Wates Residential has invested over £12.9 million in the Gosport economy in just one year through its work at Daedalus Village in Lee-on-the-Solent.
The project will dramatically increase the number of new homes available in Gosport, with 120 private homes and 80 affordable homes being built on the site of the former seaplane base.
Work started in November 2018 after Homes England – the Government’s housing delivery agency – chose Wates Residential as its trusted delivery partner. The site is designed to enable fast-track building on publicly owned land, with the homes being built at double the pace of the industry standard.
Wates Residential pledged to leave a positive legacy for the local community from the outset, employing local supply chain partners, creating training and employment opportunities, and investing in local charitable organisations and community groups.
A report summarising the impact of the Daedalus Village development on the local area over the last 12 months highlights that Wates Residential has:
- Donated over £68,000 to support local causes including Lee Rangers Football Club, Age Concern Gosport, and Gosport Voluntary Action
- Spent over £12.9m with local businesses in and around Gosport
- Recruited a workforce made up of 35% local people
- Invested 2,634 hours in supporting people through training and employment initiatives
- Invested the equivalent of £207,000 into training local people
One of the unique training and employment initiatives that Wates Residential has brought to Gosport is its Building Futures programme, which helps unemployed adults gain valuable practical experience and employability coaching to reinvigorate their career prospects. Two courses have been successfully delivered in Gosport. Most recently in June 2019, 14 students graduated from the course after learning carpentry, maintenance, planning and health and safety at the Silver Trowel Centre in Lee-on-the-Solent. The students also took part in mock interviews with local employment agencies and eight were offered jobs.
Grant completed the course in June 2018. Commenting on his experience, he said:
“The Building Futures course changed my world and has helped me kick start my career. I was unemployed and claiming an employment support allowance. I also suffered low level mental health issues. Now I am back in the world of work, earning money and being able to live again. Thank you to everyone who supported me to get to here, if it hadn’t been for this opportunity I would probably be homeless.”
The developer also successfully applied to Wates Giving, the charitable arm of the Wates Family Enterprise Trust, for grants to support two community projects. A grant of £13,500 was granted in support of Age Concern Gosport – a small, independent community-based charity offering a friendly information service staffed by local volunteers to aid older people (55+). This has enabled the service to engage with over 300 people to date in 2019. A further grant of £4,828 was also awarded to Gosport Voluntary Action (GVA) to enable it to continue running its Supported Volunteering Project for isolated individuals.
Paul Nicholls, Managing Director from Wates Residential, said:
“Wates Residential builds homes, but our work is about so much more than that. We believe that everyone deserves a great place to live and are committed to leaving a positive legacy for the local communities where we work by hiring local staff, volunteering and donating to good causes.
It has been fantastic to work at the historic Daedalus site and we are pleased to have been able to support the local community through our presence. We look forward to continuing to make a positive impact as we move towards completion of 200 new homes on the site over the next 12 months.”
Angela Gill from Age Concern Gosport, commented:
“Age Concern Gosport is really grateful that Wates Giving is enabling us to reach out to local organisations and residents alike that we otherwise would be unable to. Last year Age Concern Gosport provided over 300 local older people with support and information – with 1,000 volunteer hours delivered by our small team of dedicated volunteers. Our free form-filling support service also enabled an amazing £340,000 of benefits per annum to be secured for Gosport’s older people. This will enable us to make even more of a difference to Gosport’s older people over the coming year and for that we are truly grateful.”