Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

First Brick Officially Laid At Allenton Big Build

Construction apprentices are helping to lay the foundations for a new community café as part of DIY SOS style project the Allenton Big Build - as the very first brick was laid this week.

The large scale project is currently underway and will see St Martin's Church and Community Centre transformed into a vibrant community hub at a cost of £359,000. It is being run by Hodgkinson Builders and Derby Homes, in partnership with Derby City Council and Allenton Big Local.

A total of 20 apprentices from the National Construction Academy (NCA), part of 3aaa in Derby, have officially kicked off the build phase of the project, helping to create the back wall which forms the entrance for the new community café.  It is expected to be complete in two weeks time, ready for the two DIY SOS days, which are yet to be announced.

Ian Hodgkinson, managing director at Hodgkinson Builders, said:  

"This build is providing apprentices with real world on-site experience, as part of a really good cause."

This is the first time on a building site for many of the teen apprentices, with between five and 15 apprentices working on the project each day.

Thomas Marples, head of the National Construction Academy (NCA),  part 3aaa said:

"This provides fantastic experience for the apprentices. They have been doing really well and are getting used to being out on site.

"Last week we had ten apprentices on site who had never been on a site before, and this week, we have had nine further apprentices who are new to the experience."

St Martin's has been used as a community hall for a number of years, but it is now dated and no longer fit for purpose. Upon completion it will boast a modern extension to accommodate an affordable community café, with a training kitchen and local exhibitions. It will also have new community rooms, a community garden, sensory garden and outdoor play.

There will also be a spruced-up main hall for hosting large community events, as well as new toilets and disabled facilities.

Building materials for the project such as bricks, internal doors and toilets have all been provided by Buildbase.

More information can be found at


< Back