Leading North East contractor, Wates Construction, in partnership with Gateshead Council, has launched a major drive to grow its supply chain across the region to support the delivery of two of Gateshead Council’s new development projects.
Over 70 suppliers and subcontractors attended a Meet the Buyer event, which gave local businesses the chance to register to become part of the project teams for the new Gibside School and the redevelopment of the former Clasper Village estate.
The event marked Wates and the council entering into pre-construction services agreements for the two projects. Both have been procured via Major Works UK, a part of the Scape National Construction framework, for which Wates was awarded sole contractor in 2017.
Building work at the new Gibside School in Saltwell will see Wates create a bespoke Special Educational Needs learning centre to accommodate 170 pupils with profound learning difficulties and complex communication and medical needs.
Located on the Shipcote Playing Field on Avenue Road, the new single-storey school building will cater for Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils aged from three to 11 years. The school has been designed by Gateshead Council and will feature secure external play facilities, a sensory courtyard and a hydrotherapy treatment pool.
Alongside its delivery of the new school, Wates is also preparing to commence work to build a major new development of 191 new homes on the site of the former 1960s Clasper Village estate. Proposals are being discussed between the Council and Wates to look at ways of accelerating construction of the Council’s development following the award of £1.8m from Homes England.
The new housing development will comprise 29 different housing styles and will include 44 two-, 69 three- and 30 four-bedroom houses as well as 42 two-bedroom apartments across the 16-acre site.
Of the new homes, 162 will be available on the open market through Gateshead Council’s Beacon Living brand. An additional 29 homes, comprising five houses and 24 apartments, will be available for affordable rent with a social landlord. The proposals will be submitted to the Council for approval in the summer.
Paul Dodsworth, Managing Director, Wates Construction North, said:
“Engaging local supply chain partners is a fundamental part of Wates’ expanding presence in the North East, through which we are fully committed to boosting the local economy and job market.
We’re very proud to be working with Gateshead Council at Gibside School and Clasper Village, both of which will serve the local community and respond to specialist education and housing needs.”
Cllr John Adams, Cabinet Member for the Economy at Gateshead Council, said:
“We’re committed to making Gateshead a place where everyone thrives. Over the next 20 years we will continue to transform the borough which includes building 9000 new homes and a £250m arena, conference and exhibition centre at Gateshead Quays. A key part of that is to ensure that local businesses have the opportunity to benefit from the development that’s taking place.”
Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive commented:
“The success of the Gateshead Meet the Buyer event is a testament to the commitment of Wates Group and Gateshead Council to keep the pound local. Our frameworks are designed to deliver significant levels of local economic engagement which is vital to Gateshead Council, its residents, and the success of these important developments in both housing and education.”
Work on both Gibside School and the former Clasper Village is expected to commence later this year.
Wates’ presence in the North East also recently included its appointment to build Teesside University’s new £21.4m Cornell Quarter, which closely followed the contractor’s completion of the pioneering National Horizons Centre at Darlington’s Central Park.