Housing Minister Grant Shapps has announced that Kevin McCloud has been appointed self-build industry champion by the National Self Build Association. His main roles will be to raise public awareness of the benefits of self-building a home and helping the self-build industry to promote the services available for first time self-builders.
Kevin McCloud is presenter of channel 4 programme Grand Designs, and is an architecture specialist. Mr Shapps said that McCloud was an ideal choice to help aspiring self-builders achieve their dream.
The Housing Minister also announced a new £30 million fund for self-builders. This fund will provide short term finance to projects where groups of self-build homes are built at the same time. These types of projects have been held back in the UK because of reluctance by lenders to provide finance. Using this fund, self-build groups will now be able to bid for money to part fund land acquisition and early development costs. Any money would then be repaid on completion of the project.
Grant Shapps commented:
"The self-build industry is riding the crest of a wave, with more people than ever wanting control over the design and build of their home. But despite this self-build surge, we continue to lag behind the rest of the world. I am determined to change this so anyone who wants to embark on a self-build project has the opportunity to do so.
"That’s why I am delighted Kevin McCloud has agreed to represent the industry – championing the cause of existing and aspiring self-builders across the country, and raising the issues and concerns that matter most to them.
" Self-build is good news for the economy – so I’m writing to lenders and encouraging them to use their own industry’s toolkit to see how they can lend to those who want to build their own homes and expand into this growing market."
Kevin McCloud added:
"In the past we have built some of the poorest performing, most expensive and smallest homes in Europe. That’s not something to celebrate.
"But there is another way. What if each household in the UK had the option to build their own place? What if large-scale developers provided finished-slab, fully-serviced sites for homebuilders?
"Self build is seen as a long, difficult and self- sacrificing process. But with the right planning, help and support it can be enjoyable and – on collective schemes – empowering."
Chairman of the National Self Build Association Ted Stevens said:
"Kevin is a fantastic ambassador for the self build sector, and we’re delighted he has agreed to become our champion. He has a real enthusiasm to see new types of self build happen in the UK – and I know he shares our interest in the innovative developments that are taking place in Continental Europe – particularly in the Netherlands and Germany. There are many lessons to be learnt from here that could have a huge impact if we applied some of them in the UK.
"We’re also delighted that he’s agreed to record a short welcome video for the new self build portal that the industry has just launched. This should be up and running in the next few days. The portal explains – in a very independent way – all the different ways of undertaking a self build project and helps would-be self builders figure out the best way of tackling a project for the money they have available."
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