and six bungalows.