Wates Construction is calling for increased collaboration between organisations across the private and public sector in order to achieving a lasting social value legacy that will improve the life chances of the North West’s next generation. The call to action follows an event at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce at which leading industry figures discussed the importance of social value under the theme of ‘delivering a long term legacy’.

The packed audience heard from speakers including Mo Isap, Strategy Director at the not-for-profit multi-academy trust Star Academies, Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, John Finlay, Construction Procurement Manager at North West Construction Hub as well Paul Chandler and John Foster, Wates Construction’s Managing Director and Pre-construction Director for the North West respectively.

A key theme to the event was how private companies must develop stronger links with both each other and the public sector in order to maximise the benefits of the social value activity undertaken throughout the region.

“Social value is imperative to our business model at Wates. When we begin a project, we don’t just look at the bricks and mortar but also examine the socio-economic profile of the region, and look at what the local needs are and the causes that would most benefit from our support.

It was inspiring to hear from Mo Isap at the event, who discussed how school building projects can provide opportunities through inspiring local students and offering links to industry. We have worked with Star Academies in building new schools across the North West including in Blackburn and Rochdale, and we were immensely proud that those projects created opportunities for local students and businesses that provided a tangible boost to the two local economies.

It is crucial that young people feel empowered to take control of their fate and to forge the career that they want. While our focus is primarily construction, it would benefit the whole of the region if businesses from a variety of sectors pooled knowledge to help refine each other’s approach. While great work is being done in isolation, the impact would be a lot more powerful with a more joined up undertaking from different organisations that are operating in the same area – and private companies need the help of the public sector to help identify the areas in which we can most help.

In the coming years Wates is committed to fostering this approach, and we hope organisations from a range of sectors will join us.”

Paul Dodsworth, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction North West and North East

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