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Our demolition of Horatia and Leamington houses is nearing completion, and our contractors have been building valuable relationships with the community during their time on site.

Work to clear the Somerstown tower block site for modern social housing by Hughes and Salvidge has been particularly beneficial for Cottage Grove Primary School.

The contractors took on the equivalent of 75% of the school’s annual maintenance budget through building, demolition and maintenance works they’ve done for free since the job started in November last year.

Hughes and Salvidge also replaced tools a local tradesman lost to crime, and built display stands used in engagement events for the local community from pallets they collected from a wood recycling project.

They have also taken care to recycle or reuse nearly all the concrete and metal craned down as they deconstructed the two 18-storey towers.

Councillor Chris Attwell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Central Services said:

“This is a brilliant demonstration of the council’s social value policy, with a contractor delivering complex work on behalf of the council also creating real benefits for the local community, and my thanks go to Hughes and Salvidge for this.

Our social value approach creates a lasting and positive impact that benefits local communities, businesses and the environment and there will be many more examples like this seen across the city in years to come.”

Contracts Manager for Hughes and Salvidge, Lewis Smith, said:

“Hughes and Salvidge were delighted to work with the council and to have the opportunity to help Cottage Grove School. With the school being in close proximity to the Horatia and Leamington House project, it was great to be able to contribute to an important establishment in this community. We are proud of our site team who worked on the jobs around the school and we hope the children and staff really benefit from the finished works.”

Cathy Light, deputy headteacher at Cottage Grove, said:

“We thoroughly enjoyed the process and felt proud to work with the local community.”

The council has been devising plans to replace all the 272 flats at affordable rent levels for tenants, and potentially exceed that. Plans for this part of Somerstown will also include about 200 more privately developed homes and physical improvements to the area.