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Women in Property launches design competition for budding young property professionals14th October 2014

pupils are asked to design an eco-home of the futureSix schools from across Somerset, Wiltshire, Bristol and Gloucestershire will be participating in the third annual Women in Property (WiP) schools competition, in which pupils are asked to design an eco-home of the future.

The competition has been developed by members of the South West branch of WiP - all leading property and construction professionals - to raise awareness of the wide number of career opportunities available across the property and construction sector. It is particularly aimed at encouraging girls to consider a career within the property industry.

Laura Fuller, of law firm Burges Salmon and WiP Chairman, South West branch, said: “Currently women represent only 15 per cent of the industry workforce. There is now a significant movement in the industry to improve diversity, whether this is gender, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. Our remit is to attract girls into the industry and it is widely acknowledged that doing so when they are young, ideally when they are making their GCSE choices, helps them to start ‘thinking property’."

The panel of property industry experts judged the schools' design entriesRachel Bell of Architects, Stride Treglown, who is a key co-ordinator of the schools competition, said: “We ran this competition for the first time in 2012 and it was great to see how much the students took on board, in terms of the different industry disciplines. They were able to understand how development is very much about team working, with different professionals with diverse skills coming together to make a scheme happen."

“We are delighted to again have the support of Crest Nicholson, who have donated a ‘virtual’ plot of land at The Paintworks, Bristol, bringing the competition to life, as we all able to envisage where the winning design might theoretically be built.”

Laura Osborne, Senior Sales Manager at Crest Nicholson South West, said, “We’re really pleased to be involved with the competition again this year. Sustainability is a big focus for us at Crest Nicholson and we’re always keen to support initiatives that inspire people to think more about the longevity of the homes and communities we’re building today and how they will serve the generations to come. We’re especially delighted to be involved in a competition for young people and one which encourages more young women to consider the opportunities open to them in the exciting and rewarding world of construction.”

The students and their teachers have received briefing packs and job descriptions to enable them to take on the challenge. The closing date is 24 October with judging by an industry panel taking place on 4 November.

The judges are:
Andrew Cox - Crest Nicholson
Louise Chambers - WiP National Student Awards regional winner
Rob Delius - Stride Treglown
Lois Kentish - WiP National Student Awards regional winner
Ashley Nicholson - Verve Properties
Richenda Oldham - Property News
Jackie Pinder - RLB
Hilary Vaughan - Peter Evans Partnership

The six schools participating are:

  • Backwell School, Backwell, North Somerset
  • Churchill Academy, North Somerset
  • Corsham School, Corsham, Wiltshire
  • Gordano School, Portishead, Bristol
  • Katherine Lady Berkeley’s School, Wootton Under Edge
  • St Mary Redcliffe and Temple, Redcliffe, Bristol

The winner will receive iTune vouchers, kindly sponsored by Burges Salmon, Clarke Willmott, GL Hearn, Integral Build, Peter Evans Partnership and Veale Wasbrough Vizards.

Written by Richenda Oldham

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