A NEW veterans’ Build Experience scheme has welcomed the leader of Wiltshire Council, Cllr Richard Clewer, to see the progress of the site.

Drummond Park in Ludgershall 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, to increase their opportunities of securing long-term employment.  

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

READ MORE: Row breaks out over chairmanship of Test Valley scrutiny committee

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.” 

Veterans including Kevin Chapman, an RAF veteran who found himself homeless after a relationship breakdown, have joined the Lovell workforce, learning valuable skills to increase their opportunities of securing long-term employment. Veterans then have the chance 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.

Director of development (South & West) at Stonewater, Matthew Crucefix, 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."

Andover Advertiser:

READ MORE: Pub landlord's shock as drink driver crashes his car into planters and signs outside

Regional managing director at Lovell, James Duffett, 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.”

Chief executive at Alabare, Andrew Lord, said: “Over the last 30 years, our team have developed this innovative programme which enables us to help vulnerable and homeless veterans to rebuild their lives 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."