CONSTRUCTION students have helped build 50 homes for affordable rent in Carlisle.
Eight students and apprentices gained practical training by doing nine-week placements, a few days a week, in painting, decorating, plastering, bricklaying, joinery, plumbing and electrics on the new Beverley Rise estate, Harraby. 
The £7m development was built by social housing provider Riverside in partnership with Carlisle City Council, Esh Construction and Carlisle College.
Their work has got the seal of approval from new resident Rachel Beckett who moved into her new home before Christmas.
She said: “When I first saw the house it was absolutely beautiful, I was in love with it. 
"It’s in a quiet area and there’s a school round the corner for my son when he’s older. 
"It’s a massive change and provides a lot more space for me,” 
Sarah Paton, Riverside’s regional director for the north, said: “This project demonstrates successful joint partnership work by all involved which we can adopt on future developments. 
"This includes the social value aspect, providing hands-on work experience for construction students and apprentices that we hope will help address the skills shortage in the area.”
The development was helped with a £1.4m grant funding from Homes England.
The estate will be managed by Impact Housing, part of Riverside group.
Andrea Thorn, managing director at Impact Housing, said: “Our new residents are delighted with the design of the properties. They are built to the latest energy efficiency standards which means cheaper bills for residents to heat their home.”
Councillor Paul Nedved, portfolio holder for Economy, Enterprise and Housing at the city council said: "Affordable housing is critical for the city as it expands."
Carlisle's MP John Stevenson said: “Riverside and Impact are two very important providers for housing in the city. 
"The development provides family homes at a time when they are needed most in the area.
“This isn’t just about housing but about training and to give the next generation the skills in construction.”