Wates Residential, one of the UK’s leading developers, and Flintshire County Council are using their delivery of the Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP) to significantly boost the county’s employment and training offer.
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.
A key contributor to the programme’s success in the community has been Building Futures, Wates’ programme to enable jobseekers to get back into work. To date, two courses have been held in conjunction with Communities First and the Welsh Government’s ‘LIFT’ initiative. The second course was held as result of the resounding success of the first, which saw eight of the eleven participants secure full time work.
Wates has also ensured 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.
Jo Jamieson, Managing Director, Wates Residential North, commented:
“Our work with Flintshire County Council over the past two years has not only provided urgently-needed regeneration, but also a huge boost for the local economy and a great number of training and employment opportunities for local people. The recognition from the Welsh Housing Awards is testament to our joint commitment to making a lasting contribution to the local area, and we look forward to developing more valuable initiatives and opportunities for the people of Flintshire as SHARP continues.”
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Councillor Derek Butler, said:
“Being able to run training courses like this and have such great support from our partners and contractors is vital for Flintshire County Council if we want to continue to build more houses. We need to train our local people so that they can take advantage of local employment opportunities. I’m delighted that these Building Futures courses in Flintshire have been such a success and I look forward to us being able to deliver more courses like this in the future.”
Wates was appointed by the council in 2015 as a strategic partner on SHARP, with the two organisations working together to deliver 500 much-needed new homes across the county by 2020. Work has recently been completed 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.