Company also commits to spending a minimum of £250k with the sector in 2019 from its Bedfordshire base.
Wates Construction is continuing its nationwide drive to grow the SE sector after investing more than £420k in SE companies from its Luton base in 2018.
Its successful efforts to engage local businesses with a social purpose in Bedfordshire and beyond over the past year have seen the contractor set a new minimum regional spend target of £250k for 2019 – an increase of 66% on the previous year’s goal.
Across the UK, Wates spent a total of £5.4m with social enterprises last year, significantly exceeding the Group’s national target of £3.5m. The company has committed to spending over £20m with social enterprises by 2020.
Research commissioned by Wates revealed that expenditure with social enterprises generates 77% more social value – or £1.77 for every £1 spent – than when procuring services from commercial businesses.
Activities at the company’s Luton office in 2018 include appointing six SE businesses as part of the supply chain for Wates Construction’s delivery of Chiltern Academy in Luton. In addition, its construction of the new building at HMP Stocken for the Ministry of Justice saw Wates spend more than £100k with the sector.
Ian Vickers, Managing Director, Wates Construction Home Counties, commented: “As a private, family-owned business, at Wates we hold ourselves to extremely high standards when it comes to sustainability. We work hard to tackle social problems by supporting young people, providing training and employment opportunities and trading with the social enterprise sector. This is evidenced by the investment we made in social businesses from our Luton office alone – and is further underpinned by our intention to spend even more with the sector in 2019. These businesses provide valuable goods and services while also contributing to the UK economy and ensuring a positive impact upon wider society; it is wholly prudent to partner with SES as part of our supply chain and we will continue to do so as often as we can.”