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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