Delivering valuable community benefits in Newham

12.12.22 3 min read by Ryan Devlin

The English Cities Fund (ECF) – our JV with Legal & General and Homes England – has revealed figures, which highlight the positive impact we’ve been making in Canning Town, through our Manor Road Quarter regeneration.

Work on our new neighbourhood has been underway for just over a year in the London Borough of Newham. Once complete, it will bring 804 much-needed homes to the area, with 402 (50%) available as affordable homes, along with a major, two-acre park for the whole community to enjoy.

In the first 12 months, our main contractor, Morgan Sindall Construction, has prioritised using local firms for building materials and equipment hire where possible, while at the same time creating opportunities for employment, apprenticeships, training and mentoring too.

The spend in the local community has been dominated by construction materials, particularly ready-mix concrete, but value has also been generated by the 300 site workers visiting local cafes and shops in Canning Town. Due to this, almost £400,000 has been spent with local businesses during the first year of construction. In addition, £2.7m has been spent with a local concrete supplier.

The project team has also worked with Newham Council’s local employment brokerage, Our Newham Work, to create 125 new full-time roles working on site, with 65 coming directly from Newham. For many of these new starters, Manor Road Quarter, has introduced them to the construction sector, with 27 apprentices, 13 work experience placements and three graduates helping create the new place. This is alongside events at local colleges and schools, to give students a look into the world of regeneration and construction.

Elizabeth Wright, senior development manager, said:

The project team has developed fantastic links with the local community and together we’re making a tangible difference in terms of training, skills, mentoring with the community in Canning Town. The local spend figures are also having a positive impact and we will continue to explore ways we can make sure our regeneration delivers on our aspiration to be an exemplar in terms of social value”
As a business and a partnership, we’re committed to delivering brighter, happier and kinder places through the work we do, but also by providing opportunities for all in communities too. Our collective work here at the Manor Road Quarter is a prime example of our approach and we look forward to bringing more opportunities as we progress.”

Richard Dobson, area director at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “The range of socially-driven programmes and our focus on local spend is playing a key role in supporting a diverse workforce and making the industry welcoming to under-represented groups.

“We are continuing to look for more local community groups to engage with, as we want to create social value where it is most needed for the Newham community. Previously, we have delivered educational talks, work experience, volunteered and tours, however we are open-minded in collaborating to deliver the most effective output.”

As a team, we’ve also engaged New Life Wood, which is part of the National Community Wood Recycling. As part of this partnership, we’re donating excess timber from site, which is being repurposed into stunning new products that are donated to local homeless charity, Caritas Anchor House.

Other community programmes the Manor Road team have contributed to include Community Links, Community Food Enterprise, SR Partnerships, London Design Engineering UTC, Newham College and The Lighthouse Club, BounceBack, Women into Construction, 15Billion EBP.

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