Wates Residential have provided a boost to the Flintshire economy by hosting a Meet the Buyer event as part of a council initiative that saw over 50 local businesses invited to join a major construction supply chain and help deliver a number of new homes across the county.
The event formed part of Wates’ partnership with Flintshire County Council (FCC) to deliver the Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP), which will provide 500 much needed new homes across the county by 2020.
To support the completion of this work, Wates invited local construction trade contractors to meet the project team to discuss the opportunities available through SHARP.
The day’s activities also allowed the people of Flintshire to find out about the employment opportunities available on SHARP, with Wates currently recruiting for both its apprentice programme and work experience placements. 35 locals spoke to Wates and FCC staff about the variety of roles on offer throughout Flintshire, with several jobseekers finding employment as part of Wates’ growing North Wales workforce during the event.
The event underpins Wates’ commitment to ensuring its presence in Flintshire benefits the wider Welsh economy through working with the council to procure the services of micro-businesses and SMEs. To date, £4.4m has been spent with local SMEs, and £20,000 with social enterprises.
Wates’ previous work in helping locals find employment has included holding its Building Futures course, which is designed to enable jobseekers to get back into work. To date, two courses have been held in conjunction with FCC and the Welsh Government’s ‘LIFT’ initiative. The second was held as result of the resounding success of the first, which saw eight of the eleven participants secure full time work.
Since the first project started on site in May 2016, SHARP has produced £8.9m in economic, environmental and social value. This achievement was recently recognised at the Welsh Housing Awards 2017, with Wates winning the Community Focused Contractor prize.
The latest milestones on SHARP include the completion of 10 new homes at Heol y Goron and St Mark’s Court in Connah’s Quay, with the latter recently shortlisted for a National Site Award by the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
Michael Holling, Operations Director, Wates Residential, said:
“Since we began working on SHARP we’ve been determined to ensure local people and companies feel the full benefit of the programme’s significant undertaking.
We were really happy to see such a strong turn out for this event, and look forward to seeing many of the individuals and firms on site in the coming months as this landmark project continues to revolutionise Flintshire’s housing offer.”
Councillor Bernie Attridge, Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, commented:
“SHARP is about much more than building quality council houses and affordable homes. It is also about creating jobs and boosting local businesses.
SHARP’s progress has seen work recently complete on five new council homes at St. Mark’s Court, off St. Mark’s Avenue, Connah’s Quay. Other completed elements of the programme include a further 12 properties at Connah’s Quay, the first new council houses to be built in Wales in over 20 years.”