In a brand new Channel 4 Specialist Factual series, Kevin McCloud sets out to prove what Britain’s housing industry said couldn’t be done – to build beautiful, contemporary, affordable, sustainable homes and still make money.
For 10 years, as presenter of Grand Designs, McCloud has followed some of Britain’s most ambitious self-building projects, as intrepid individuals attempt to design and construct the home of their dreams. But he has become increasingly frustrated that so many people in Britain live in poorly-designed outdated houses.
This 3 x 60 minute series, made by talkbackTHAMES, follows his five-year-long project from deciding what to build and raising the money to fund it to finding a site and convincing the locals it will benefit them.
He finally finds a site for 40 houses in Swindon – an area in need of affordable housing. All of the houses he is building are innovative prototypes employing new technologies. The series charts his progress as he sees his designs realised into bricks and mortar and follows him as he sets about finding families to buy his homes.
Specialist Factual Commissioning Editor Tanya Shaw says: “Kevin is putting everything into this project – his reputation, his savings, all because of his passionate belief that there is a need for environmentally-friendly housing developments which can also promote a sense of community. It is fascinating to see him step outside the presenting role and become the centre of the story.”
Kevin McCloud said: “This has not been the easiest thing for me. I’m normally part of television making, not its subject, and I’ve found the change of roles bewildering at times. Rather than standing on the sidelines watching other people make decisions – and mistakes – I’ve been the one making them. And not just about a single house, but about a housing development – through a recession, and in the face of some pretty formidable local difficulties. It has been a long, difficult and sometimes brutal process – and the cameras have captured all of it.”
Sara Geater, CEO of talkbackTHAMES, said: “Kevin’s passion and personal integrity are at the forefront of this series. It’s an honour that he’s allowed us to follow him on this brave and fascinating journey in which Kevin finally embarks on his very own Grand Design.”