Wates Construction and SCAPE deliver more than £58m worth of social and local economic value during 2020

Wates Construction and SCAPE deliver more than £58m worth of social and local economic value during 2020

Wates Construction has announced that last year it delivered a total Social and Local Economic Value Add of over £58m through its partnership with SCAPE – a leading public sector procurement authority.

This target was hit through Wates’ work on landmark public projects across the UK, procured through SCAPE’s Construction frameworks, which are designed to deliver tangible social value and a lasting legacy on public projects.

Some £13m of this figure was achieved through social value initiatives against a target of £5.5m. Social Value represents the economic worth of a project to its community, through its contributions to the long-term wellbeing of individuals, communities and society in general.

In total, Wates delivered 1948 weeks of apprenticeships, 1084 training weeks, 108 education sessions, 169 hours of Career Support Sessions, 68 weeks of Work experience, employed 252 local people and spent over £45m with local SMEs and the local supply chain.

Much of this was delivered through key projects completed in 2020, including Nottingham College City Hub – the £58.5m brand-new city campus for over 2,000 students opening this year.

Here, Wates ensured providing education opportunities was a keystone of its approach to social value with 29 apprenticeships created, and 65 educational visits carried out by the site team over the course of the project.

For the local supply chain, £199k was spent with social enterprises, 60 per cent of project budget was spent within 40 miles of the site and 143 new jobs were created.

Supporting social enterprises

The team also completed Braywick Leisure Centre – a £33m major leisure and community hub for Windsor and Maidenhead Council, and the most energy efficient facility of its kind in operation today.

During the works, Wates invested £135k into supporting social enterprises, tree planting and gardening events, and delivered 11 initiatives to educate and inspire students. The project team also arranged 13 work experience placements for students. Through Wates’ Building Futures programme, 17 jobseekers passed their CSCS test, with one employed as a Gateman since November 2018.

While at the £21.4m Cornell Quarter student accommodation scheme for Teesside University, Wates championed training and employment opportunities for local people, as the team delivered 19 work placements, 17 education visits and workshops, and 145 apprentice hours on site.

Steve Spilsbury, Framework Director for SCAPE at Wates Construction, said: “These figures are a testament to the commitment of everyone involved in our projects including our valued supply chain, especially as they were delivered during incredibly challenging times. At Wates, we view business as a force for good, and believe in a progressive, trusted, sustainable, caring and fair approach. It is these behaviours, delivered through the Scape Framework that enable us to achieve such high volumes of social value, which we customise to our client’s regional requirements.

“Working collaboratively with our clients, consultants and supply chain, we ensure that social value is not only delivered throughout the construction period but leaves a lasting legacy that serves the local community, and that we can all be proud of.”

Other major SCAPE projects that the firm delivered huge social value gains on in 2020 include Sandwell Aquatics Centre, the Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP), and Gibside SEN school in Gateshead.

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Gibside School

Wates Construction overcomes Covid challenge to deliver new Gateshead SEN school

Wates Construction has completed its first project for Gateshead Council with the delivery of a £12m new school for children with special educational needs (SEN).

The new Gibside SEN School saw Wates complete all construction services, including structural, M&E and landscape design. Its build allows the relocation of 177 primary school pupils and more than 100 staff from the existing school, which was previously split over two sites in Blaydon seven miles away and Whickham six miles away.

Its innovative design was created by local Gateshead architect Julia Soulsby, and features a single-story structure with a complex roof across 10 different levels, using four different roof types. Internally, it comprises of 21 different classrooms, a hydrotherapy pool, sports hall, dining and assembly hall, an internal courtyard and sensory rooms.

The project was procured through SCAPE Construction, a direct award framework designed by the UK’s leading procurement authority to drive collaboration, efficiency, time and cost savings on construction projects.

Delivering social value

As part of this, delivering social value is a priority. Over the course of the build Wates provided 22 work experience weeks, spent £71k with Social Enterprises, ensured 89 per cent of labour was from within a 40 mile radius, and provided employability workshops for 224 local people.

In addition, Wates held an employability and training event at HMP Northumberland for 11 prisoners due for release within the following six months. All were located within 10 miles of the Gibside site, giving them vital skills to build a career upon release, with one ex-offender subsequently given a position with Wates.

Construction began in October 2019, and despite potential delays due to Covid-19 and adverse weather conditions at the start of the build, the site was delivered on time and to the utmost safety, with a socially distant handover ceremony on February 15th.

A fantastic achievement

David Wingfield, business unit director of Wates Construction in Yorkshire & North East, said: “The handover of this project is a fantastic achievement for all involved. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, our teams and partners have worked tirelessly and used huge amounts of initiative to deliver this state-of-the-art facility, within budget and to the specific design requirements of the school.

“This project’s success is not only limited to the building, but in the way it has maximised its benefit to the community. The council made it clear this build should provide as many training and employment opportunities as possible. Whether through apprenticeships, career events, supporting local supply chains or social enterprises, we have continuously tried to make sure our work is leaving a positive lasting legacy for Gateshead.

“At the heart of this success was a genuine one-team approach between ourselves, the client’s in-house design and delivery teams and the supply chain where there was meaningful early collaboration from pre-construction right through to completion. It is a testament to what can be achieved when we work together and I want to sincerely thank all who made it possible.”

Councillor Haley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said “We have an increasing need for specialist education school places in Gateshead and I’m very proud that we’re now able to offer a purpose built, state-of-the-art school, which has been designed around the needs of children aged 3-11 years. This new school will bring additional benefits to some of our most vulnerable children and ensure that they continue to get an outstanding start in education.

“I’d also like to thank Wates Construction Group and the project delivery team, who despite facing many additional challenges due to the ongoing pandemic, have worked hard to ensure the children can move into the new school as planned.”

Mark Robinson, group chief executive at SCAPE, said: “The new school will have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of SEN children and their families right across the Gateshead community. Not only has the project been delivered on time and within budget, but the commitment to maximising social value will ensure that the school leaves a lasting legacy for the local area – a true testament to the project teams at Wates and Gateshead Council.

The Gibside project marks the first completion in a number of primary schools currently being delivered by Wates, including one in Huddersfield and a further five in the North West, which are all using modern methods of construction (MMC) extensively through their builds.

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Lockdown learning has given us lessons for the future

Much has been said of the challenges that 2020 posed, but with a new year underway it’s important to not let the many examples of our industry’s resilience, innovation and passion go unrecognised.

One of the areas that has been most drastically affected due to COVID-19 is one which will have the most significant impact on the future of our industry – encouraging more young people into construction.

Wates Construction Framework Director, Steve Spilsbury reflects on the success of the Learning in Lockdown schemes to ensure school pupils still access vital introduction to the industry despite the absence of physical events.

The skills shortage that currently exists in our sector is well documented, with firms relying on conducting school visits, site tours, open days and careers talks to help highlight the diverse opportunities our sector holds. However with schools closing their doors for most of last year, lessons being delivered via laptop and a shutdown on all visitors to sites, our usual armoury of tactics has had to adapt, and like many of our working practices in 2020 – go digital.

Learning in Lockdown

Leading the way has been the Learning in Lockdown initiative, created and delivered by Class of Your Own, Learn Live, The Engineering Development Trust, and SCAPE the leading public procurement authority with which we are proud to work as a framework partner.

The programme involved a week-long virtual work experience event for Year 10 students, challenging them to design a pavillion in the desert which could promote sustainable and eco-friendly living to the residents nearby. The response to this challenge was fantastic; over 30,000 pupils registered an interest and over 300 schools took part, supported by 159 experts from 32 organisations.

Along with our fellow SCAPE framework partners, we advised students and judged the three award categories Best Design, Great Achievement, and Best Written Report which I had the pleasure of judging myself. The level of detail, creativity and understanding that the pupils demonstrated in their reports meant that choosing a winner was tough. Since then I have held mentoring sessions for the winner and runner up, and they truly are a credit to their families and their schools.

Collaborative creativity

The success of this initiative, and witnessing the sheer talent and ingenuity of the students who took part, has given me a great deal of hope for the future of our industry and reaffirmed what I already knew we work best when we work together.

Learning in Lockdown was able to succeed and reach so many students because of the complete collaboration between the multiple contractors, consultants, partners and schools. Even if 2021 does see us able to return to some sort of normality, reaching 300 schools in one week individually would be an impossible task, but we have proved that by combining our expertise and innovation it can be done.

We need to keep this momentum going. While we hope to meet students in person and bring them back onto site in the future, initiatives like Learning in Lockdown must be continued and expanded on year after year, to allow us to reach and educate as many young people as possible.

This brilliant programme has shown us that we can help shape the future of our industry through collaboration, in the same way that we use the principle to shape and deliver our complex projects across the country. I’m incredibly proud to have supported it and look forward to working with SCAPE and my fellow construction peers to deliver more in the future.

For more information on Learning in Lockdown, please visit here: https://www.scape.co.uk/learning-in-lockdown

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Construction completes at £22m Loughborough Commercial Park

National contractor Wates Construction and property, construction and infrastructure consultancy, Perfect Circle have jointly completed £22m worth of works at the Loughborough University Science Enterprise Park (LUSEP) for Leicestershire County Council (LCC).

Situated off Holywell Way in Loughborough, LUSEP is a new build commercial development providing 80,000 sq. m. of Category A office space spread over three floors. The space will see a revenue of £1.6m a year to support vital front-line county council services.

Built on land owned by Loughborough University, LUSEP forms part of Leicestershire County Council’s ambitions to develop its estate to help provide long-term financial benefits for the region. The site has already found a tenant, with global business software firm, The Access Group, leasing it for its new UK headquarters.

Wates completed all building, mechanical and electrical works, with the design meeting a BREEAM rating of Very Good. Extensive planning and ground design works were also carried out in collaboration with the client and their team to ensure a cost effective solution on the previously sloped site. All were carried out with due consideration of the existing ecology and environmental needs of the site, including the installation of a bat fence.

Perfect Circle delivered consultancy in the early stages of design, as well as project management, quantity surveying, and principle designer services. The consultancy also provided mechanical and engineering, civils and structures support.

Wates and Perfect Circle were both appointed via SCAPE, the UK’s leading public sector procurement authority. The SCAPE Construction and SCAPE Consultancy frameworks are designed to accelerate delivery and facilitate collaboration across the project, whilst driving local economic impact, as well as time and cost savings for LCC.

The Wates team also worked closely with the client and its supply chain to ensure the project delivered considerable benefits for the community, with £56,000 spent with local Social Enterprises, 23 apprenticeships supported and 33 new jobs created for local tradespeople.

Construction started on site at LUSEP in February 2019, with the team handing over in November 2020.

John Carlin, regional managing director for the Midlands at Wates Construction, said:

“While the current economic climate and rise of homeworking has caused some to doubt the future of commercial property, LUSEP’s completion is a positive sign for the wider market, and it remains a focus for our business in the Midlands.

“As with any of our projects procured via SCAPE, we worked in tandem with our client to ensure this site delivered exactly what was needed – a modern, sustainable office building which would benefit the council commercially in the long-term, built via considerate methods which would be sympathetic with the environment and support the community during its construction and beyond. This is reflected in our 9.5/10 client satisfaction score, and is a testament to our teams’ dedication to collaboration and innovative delivery.”

Victoria Brambini, managing director at Perfect Circle, said:

“We’re delighted to see such a successful technology firm taking up their new premises in the county. The engagement of Perfect Circle at the earliest stage of planning and design, right through into project and cost management of the construction and fit-out, allowed the county council and Loughborough University to de-risk the project and deliver better outcomes – as is the aim with all SCAPE projects.”

Nick Rushton, Leader of Leicestershire County Council said:

“This underlines the strength of Leicestershire as a great place to do business as well as the county council’s place at the forefront of the drive for growth and innovation. It also cements Loughborough’s growing global reputation as a business and innovation centre and shows that Leicestershire is truly open for business.

“Our approach of building new workspaces is creating jobs and boosting the economy, which is vital in securing a good recovery from the COVID pandemic, and crucially, it means we can invest more into services such as maintaining our roads and supporting vulnerable people.”

Mark Robinson, group chief executive at SCAPE, said:

“As businesses continue to prepare for a return to office-based working, it’s encouraging to see ambitious construction projects like LUSEP take shape. Commercial property plays an important role in supporting local regeneration and economic growth as the UK continues its path to recovery.

“The high calibre of work delivered is testament to the quality of the teams at Wates and Perfect Circle and will ultimately deliver exceptional value for Leicestershire County Council and the communities it serves. I wish Access Group every success for the future, as it relocates it UK headquarters to the new site.”

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£58.5 million state-of-the-art Nottingham College City Hub completes

National contractor Wates Construction has completed works at Nottingham College City Hub, a landmark new campus for the College providing space for 2,000 students and 200 staff, offering local people a state-of-the-art learning experience and future employment opportunities.

The campus will welcome students and be fully operational from January, but this week marks the handover of the £58.5 million building from Wates to the College. It complements the College’s existing campus portfolio and forms part of a Council-run scheme to regenerate this area and boost the city’s economy.

Nottingham College City Hub is the first project completed in the region by Wates through Major Works UK, part of the Scape National Construction framework, and is the result of a partnership between Nottingham College, Nottingham City Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The new campus will offer a broad curriculum for the College including performance, media and business, complete with amenities for the community to enjoy including a restaurant, café and performing arts centre.

Throughout the build contractor Wates Construction has created a host of employment and training opportunities of young people as well as supporting the city’s business and charitable organisations.

Since starting work onsite in mid-2018, Wates has worked with 10 social enterprises, including Recycling Lives, Nuneaton Signs Ltd and Radiant Cleaners Ltd, and ensured that 60 per cent of project budget was spent within 40 miles of the site. 60 per cent of the supply chain were local SMEs and 143 new jobs have been created.

Carole Thorogood, Chair of Governors at Nottingham College, said:

“I am delighted to take possession of the City Hub on behalf of Nottingham College and I would like to thank all of those who have worked so hard to make this day happen in such difficult times.

“The building is spectacular both inside and out and I know that staff and students can’t wait to start using it. This is a major investment in education and skills in Nottingham by the College, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the City Council. These state-of-the-art teaching facilities will inspire generations of students and equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to meet the needs of local, national and international employers helping them and their City to thrive.

“The full economic impact of the coronavirus is still to be felt. But education and this college will be vital to rebuilding the economy and people’s livelihoods by providing excellence in education and a route to exceptional opportunities for the City and its people.”

John Carlin, Wates Construction Midlands MD added that the project had brought about a huge amount of learning and development opportunities for young people in the area:

“This has been such a memorable project for us in large part due to the positive impact it’s left on the city’s stars of tomorrow. We’ve been proud to provide permanent jobs to four school leavers, including two graduates from Nottingham College, created 29 apprenticeships and carried out 65 educational visits, as well as delivering 18 lectures on the Built Environment at the College itself.

“Thanks to the hard work of Project Director Adam Cannon and his team we’re thrilled with the end result and can’t want to see students experience the new campus in the New Year.”

Sajeeda Rose, D2N2 LEP Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted to see the Nottingham City Hub is one step closer to welcoming students through its doors. D2N2 is proud to have invested £30million of Local Growth Funding into the construction of this landmark building.

“The Nottingham City Hub will change the face of skills provision in our area, playing a key part in the pathway towards rebuilding and growing our economy by creating career paths and providing our businesses with the talent they need to thrive and grow.”

Mark Robinson, chief executive at Nottingham-headquartered public sector procurement authority Scape Group, said:

“Further Education has a huge role to play in the future economic resilience of the UK’s, not just in terms of developing skills where we need them but also in sustained and vital infrastructure investment.

“Further Education is a key focus for government spending this year, and many colleges will be able to learn from the outstanding example set by Nottingham College City Hub. With the right partners involved, colleges can seize the opportunity to rapidly deliver state-of-the-art learning environments for the future.”

Councillor David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said:

“It was a little over a year ago I visited the City Hub for its topping out ceremony, and given the constraints contractors have worked under during the COVID pandemic, to deliver it in good time is an impressive achievement.

“We are very pleased to see the new City Hub handed over, one of the first buildings in the Southside area to begin its transformation from brownfield site to a fantastic new venue for Nottingham’s students. I’m particularly pleased that it is sympathetic to the surrounding area while adding a modern façade to the cityscape.

“I would like to thank Wates construction for being so considerate to our residents on Cliff Road and the Lace Market in their construction of the City Hub and our partners at Nottingham College. Once the college is able to welcome new students safely, I have no doubt they will enjoy learning in such an excellent facility.”

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Wates Construction delivers landmark £33m leisure centre for Windsor & Maidenhead Council

National contractor Wates Construction has completed works at Braywick Leisure Centre, a major leisure and community hub for Windsor and Maidenhead Council, marking the first project delivered for Wates via the Major Works – UK framework, part of the Scape National Construction framework.

The £33m facility at Braywick Park was built to replace the Council’s aging Magnet Leisure Centre, and features a 10-lane swimming pool, larger training and splash pools, a 200-station gym, four squash courts, sports hall, café, all-weather football pitch and 240 car parking spaces.

Improved sustainability was vital for the Council, and as well as being delivered as a carbon neutral project, the centre has been designed to use 70 per cent less energy than its predecessor.

Wates worked closely with architect Burke Richards and engineering consultants Hoare Lee to meet this target, with rainwater collected, stored and redirected to flush waste systems, LED lighting used throughout, and extra insulation deployed to reduce heating requirements. A collaborative culture was established from the very beginning between all partners, particularly with regard to the complex building services needed for plumbing and heating a large leisure build.

Community engagement was sought at every opportunity and, as well as investing £13k into supporting social enterprises, tree planting and gardening events, several initiatives to educate and inspire were delivered.

The project team arranged several site visits, networking events and assemblies for local schools as well as 13 work experience placements for students. Through Wates’ Building Futures programme, 17 jobseekers passed their CSCS test, with one employed as a Gateman since November 2018.

Work initially started on the project in July 2018 and was officially handed over as scheduled in September, despite challenges posed by Covid-19.

Alec Jackman, business unit director for the Southern Home Counties at Wates Construction, said:

“Regenerating leisure hubs like this is essential to supporting healthy, sustainable communities, and every part of the Braywick Park site has been designed with the people who’ll be using it in mind. We hope it will become a real cornerstone of community in Maidenhead, leaving a lasting legacy for years to come.

“We are currently working on several Scape projects across the country, and we hope this project will be held up as an example of how supportive this procurement framework can be. By working in close partnership with the council, our delivery partners, a local supply chain and the wider community, we could overcome any obstacles easily, and I’d like to thank everyone who worked on this landmark project and made it such a success.”

Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said:

“The last six months have created challenges that would’ve made it easy for a project as ambitious as this to lose sight of its sustainability goals. However, it is to the immense credit of Wates and the council that they have gone above and beyond to ensure that this investment will maximise its impact across the local community in terms of physical, social and environmental health.

“Sustainability is becoming more important than ever for projects delivered by local authorities, and it’s our intention that our frameworks will continue to accelerate their delivery while becoming carbon-neutral as standard by 2028.”

Councillor Sayonara Luxton, Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, said:

“I am looking forward to accepting the keys to the building and seeing the transformation of the site. I am sure many residents will be looking forward to using this fantastic facility in the future and the many wonderful community spaces within the building.”

Braywick is the latest completion for Wates in the leisure sector, with other major projects currently being built including Sandwell Aquatics Centre and Halton Leisure Centre in Widnes, both also procured via Major Works – UK, part of the Scape National Construction framework.

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Milestone reached at £73 million aquatics hub

National contractor Wates Construction has reached a significant milestone in the construction of Sandwell Aquatics Centre, in Smethwick.

Structural steelwork has now begun at the £73m state-of-the-art leisure facility with the first three roof trusses and main frame now erected, giving scale to the site and its facilities within. By the end of the year, 14 trusses will have been installed in total, each spanning 75m and weighing around 30 tonnes.

It marks the first stage of the centre taking form above-ground, with the Wates team spending the summer months carefully creating the 50m Olympic-sized pool – the only one of its size in the Midlands – as well as a 25m diving pool and community swimming pool. Some 3,000m3 of concrete were used in the pools’ creation, which had to be carefully poured to an accuracy of mere millimetres to comply with Olympic standards.

With procurement being accelerated and performance managed through Scape – the UK’s leading public procurement authority – this state-of-the-art facility will create a lasting legacy for community health and wellbeing, with its three pools and seats for up to 1,000 spectators.

Other facilities at the aquatics centre will include three activity studios, two 4-court sports halls, a 108-station fitness suite with a 25-station ladies-only gym, dry diving facilities, an indoor cycling studio, a new football pitch, a café, and changing facilities including a sauna and steam room. Externally, a new urban park will feature a children’s play area.

With the frame in place, the team will now start work creating the walls and roof of the building, as well as completing the installation of the 10m dive tower before Christmas.

Construction started on site in September 2019, with Wates working closely with Sandwell Council and its supply chain to ensure work continued safely on site during the national lockdown earlier this year. The contractor collaborated with all delivery partners to ensure new health and safety measures and social distancing guidelines were put in place quickly, meaning the project is still on schedule.

The project is set to complete in spring 2022 and will open to the public in the spring of 2023.

John Carlin, regional managing director for the Midlands at Wates Construction, said:

“We’ve been on site for a year now, building the pools and laying all the groundwork, but with the steel framework in place we are really starting to demonstrate the sheer size of this ambitious, exciting build. It is a true landmark for the region and will offer so many benefits to the community in the local area and far beyond.

“Sandwell Aquatics Centre represents an incredibly complex feat of design and engineering and, despite the external challenges of COVID-19, we’re right on track to deliver it on schedule. This is entirely due to the expertise, hard work and determination of everyone involved – our site teams, local apprentices, supply chain and Sandwell Council – and I look forward to the next milestone being reached.”

Councillor Maria Crompton, Deputy Leader of Sandwell Council, said:

“It is just amazing seeing the new aquatics centre come to life. The steel truss and frame has really added a sense of scale and you can visualise just how great this centre will be as a facility for local people.

“The construction of this new facility has already benefited local residents by giving them the opportunity to gain employment as apprentices on this major project. I want to thank everyone who has been working tirelessly to make sure we remain on track to deliver this world-class centre for our residents.”

Mark Robinson, group chief executive of Scape, said:

“Continued public investment of this nature is absolutely essential in helping the UK to build back better. The accelerated delivery of this world-class facility is a testament to the ambition of Sandwell Council, the strength in the Wates team and the talent of the local supply chain, coming together to deliver something really special.

“Once complete, this new centre will play a key role in the community, championing sporting participation and wellbeing. I can’t wait to see Sandwell Council’s vision come to life.”

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Operating an essential site during uncertain times

I have been in the construction business for a long time and I don’t think I have ever worked on a project that somebody didn’t consider essential.

From our perspective, there is a business imperative attached to every project of course but they also represent so much more than that.

A construction project is a huge undertaking and is often the realisation of the hopes and dreams of a whole team of people who have toiled for years before the first shovel gets anywhere near the ground. Also, every project, big or small, has the potential to be transformational and to create a legacy that will change people’s lives.

Delivering successful construction projects is rarely a matter of life and death but it should never be underestimated how critical they are to the people behind them and, equally importantly, the people who will benefit from them in the future.


Adapting to a new world

It is a responsibility we take incredibly seriously at Wates and one that weighed heavily when the current crisis began to take hold during those increasingly uncertain weeks in March of this year.

When the lockdown was announced, we had no choice but to close our sites along with many other businesses in the country. In those two days that the sites were closed, our teams were working around the clock, adapting and evolving processes so that we could re-open the sites while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of everybody involved.

In normal times every site offers a range of different challenges that have to be overcome, all of which were then exacerbated by the new restrictions and the more complex the project, the more innovative our teams have had to be to get the project running again.


Nottingham City Hub – a transformational facility

One of the most challenging – and important – projects we are currently delivering in the Midlands is the Nottingham City Hub, a major new education and community facility that will transform a previously neglected city centre district.

Surrounded on four sides by a main arterial route, residential developments, tram lines and a cliff edge, there have been numerous obstacles to overcome throughout this project and so everyone involved has had to really go the extra mile to ensure the project has remained on track throughout this period.

From ensuring that all colleagues, sub-contractors and suppliers could actually get to the site to dealing with issues around social distancing and the difficulty in obtaining materials, the team have been exceptional. In fact, across our sites we have found that not only have our teams found a way to take projects forward, some are doing so more efficiently than before the crisis begun!

Indeed, we are seeing great innovation where the supply chain is adapting to new ways of working to combat the challenges of social distancing, introducing mechanical solutions for tasks like the installation of glazed balustrades, allowing for the extra manpower to be prepping rather than helping with the installation itself.

All of this fantastic work means that the project is on target for completion at the beginning of October. This will see us deliver a vision that will not only change the cityscape in this part of Nottingham but provide a real legacy for many years to come that goes beyond this fantastic building itself, something I would definitely describe as essential.

The state-of-the-art project is being procured through Major Works – UK, a part of the Scape National Construction framework. The framework has been specifically designed to deliver significant levels of local economic engagement, ongoing apprenticeship schemes and extensive community initiatives.

Commenting on the progress, Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive said:

“It’s been fantastic to see everybody involved with the project come together during these uncertain times. An increase in collaboration across the supply chain has been key to help minimise the ongoing disruption and allow the project to safely remain on track for completion this year.

“As we look towards a sustainable recovery from the current crisis, projects like the Nottingham City Hub are vital to ensure that opportunities to support and nurture the younger generation and their communities remain firmly in place.”

Written by:

John Carlin
Regional MD Wates Construction Midlands

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Working together to create environmental sustainability and enhancement

A collaborative initiative to protect and enhance the environment.

Climate change is an issue Scape Group and our partners are passionate about and one which we are now making a collective commitment to address, with the creation of a long-term sustainability strategy to protect and enhance the environment through our operations.

Collectively, the public sector recognises we face a dire Climate Emergency, with over half of the local authorities in the UK declaring a Climate Emergency. The scientific consensus on man-made climate change is clear. Now, decisive action is needed to make a positive change – Something that our people, our partners and the industry are all in agreement with.


The challenge

Recent figures from the National Federation of Builders’ War on Carbon report reveal that the construction industry is directly responsible for 10% of UK carbon emissions, and influences a further 47% – Meaning that either directly or indirectly, more than half of the our country’s emissions are linked to construction and the buildings and infrastructure assets we create and maintain.

Even on just one construction project, on one day, multiple skips of waste can be generated, numerous vehicle journeys made, and large quantities of energy and water consumed. By their very nature, construction projects will have a negative effect on the environment – Unless we make conscious decisions to do things differently.

Sustainability is a huge topic, and there are countless opportunities for improvement. From designing out waste, collaboration to improve material specification and sourcing or closer scrutiny of the lifecycle of materials, to targeting fleet emissions and consistently using renewable energy suppliers on our construction sites.

We know this is a big challenge, but we are ready. Our partners are ready. The industry is ready and keen to implement change. We are uniting as one voice to share innovations and ambitions, working together to make ideas bigger, better and more successful, for the benefit of our planet.

It is time for the construction industry, as many others have done, to accept its role in the climate emergency. We must be bold, ambitious and strong in our commitments.


Our response

“In an industry first, we’re bringing together our delivery partners and their technical supply chains across the UK to harness our collective power and influence, making construction a force for positive change.”

Mark Robinson
Scape Group chief executive

We hope to involve all our partners in this collaborative initiative, who will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table, as well as a collective passion and drive for improvement.

Scape has been a social value-led organisation for many years, embedding community improvement and sustainable outputs into all our projects.

As a National Social Value Taskforce member, we have actively contributed to improving the National Themes, Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) to capture and value the environmental measures delivered on every project.

But this reinforced commitment to sustainability represents an even bigger ambition. We are building on our strong social value foundations and exploring the opportunities to extend social value performance management to cover wider environmental considerations.

This will form an integral part of our long-term vision, both as a socially responsible organisation, and as a leading voice for the industry. Our sustainability strategy for the next 3, 6 and 9 years is structured around the following commitment: Working together to create environmental sustainability and enhancement.

Our partners and public sector colleagues are already taking great strides in achieving this, and we will be showcasing some of the very best sustainability innovations in the coming months. Harnessing the advances already in use and implementing them more widely is the first step on our collective journey towards carbon-neutrality and environmental health.

Team Scape are currently delivering more than 1,800 projects across the UK, worth around £6.3bn, and we have a collective buying power of £12bn. It’s our responsibility to make sure these projects leave a positive legacy for future generations and demonstrate what a good, environmentally conscious construction project looks like.

Whilst many clients are reducing the impact of their projects on the local environment, we’re proposing a much more holistic approach.

“For us, this is about raising the bar of what we can achieve together, not just locally, but on a more national and global scale.”

Mark Robinson
Scape Group chief executive

We don’t know all the answers – far from it. But we want to learn more, to bring the industry together and to innovate, with everyone playing their part.

We need input and buy in from all angles of the construction industry – from SMEs to multi-national tier 1 contractors, public and private sector clients across the UK to industry bodies. If we are to succeed, we must come together.


Next steps

We will be looking at Team Scape’s current sustainability activities, ambitions and innovations, sharing lessons learned and best practice adoption. We will also be putting our own operations under the microscope to make sure we are doing our bit.

Our strategy and approach will be shared with our public sector shareholders and clients to ensure we are shaping our solutions aligned to their ambitions and priorities.

The Team Scape research and development working group will meet regularly, identifying key areas for improvement and defining specific, measurable objectives to achieve our goals.

Our door is open for industry dialogue and I truly believe that together, we can make a real difference.

Written by:

Mark Robinson
Group Chief Executive

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Wates Appointed As Main Contractor To Build Sandwell Aquatics Centre

Contract award follows Wates’ appointment in spring 2019 to deliver pre-construction works for the world-class leisure facility.

Wates Construction has been confirmed as the main contractor for the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick.

The state-of-the-art facility will create a lasting legacy for community health and wellbeing with its 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool as well as a 25m diving pool, community swimming pool and seats for up to 1,000 spectators.

Wates has also made a commitment to local spend and job creation, including supporting its supply chain in taking on apprentices and helping them transfer into permanent positions upon completion. The company will also engage with local schools to deliver work experience placements on site, encouraging diverse demographics into an industry combating growing skills shortages.

John Carlin, Regional Managing Director for Wates Construction Midlands, said it was an honour to be part of this exciting regeneration story:

“Here in the West Midlands we’re currently experiencing a tremendous renaissance in our local infrastructure. This project – and the wider regeneration of the borough of Sandwell – will create a lasting legacy for local residents and put Sandwell on the map for its world-class facility.

Every project we deliver has the community at its heart and we’re looking forward to working alongside our partners to ensure this project provides significant economic and social value from the outset. The result will be a landmark facility that will be transformational for this borough.

We’re pleased to sign the formal contract confirming our position as main contractor and now have two years of a challenging but hugely exciting build ahead of us.”

Ground breaking took place in September 2019 to prepare the site for construction and the initial building work on the £73m project is set to complete in spring 2022 with final handover to Sandwell Council in May 2023 when the building will be open to the public.

Other facilities at the aquatics centre will include three activity studios, two 4-court sports halls, a 108-station fitness suite with a 25-station ladies-only gym, dry diving facilities, an indoor cycling studio, a new football pitch, a café and changing facilities including a sauna/steam room. Externally, a new urban park will feature a children’s play area.

Councillor Maria Crompton, cabinet member for Sandwell Council with the responsibility for leisure added:

“We’re excited that the main building work on this landmark leisure centre has started. The aquatics centre will give us an international-standard venue for the local community, replacing ageing leisure facilities with a modern hub designed to promote health and wellbeing across the district.”

Wates, which was appointed via Major Works – UK, part of the Scape National Construction framework, is based just four miles away in Quinton and is already using its role on the project to provide significant economic and social benefits to Sandwell’s businesses and residents.

The contractor is also currently completing delivery of a £32.8m leisure centre in Braywick, Berkshire, including a 10-lane swimming pool, splash pools and employing an eco-friendly approach that will see the centre use 70% less energy than its predecessor.

Notes to Editors

Wates Construction

Wates Construction has a long track record of providing more for less to its clients across both the public and private sectors. Working on projects across a variety of different areas, including education, commercial, heritage, local authority frameworks and mixed-use, Wates Construction specialises in maximising value by finding the most intelligent and creative ways to deliver outstanding buildings.

About Wates Group

The Wates Group, established in 1897, is one of the leading privately-owned construction, development and property services businesses in the UK. We employ approximately 4,000 people and together, we inspire better ways of creating the places, communities and businesses of tomorrow.

The Group generated turnover of £1.60bn in 2018. Wates was named Construction News’ Contractor of the Year in 2017; Building Magazine’s Major Contractor of the Year in 2016 and was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development for the second time in 2016. Wates was the first large contractor ever to be awarded Business in the Community’s Community Mark and in 2013 was awarded the inaugural National Business Award for Corporate Citizenship in recognition of our leadership and excellence in community investment. In 2017 Wates was named Organisation of the Year at the inaugural UK Social Mobility Awards. Wates is an Investors in People Gold accredited company.


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