The Havering Council and Wates Residential joint venture is designed to regenerate 12 estates across the London Borough of Havering.
The £1 billion project seeks to double the amount of council rented accommodation and more than double the number of affordable homes in the borough. This will deliver much-needed, high quality affordable homes for local residents that are truly affordable for local incomes.
The right to return is also guaranteed to every resident on the existing estates. The 12 Estates programme includes:
- Total regeneration of Napier House and New Plymouth House in Rainham, as part of the Rainham Housing Zone and delivery of the new Beam Park community.
- Re development of Serena, Solar and Sunrise Court in South Hornchurch as an older person’s village.
- Total regeneration of the Waterloo Estate in Romford, as part of the Romford Housing Zone.
- Total regeneration of the Maygreen Crescent and Park Lane Estate in Hornchurch.
- Total regeneration of the Oldchurch Gardens Estate in Romford.
- Royal Jubilee Court in Gidea Park to be developed as an older person’s village.
- Brunswick Court in Cranham to be demolished and redeveloped as an extra care sheltered housing scheme.
- Addition of two further levels of flats on top of existing flats on Chippenham Road, Farnham Road and Hilldene Avenue in Harold Hill.
- Four sheltered housing scheme sites to be regenerated for general needs housing, some of which may be allocated for people over the age of 50.
Creating Social Value
The joint venture partners have committed to deliver a lasting legacy for the community through investment in skills, training and education opportunities for local people. This includes providing apprenticeships and work experience placements, school curriculum support, creating local job opportunities and the use of social enterprises.
This commitment has already included activities such as a design workshop with 15 pupils from Rainham Village Primary School where pupils were encouraged to think about what they value most about their community, using Minecraft to explore and re-design the plans for the Napier and New Plymouth House site in Rainham.
Building Futures, a two-week training course was also held in December 2019 to support unemployed adults from Havering in getting the qualifications that are needed to secure a job in the construction industry. The course involved both practical and theory-based learning, mock interviews with Wates Residential’s supply chain partners and a site visit to the Napier and New Plymouth House site in Rainham. Eleven participants successfully graduated from the course.
Wates Residential commissioned an author to write a unique book aimed at primary school age children. Copies of ‘What Do Construction Workers Do?’ were donated to Key Stage 2 pupils from La Salette Primary School, The Federation of Towers Schools (Towers Infant and Towers Junior Schools) and Crowlands Primary School to inspire them around the wide-ranging jobs on offer in construction and to help bridge the industry’s skills gap.
Following a successful grant application by Wates Residential, Wates Giving provided a £11,500 grant to fund the ‘Stepping Stones’ project at the Havering Volunteer Centre which aims to increase the training opportunities available to disadvantaged residents in Havering. The vital grant covered the cost of a part-time ‘Pathway Advisor’ to support the programme, four laptops, project materials and nutritional lunches for all participants.
Supporting local businesses
The partners have already hosted a number of ‘Meet the Buyer Events’ aimed at local businesses to ensure that the scheme brings a boost to the local economy.
A free pop-up business school aimed at entrepreneurs from Havering was also held in May 2019. The two-week course included one-to-one coaching and workshops on topics including: how to start a business with no funding, sales and marketing, how to build a free website and how to find customers. Successes of the course include 38% of attendees starting to trade for the first time and 42% making their first sale. Wates Residential continued its support for the entrepreneurs in December 2019 by hosting lunch with Andy Wates, Chairman of Wates Giving, where he gave the business owners a further insight into running a company.