Caerlee Mill Team bring World of Work Week to Life with STEM Challenge to design a Sustainable Development


The team from Caerlee Mill were special guests at St Ronan’s Primary School in Innerleithen recently where they took part in a World of Work Week and challenged the Primary 7-year group from St Ronan’s and Walkerburn Schools’ Partnership to design and produce a model layout of a sustainable housing development and bid to buy land.

As part of the project, the children were reminded of the importance of their STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and how important that each one is in creating sustainable developments.  As well as learning more about the thought processes behind Whiteburn’s local development at Caerlee Mill,  Whiteburn’s Roger Bainbridge introduced some of the professional and management careers in construction, plus under his guidance each team had to act as a development company and create and present their development ideas which allowed them to focus on teamwork, time management, finance and their presentation skills.

Bringing the children’s learning to life and being part of St Ronan’s World of Work Week was an incredible opportunity for the team as Eve McCurrich, Managing Director for Whiteburn explains: “We are mindful that we want our redevelopment of Caerlee Mill to be a  positive contribution to the towns fabric. We want to be more than just a developer, where we can we want to help support and be part of the local Innerleithen community.

“As part of World of Work Week at St Ronan’s, we wanted to give the children an insight into our industry and how it contributes towards society.  As well as the opportunity to design, plan and cost their own sustainable development we wanted to showcase the wide range of career opportunities that exist with our industry.  Promoting the importance of STEM subjects and inspiring the next generation is our way of helping to futureproof the industry.”

Keith Belleville, Headteacher at St Ronan’s Primary School in Innerleithen adds: “We were delighted to welcome Eve and Roger from Whiteburn back to St. Ronan’s as part of our focus on work and careers.  We aim to encourage our children to look beyond the school gates to the world of work.  On this occasion, we did this by inviting people from a range of jobs and careers to inspire the children through talks and hands on experiences.  The practical sessions led by Eve and Roger were a real hit with the Primary 7 children who had the opportunity to apply the skills that they have developed over the years.

The redevelopment of the grounds of the former Caerlee Mill in Innerleithen has already reached a key milestone, with confirmation that over 80% of its first phase of new build homes and flats have been reserved.

The vision for the site, in the heart of this thriving Borders town, is to deliver a range of two, three and four bedroom houses and cottage flats, which are designed to reflect the spirit of the former mill site, as well as the heritage of the town structure.  Planning consent was granted in August 2018 for 44 new build houses and flats.

In conjunction with the launch of the new-build housing for sale, Whiteburn continues to explore economically-viable solutions for the B- listed Brodie’s Mill building which dates back to 1778, and are in discussions with potential end users.

STEMS Challenge set up by Whiteburn Caerlee Ltd for primary seven pupils at St Ronan’s Primary School, Innerleithen.

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