Wates urges businesses to ramp up engagement with Birmingham social enterprises | Wates

Wates urges businesses to ramp up engagement with Birmingham social enterprises

Wates Living Space Maintenance is making a fresh call for businesses to increase investment in Birmingham-based social enterprises (SEs) as the number registered in the city rises to over 100*. The call to action comes after Wates Living Space Maintenance…

Wates Living Space Maintenance is making a fresh call for businesses to increase investment in Birmingham-based social enterprises (SEs) as the number registered in the city rises to over 100*.

The call to action comes after Wates Living Space Maintenance and locally-based social enterprise development organisation, iSE, held a ‘Seeing is Believing’ tour to promote a range of SEs and the social value that they deliver for the city.

The event builds upon Wates Living Space Maintenance’s presence in the city, which has recently seen the company’s appointment by Birmingham City Council to deliver a repairs and maintenance contract in west central and east Birmingham. The four-year programme will see the business maintain over 31,000 properties and will be managed by a taskforce of over 260 operatives.

This scheme forms part of the council’s repairs and maintenance service, which is set to see savings of up to £13m over the next four years and is one of Europe’s largest social housing maintenance schemes.

A number of Birmingham-based SEs took part in the ‘Seeing is Believing’ event, including Health Exchange CIC, Welcome Change CIC, Upcycle Birmingham, Changes UK, Community Transport Group and Aidem Digital.

The event, which took place on Wednesday 7 September, was attended by delegates from the region’s key public sector bodies and commenced in the city’s Social Enterprise Quarter in Digbeth, where there are over 50 registered SEs.

Sarah Crawley, CEO at iSE, commented: “Business investment in social enterprises is vital to the continued growth of the local economy, and companies such as Wates Living Space Maintenance actively work to increase their engagement with the sector to create a host of employment opportunities for the city.

“Our ‘Seeing is Believing’ tour was a resounding success and we will continue to channel our efforts towards raising the profile of Birmingham-based social enterprises for years to come.”

Wates’ efforts to integrate SEs into its nationwide supply chain has so far seen the business trade over £7.5m with SEs across the country, alongside a company pledge to invest £20m in the sector by 2020.

* Initiative for Social Entrepreneurs (iSE)

“Since our appointment to deliver the council’s repairs and maintenance contract in west central and east Birmingham, we have strengthened our commitment to engage with local social enterprises whilst simultaneously building upon our partnership with the council. Social enterprises are the lifeblood of local economic growth and regeneration. As a leading maintenance provider, we understand the importance of supporting this diverse sector and will continue to encourage other businesses to increase their engagement with social enterprises to ensure a tangible economic benefit is brought to the city.”

Stewart Reid, Business Director at Wates Living Space Maintenance