Today I visited the Nelson Project in Millbay. It’s a housing development of 24 one bedroom apartments on the site of the former George Place Day Centre. My interest in the project stems from the fact that half of the apartments are being developed for veterans in a unique self-build project. By next summer, not only will they have their own apartment which they have helped construct themselves, they will also have gained valuable skills in a variety of trades which they can then develop further to help them secure employment for the future. As well as meeting representatives from the development team, I also met with some of the veterans working on the project.
The three storey build has reached the first floor stage, and is due to be completed next June. I was very impressed by the project in which Devon and Cornwall Housing, Interserve and the Community Self Build Agency are working together to provide accommodation for rent in a key location in the city centre. As well as providing 12 homes for veterans, the development includes 6 apartments for those with learning difficulties and 6 for those with general housing needs.
I am looking forward to visiting the project again before the end of the year to see how it is progressing, and hope it will be the first of many projects like this in Plymouth. Finding creative ways to support our veterans as they leave the Armed Forces is key to enabling them to transition back into life as a civilian. Having a home is crucial to this process, and a home which the veterans have built themselves provides an even greater sense of ownership and the community which comes from working with others as part of the construction team.