Television personality Kevin McCloud has been appointed by the self-build industry to support the increase in people looking to design and build their own homes.
The Housing Minister Grant Shapps welcomed Mr McClouds’ architectural expertise to the scheme, describing him as the “ideal choice” to help aspiring self-builders achieve their dreams.
Kevin McCloud is the presenter of Channel 4’s Grand Designs, which sees individuals creating their dream homes through the reclamation of disused or unusual buildings.
Mr Shapps also announced a new £30 million fund for self builders, which will provide short-term finance to help unlock projects where groups of self-build homes are built at the same time.
Housing Minister Grant Shapps said: “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.
The number of mortgages available to self-builders is set to rose by 141%, and 100,000 people are currently looking for plots. despite this interest, Britain is still lagging behind the rest of the world, with just 1 in 10 homes being built by self builders each year.
To mark the start of his new role, Mr McCloud today accompanied the Housing Minister as he leads a UK trade delegation to the Netherlands, to see what lessons can be learnt from the highly successful Dutch self-build industry.
They visited Almere near Amsterdam, the largest low-cost self-build experiment in Europe, which has grown rapidly in recent years. The Minister travelled with a delegation from the UK housing industry, and hosted an event with Dutch Ministers and business leaders at the British Embassy to boost trade and links between Dutch and British businesses.
Mr Shapps also announced that he will shortly be launching a new £30 million fund to provide short-term finance for projects similar to those at Almere, where groups of self-build homes are built at the same time.
Kevin McCloud said: “We’d see more customised homes that reflect where they are, to higher space standards and to a better quality.
“We’d see people sharing skills and saving money. We’d see neighbours working together on community self build schemes and local construction economies thriving. And we’d certainly see more energy efficient buildings and a wider embracing of green technologies.