Children from Sherburn Hill Primary School visited a local construction site to hear a success story about their village.
The pupils are taking part in a project examining the impact of the work by the Durham Villages Regeneration Company (DVRC).
A partnership between Durham County Council and developer Keepmoat, it has a successful 15-year track record of reviving former colliery villages in the county by building homes for sale and rent on council-owned land.
In Sherburn Hill, The Pastures, off Front Street, will provide 81 two, three and four-bedroomed homes – 76 for sale and five for affordable rent.
In addition, land adjacent to the site is being set aside for a new community centre. The village has been without one since 2012 when the old one – which needed a £1 million plus facelift – closed.
Durham County Council has pledged £400,000 towards a new £830,000 facility working with the Sherburn Hill Hub Group which is also hoping to secure lottery support towards the new community venue. A new village square has been created, a play area relocated and some back streets are to be upgraded as part of the scheme.
The pupils helped to officially open the show home during their visit to The Pastures and a briefing about construction site safety has already been given at the school.
As part of a wider community engagement programme during development, further school visits are planned to allow the pupils to learn more about the project and to get the chance to do practical exercises – such as bricklaying.
Councillor Neil Foster, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, and chair of DVRC, said: “It is fantastic that the children are being encouraged to take an interest in the regeneration of their village and see the bright future we’re helping to build for Sherburn Hill.
“As well as creating jobs and investing in the local economy we’re delighted to see modern, energy efficient and affordable homes being provided as part of our continued commitment to the regeneration of our towns and villages across the county.”
Richard Bass, Managing Director with Keepmoat Homes in the North East, added: “As well as bringing much-needed affordable housing to villages the initiative is designed to create training, job and supply chain opportunities.
“We also endeavour to engage with local communities and school link-ups like this one are an ideal way to do this.”
For more information about The Pastures and the homes being created, visit www.keepmoat.com/development/the-pastures-sherburn-hill