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Commonwealth stadium builds social value
- August 24, 2022

The lead contractor behind the redevelopment of Birmingham’s iconic Alexander Stadium is reflecting on the success of the project and the wide range of community benefits brought to the local area following its recent completion.

McLaughlin & Harvey has detailed the outcomes of its social value programme which was implemented over the course of the redevelopment in a report published August 2022, including impressive local job creation figures, ethical procurement, and a range of community partnerships.

Jobs creation

A total of 370 jobs were created and sustained throughout the redevelopment of the stadium over the last two years, as well as a total of 35 apprenticeships, work placements and internships, and 756 weeks’ worth of vocational training.

58% of employment was created for those living within 30 miles of the site, and an impressive 334 members of the workforce were upskilled throughout the course of the project.

91 community and education groups and over 600 school pupils have been engaged throughout the redevelopment, and £80,000 of community investment, both financial and in-kind, was achieved.

Inspiring change

McLaughlin & Harvey recently won the Inspiring Change in the Community Project Award for their Employment & Education Academy initiative on the project, which addressed the employment and skills gap by removing inequalities and barriers in employment and education.

Judges at the Inspiring Change Conference & Awards, organised by CECA, praised the contractor for their outreach to local ‘hard to reach’ community groups, which ultimately led to 48 new entrants to the industry, including 26 long-term unemployed.

Ethical procurement

Ethical procurement and working with local suppliers was also key to McLaughlin & Harvey’s social value programme. 50% of project spend was with local businesses and in total the social value programme generated £21.5m of local economic value.

Martin Keys, Operations Director at McLaughlin & Harvey, said: “The greatest challenge faced was ensuring the project ran to time and budget. This was achieved amidst a world health pandemic and a global shipping crisis – to name a few – thanks to the collaboration, engagement and one-team approach from all partners involved.

“Alongside this excellent achievement, today’s report also highlights the real benefit we have brought to local communities here in Birmingham, both engaging with young people and hard-to-reach groups, encouraging them into work and bringing a lasting legacy to the area, which as a business, we are very proud of.”

The £72.4m stadium redevelopment project was part-funded by West Midlands Combined Authority (£25m) and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (£20m), with Birmingham City Council providing the remainder of the funding.

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “They’ve set a standard for other firms working on projects for the council to meet.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “We invested in the stadium redevelopment because we knew that it would provide a world class sporting facility for the region and enhance our reputation on the global stage. Anyone can see the contractors have certainly delivered on that.

“This project also creates a social legacy as we can see with hundreds of quality construction jobs and training opportunities created and supported through the pandemic and engagement with the community including local school children who will be inspired by their experiences for years to come.”

The report can be viewed here.

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