A new veterans’ Build Experience scheme has welcomed the Leader of Wiltshire Council, Cllr. Richard Clewer, to see the progress of the site and meet those involved in its construction.

Drummond Park in Ludgershall, Wiltshire is a former Defence Medical Equipment Depot, providing the opportunity for ex-military men and women to join the construction team to build homes for themselves and gain work experience and mentoring to increase their opportunities of securing long-term employment.

The scheme is being delivered by three partners: affordable housing provider Stonewater; national developer Lovell; and veterans’ charity Alabaré, and is supported by Wiltshire Council, who granted planning permission for the 400-home site in 2021.

Speaking at his visit to the development, Cllr Clewer said: “This is a truly innovative venture which provides positive results on many levels. I’m pleased Wiltshire Council could play a part in ensuring this scheme could go ahead. Visiting the site today I’m delighted to hear how it is making a difference to veterans and I look forward to hearing more success stories in the future.”

As part of the development, veterans including Kevin Chapman, an RAF veteran who found himself homeless after a relationship breakdown, have joined the Lovell workforce, learning valuable transferable skills to increase their opportunities of securing long-term employment. Veterans then also have the opportunity to live in one of the homes they have built, with Kevin due to move into his new affordable Stonewater home in August this year.

Matthew Crucefix, Director of Development (South & West) at Stonewater said: “It’s been a pleasure to show Cllr Clewer around the Drummond Park development and showcase the fantastic homes being built and opportunities being offered to ex-military personnel.”

“We’re proud to have partnered with Lovell, Alabare and Wiltshire Council to support veterans and are looking forward to seeing people move into their homes later in the year.”

James Duffett, regional managing director at Lovell, said: “Drummond Park and our Veteran Build Experience is something we are very proud of at Lovell, and it means a great deal to see that Cllr Clewer shares our passion.

“The veterans involved with the scheme have been working incredibly hard on site, and we cannot thank them enough for their commitment to delivering these homes to a high-quality standard.”

Andrew Lord, chief executive at Alabare, said: “We welcome the opportunity to introduce Cllr Clewer to the scheme today. Over the last thirty years, our team have developed this innovative programme which enables us to help vulnerable and homeless veterans to rebuild their life through our specialist support, an opportunity to build a career for themselves in the construction industry and the knowledge that at the end of the scheme they will be living in a home that they have helped to build.

“This is only possible thanks to our partnership with organisations like Lovell and Stonewater and with support from Wiltshire Council. Through our partnership’s combined vision and efforts, we can help ensure that no veteran is homeless in the UK.”

Drummond Park has been delivered by Lovell in partnership with Homes England and consists of over 400 homes including 103 Stonewater homes for affordable rent and shared ownership.