Wates Residential, the developer set to build 1,500 new homes under the flagship Cardiff Living programme, has pledged its support for local social enterprises (SE) as it looks to help grow the city’s SE sector.
The commitment comes as the developer appoints local social enterprise, Merthyr Tydfil Institute for the Blind (MTIB), which is set to work with paint recycling company, Paint360, to decorate the site hoardings across the Cardiff Living developments.
Including SEs within its supply chain forms part of Wates Residential’s Cardiff Living partnership with Cardiff Council, through which 1,500 new homes will be built across 40 sites over ten years.
The appointment of MTIB closely follows Wates’ ‘Seeing is Believing’ social enterprise event in Cardiff, which was designed to demonstrate the difference SEs make to the lives of local people.
Held in partnership with SE experts, iSE, the event introduced delegates to a range of social enterprises working across Cardiff, including Greenstream Flooring CIC, Vision 21 and GR Cleaning Services.
The best practice event was hosted at SE venue, the Beacon Centre, and gave delegates the chance to hear about the social value created by SEs, including the training and employment opportunities they create for vulnerable members of society.
Paul Nicholls, Regional Managing Director of Wates Residential, commented:
“In May this year, Wates launched a study into the impact of its relationship with social enterprises*, which found that for every £1 spent with SEs, £1.77 of social value was created. Using our projects to create opportunities for our neighbours is a huge focus for us and our work with social enterprises is a vital means of ensuring that this support also reaches some of the most vulnerable members of the community.
“Wates has made a pledge to spend £20m with social enterprises across the UK by 2020 and our ten-year partnership with Cardiff Council will therefore see a significant spend with SEs across the city.”
Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said:
“As well as providing much needed housing to help us tackle growing demand in the city, the Cardiff Living programme will also deliver real community benefits including employment and training opportunities and it’s good to have Merthyr Tydfil Institute for the Blind on board to deliver the site hoardings for these exciting developments.”
The Welsh Government played a key role in facilitating discussions between the various different parties. The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said:
“I was pleased the Welsh Government was pivotal in bringing together all parties involved in this innovative project. It is encouraging to see the collaboration that has subsequently taken place.
“Here in Wales we are committed to moving towards a circular economy – an approach that encourages keeping resources in circulation instead of being burned or ending their life in a landfill. We want to see more enterprises adopting a circular economy approach. Through the use of recycled paint this is an excellent example of the circular economy in action.”
Richard Welfoot CEO at MTIB, said:
“We at MTIB are delighted to be included in Wates’ supply chain to provide painted hoardings using recycled paint from Wales through our collaboration with Paint360. Our disabled employees are busy producing the first of hopefully many orders that will help sustain and secure their employment.
“Cardiff Living and Wates’ initiative to proactively engage with SEs is a breath of fresh air to the sector, which is suffering under the climate of government cuts in funding. The initiative will also help deliver important aspects of the Welsh Government’s Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015, so we look forward to developing further opportunities within Wates’ supply chains in the near future.”
Designed to tackle growing demand for affordable housing, Cardiff Living will provide mixed-tenure housing developments across the city. These will comprise 600 council homes, which will be available for rent or assisted home ownership in addition to 900 homes for sale on the open market.
Five Cardiff sites have so far received planning approval, including 192 homes at Willowbrook West in St Mellons, eight homes in Old St Mellons, 31 homes in Llanrumney and 16 homes in Llanishen.
Work at the fifth site, located at Braunton Crescent and Clevedon Road in Llanrumney, is currently underway and will include more than 100 new homes, scheduled for completion in 2018.
*Impact Evaluation of Wates’ Relationship with Social Enterprises