School children in Seaham have been learning about construction and their local environment, whilst also honing their artistic skills.

The young Picassos, from Seaham Trinity Primary School, designed posters to adorn the hoardings around the Byron Mews development – just off Heathway in the town.  And they hope their pictures will help people to understand how to stay safe when around building sites.

The winning poster – created by Layla Littlemore, aged ten – was announced at the opening of the development’s brand new show home, which she and classmates attended as special guests.

The children have been working with representatives from Durham Villages Regeneration Company (DVRC), which is building 116 two, three and four bedroomed homes on the site.

Chairman of DVRC, Cllr. Carl Marshall, said:  “We have been working with the schoolchildren, talking about site safety, what goes in to building a house and helping with their investigations into how the areas around where they live are changing – to which our Byron Mews development contributes significantly.”

Ian Prescott, Land and Partnerships Director for Keepmoat Homes added: “We’re delighted that the children from Seaham Trinity Primary School were able to launch these show homes. Their creativity was clearly on display during the poster challenge and the standard was very high, so a special congratulations must go to Layla.

“Our partnership approach through this joint venture with Durham County Council has enabled us transform council owned land into the much needed new homes and also engage school children with the construction industry and the importance of site safety.”

Glenda Cowgill, a teacher at the school, said: “The children here have thoroughly enjoyed being involved in the project and had great fun designing and creating their safety posters.  They are excited at the prospect of our designs being used on the building site here in the town.”

Byron Mews part of a £16 million initiative is being delivered by DVRC, a joint venture between Durham County Council and Keepmoat Homes.

Since formation in 2001 DVRC has invested more than £150 million, creating over 1,300 homes – around a quarter of which are for shared ownership or affordable rent.  A unique profit sharing agreement has also provided funds in support of local authority initiatives and services.

Further developments delivering 299 more homes are already underway at Dipton, Peterlee and Sherburn Hill and work is expected to start soon at Chester-le-Street.