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Barratt Chief Exec thanks NHS nursing couple moving into Wichelstowe

The chief executive of the UK’s leading housebuilder visited Swindon’s landmark new housing development today to offer his personal thanks to two NHS nurses who will be moving into their brand-new home at the development in time for Christmas.

Gemma and Mathew Johnson received £15,000 towards their new four-bedroom Barratt Home at Canalside, Wichelstowe thanks to the five-star housebuilder’s NHS Deposit Contribution Scheme, launched earlier this year to offer a heartfelt thank you to the country’s 1.5m NHS workers working hard to look after people during the COVID-19 crisis.

As part of a carefully prepared, socially distanced tour, David Thomas, Barratt Developments CEO, met the couple and their ten month old baby outside their new home at the ground-breaking joint venture development, which is being built by Barratt Homes & David Wilson Homes in partnership with Swindon Borough Council.

Gemma, a diabetes specialist nurse and her husband Mathew, an endoscopy nurse, say they are fast outgrowing their current two-bedroom house in Royal Wootton Basset, and the NHS offer has made it possible for them to by their first family home.

As well as visiting Canalside, the first phase of the Wichelstowe development offering 208 much-needed new homes set along the newly restored Wilts & Berks canal, David Thomas also toured the wider Wichelstowe site to see progress being made on the public open spaces as well as the homes under construction and nearing completion.

Speaking outside the home they will move into with their son, Arthur, next week, Gemma Johnson said:

“The NHS Deposit Contribution Scheme has made all the difference to us being able to buy a bigger four-bedroom house. We also combined this with the Help to Buy scheme and I honestly don’t know when we would have been able to move if it wasn’t for this extra support. But this discount is about so much more than money – it’s lovely to have this recognition of the work that the NHS does.

“Before we bought the house we spent a lot of time looking at this development. I love how Wichelstowe is like an urban village. It’s modern and contemporary but with that all-important strong sense of community. I especially like how much green space there is. We can’t wait to move in.”

All of the new homes at Wichelstowe are eligible for Barratt Developments’ NHS deposit contribution scheme, which gives NHS staff a 5% contribution towards their deposit. The same contribution of up to £15,000 is also available to members of the armed forces.

One of the largest local authority joint venture agreements in the country, the partnership between Swindon Borough Council and Barratt Developments plc. (parent company of Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes) will deliver 3,000 new homes at Wichelstowe over the next 20 years, along with new schools and community facilities. The 250-hectare site on the southern edge of Swindon includes extensive open spaces, nature conservation areas, playing pitches and allotments.  

David Thomas, chief executive Barratt Developments, commented:

“It was lovely to see Gemma and Mathew outside their beautiful new home at Wichelstowe. We’re proud to be supporting our brilliant NHS workers and I offer my thanks to them, and the hundreds of thousands of others who have shown such courage and dedication in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. We’re proud too of this landmark joint venture development, which will bring 3,000 much-needed new homes over the next 20 years, along with schools, community facilities, plenty of wide open spaces, playing fields, allotments and nature conservation areas – all of which have never felt more important.”

Andrea Pilgrim, sales director for Barratt Homes in Wiltshire added:

“We are delighted to see people now moving into Canalside at Wichelstowe and the community really starting to take shape here. We are enormously proud of Wichelstowe – not just because of the wide range of high quality homes on offer here and all of the planned facilities and green space, but because, thanks to our partnership with the local authority, the development will bring thousands of much-needed new homes to Swindon for generations to come.”

The first residents have now started moving in to Canalside, the first phase of the Wichelstowe development, offering 208 homes made up of a range of contemporary houses and apartments from Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes, and due for completion next year. A supermarket, secondary school and pub are already open on site offering a vibrant heart to the community from the outset. The 617 acre site on the southern edge of Swindon includes extensive open spaces and will offer new nature conservation areas, playing pitches and allotments.

The show homes at Wichelstowe are currently open by appointment only and with a full range of safety and social distancing measures in place. Virtual tours are also available.

To find out more visit or call 0333 3558 490 and ask for Canalside. For more information about the NHS Deposit Contribution Scheme visit