Youth of Liverpool to create major infrastructure project

In a world-first programme of education, schools in Liverpool are to pioneer the digital design, engineering and construction of Liverpool City Council’s Stonebridge Cross housing development, a carbon-neutral community of modern, energy-efficient homes to be co-funded by Homes England and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority as a major housing site of regional significance.

Devised by award-winning north-west social business Class of Your Own (COYO), creators of the Design Engineer Construct! (DEC) learning programme, the DEC: Stonebridge Cross project will launch in January 2021 as a component of the site’s crucial pre-development phase. Local secondary school pupils will imagine Stonebridge Cross in their not-too-distant future. Using cutting-edge technology, they will design homes and transportation links for the local community and explore renewable energy sources to power their innovative solutions. This will support the evolution of the scheme prior to any plans for the site being produced and will be one part of a wider approach to engaging with local people.

The unique people-and-planet focused project has been backed by the mayor of Liverpool, city councillors and Croxteth’s Alt Valley Community Trust. The scheme brings together leading academics from the Centre for Digital Built Britain at the University of Cambridge and globally recognised companies and organisations including Bentley Systems, Topcon Positioning Systems, Mott MacDonald, Balfour Beatty, WSP, BMT, Virgin Hyperloop and Siemens. All are working together to set a model of genuine community-focused built environment education to inspire young people, their teachers and their parents. 

Alison Watson, founder and CEO of Class Of Your Own, said: “COYO is thrilled to support Liverpool’s vision, aims and values for its communities. DEC: Stonebridge Cross puts young people in the driving seat of sustainable thinking, inclusive design, engineering problem-solving and digital construction. Towns and cities around the world can follow Liverpool’s lead and join a truly game-changing collaboration that promises transformational education for children and young people everywhere”.

Liverpool City Council cabinet member for housing and regeneration, Barry Kushner, said: “This is an example of how we will integrate schools and post-16 education and training into the house building and regeneration schemes that we have across the city. Young people will be engaged in the planning, design and community consultation of Stonebridge Cross and this is a model we would like to see across the city.”

Anthony Lavelle, local councillor for Croxteth Ward, said: “The Stonebridge Cross development is a unique opportunity for Croxteth. I’m glad the proposal will be championed by young people and led by community more widely. As someone who has lived in the area all my life and once lived on the Stonebridge Cross site when it was a housing estate, I know how important it is that a development of this scale be driven with the community’s interests at the centre. That’s why I welcome this collaboration because it will work with young people who live in the area and deliver their vision.”

To find out more about the Stonebridge Cross project, contact

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