In early 2019, Durkan signed a contract with Peabody to deliver the first phase of Southmere Village later in 2020. This contract forms part of Peabody’s wider regeneration of South Thamesmead – one of the largest projects of its kind in the capital.
Phase 1A a £45m contract will see Durkan design and build 130 new homes and furthermore Phase 1B a £126m contract comprising a total of 404 new homes – both a mixture of dwelling types with affordable, private, and shared ownership. In addition to providing much-needed new homes for Londoners, the ambitious project is breathing new life into South Thamesmead with new shops, local amenities and an innovative designed Library.
Rising from London’s Erith marshes in the 1960s, Thamesmead was the solution to the city’s post-war housing shortage. Known for its daring and experimental design, with its use of prefabricated concrete to create bold blocks of flats and terraces, Thamesmead became one of London’s most iconic post-war housing estates.
Fast forward to the present day, Southmere Village is the first phase of the Abbey Wood and South Thamesmead Housing Zone which will deliver more than 1,600 homes across four sites. The plans include the development of local amenities including a new library and public spaces that will join the future Abbey Wood Crossrail station with South Thamesmead.
It is also the first project where the existing post-war building stock is being demolished and completely rebuilt.
Through a partnership with YouthBuild, Durkan is creating skills development and employment opportunities that will deliver a positive legacy for Thamesmead.
The Construction Skills Academy is based in the heart of Thamesmead. Located at a former police station, Durkan completely refurbished the site, transforming it for use as a training academy. The YouthBuild programme provides young adults in the local community with the opportunity to build a career in the construction industry. The scheme sees participants spend time on site with Durkan, carrying out essential building and repair work around Thamesmead. This work enables trainees to gain valuable construction experience and work towards qualifications while contributing to the regeneration of their local community.
Trainees supported by Durkan will work on the Southmere Village scheme and following completion of their qualifications, will be considered for further apprenticeships or employment opportunities in Thamesmead.
As well as a training base, Durkan’s Construction Skills Academy will act as a community centre for the area creating a hub for enterprise, employment, education and youth programmes.