Wigan jail inmates helping to build new houses
A new St Helens development from North West housing group Torus is using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) to deliver much needed homes to the area, while also providing work experience, training opportunities and rehabilitation for first time offenders from Hindley Prison.
Penine Close continues Torus’s exploration into MMC and more innovative methods of construction, with homes being assembled off-site by first time offenders at the secure institution at Bickershaw.
The houses are being built by the developer, OSCO Homes, who have a factory based at Hindley and have now also opened a factory in Runcorn where offenders can go on to work upon their release.
OSCO provide prisoners an opportunity to gain a skill that significantly increases their employability and they have found that the number of their employees who go on to re-offend is considerably lower compared to national averages.
The development at Penine Close is well under way.
It consists of 10 houses built for Affordable Rent and is part of a significant investment in the area as the housing association looks to build 5,300 houses in its heartlands by 2024.
Chris Bowen, Managing Director of Torus Developments, said: “The project highlights how Torus are embracing innovative ways to not only provide high quality housing, but to also shape the communities we operate in.
“It is not just about simply building as many homes as possible, it is also about the wider influence we have; and providing opportunities to the people who make up our communities is a big part of that.
“This project is very rewarding in that people who perhaps may have previously been left behind by the system are given a second opportunity, they learn a trade and significantly increase their prospects when they are released.”