Housing boom will fuel jobs

Kevin Allitt
Kevin Allitt
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Hundreds of new jobs will be created over the next decade as work gets underway on Preston’s new housing drive.

Skills chief Steve Housden, a regional manager at ConstructionSkills which supports the national building trade, said new homes would bring opportunities to train up young people.

He said: “For every pound which is spent on this kind of project we see a £2.84 benefit to the local economy and those benefits come down to the grass roots.

“This will not only create jobs and training opportunities, it will help retain jobs in the area as well.”

Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Preston Vocational Centre, said it was working to get young people from under-privileged communities ready for work in industries including construction.

He said: “We cannot afford to stop training our young people because, if we do, we leave ourselves in a mess when things turn around.”

Kevin Allitt, managing director of estate agents Oystons, said there was a demand for homes in the north of Preston.

He said: “It is a sign of confidence in the market that these plans are pressing ahead and I am sure if and when they are built, they will sell.

“I would add there is a lot of empty properties in the Preston area which are left unsold, so we need to ensure we are not just building new homes and leaving these to sit empty.”

North and Western LancWashire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Babs Murphy said new homes had to be built to plug the gap in Preston’s supply.

She added: “A house-building development of this nature will bring jobs, investment and skills which are welcome, but this cannot come at the expense of our infrastructure.

“If we allow our roads to grind to a halt as a result, the problems could be greater than the benefits.”