The academy, a non-profit skills initiative, aims to equip aspiring housebuilders and property developers with the skills they need to secure finance and build more homes in Scotland.
Stewart, MSP and Scottish housing minister, joined attendees at the two-day course in central Edinburgh to mark the academy’s Scotland launch.
“It is essential that we get more enterprising developers delivering the housing stock we need, where we need it most,” said Stewart.
“Small developers are essential to a healthy property market and initiatives like the LendInvest property development academy demonstrate the opportunity for industry, government and communities to work together to build more homes.”
The academy was launched in 2016 and runs two-day courses in five cities across the UK: Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham.
Through training, case studies and talks by industry experts, academy courses aim to create a new generation of property entrepreneurs. More than 200 students will attend courses nationwide during 2017.
Ian Thomas (pictured), co-founder and chief investment officer at LendInvest, said: “This academy provides Scottish property entrepreneurs with the tools they need to get their projects off the ground, supporting them to navigate the challenges of securing land, obtaining finance, and ultimately adding new homes to Scotland’s housing stock.”
LendInvest is championing the small developer and, through collaboration with the Home Builders Federation in England and Wales, is aiming to ensure that the government’s housing policy addresses challenges for SMEs in access to land, finance and skills.