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Local spend delivering valuable community benefits in Newham

Development partnership, The English Cities Fund (ECF), has revealed figures detailing the significant positive impact it is making in Canning Town at the new Manor Road Quarter.

Work on the new residential neighbourhood has been progressing for just over a year in the London Borough of Newham. Once complete, it will bring 804 much-needed homes to Canning Town, with 402 (50%) available as affordable homes, along with a major, two-acre park and cycle lanes.

In the first 12 months, ECF’s main contractor, Morgan Sindall Construction, has prioritised using local firms for building materials and equipment hire where possible, while at the same time creating opportunities for employment, apprenticeships, training and mentoring in the area.

The spend in the local community has been dominated by construction materials, particularly ready-mix concrete, but value has also been generated by the 300 site workers visiting local cafes and shops in Canning Town. Due to this, almost £400,000 has been spent with local businesses during the first year of construction. In addition, £2.7m has been spent with a local concrete supplier.

The project team has worked closely with Newham Council’s local employment brokerage Our Newham Work, to meet its demands from local resources. Here, construction at Manor Road Quarter has created 125 new full-time roles on the project, with 65 coming directly from Newham. For many of these local employees, Manor Road Quarter has introduced them to the construction sector, with 27 apprentices, 13 work experience placements and three graduates helping create the new place.

On behalf of the Manor Road Quarter partnership, Morgan Sindall has also taken part in eight events at local colleges, to give students a look into the world of regeneration and construction. To date, over 1,300 students have been reached for careers talks or supporting careers advice days. Activities have also included a bricklaying workshop on site for 20 pupils from a local Newham school.

Elizabeth Wright, senior development manager at ECF, said: “The project team has developed fantastic links with the local community and together we’re making a tangible difference in terms of training, skills, mentoring with the community in Canning Town. The local spend figures are also having a positive impact and we will continue to explore ways we can make sure our regeneration delivers on our aspiration to be an exemplar in terms of social value

“As a business and a partnership, we’re committed to delivering brighter, happier and kinder places through the work we do, but also by providing opportunities for all in communities too. Our collective work here at the Manor Road Quarter is a prime example of our approach and we look forward to bringing more opportunities as we progress.”

Richard Dobson, area director at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “The range of socially-driven programmes and our focus on local spend is playing a key role in supporting a diverse workforce and making the industry welcoming to under-represented groups.

“We are continuing to look for more local community groups to engage with, as we want to create social value where it is most needed for the Newham community. Previously, we have delivered educational talks, work experience, volunteered and tours, however we are open-minded in collaborating to deliver the most effective output.”

ECF and Morgan Sindall Construction have also engaged with New Life Wood, which is part of the National Community Wood Recycling. The Manor Road Quarter team has donated excess timber to be repurposed into new products, which are now being donated to local homeless charity Caritas Anchor House to develop its outside area. The project team have also donated two olive trees to the space.

Other community programmes the Manor Road team have contributed to include Community Links, Community Food Enterprise, SR Partnerships, London Design Engineering UTC, Newham College and The Lighthouse Club, BounceBack, Women into Construction, 15Billion EBP.

ECF is a strategic partnership between nationwide placemaker, Muse, Legal & General and Homes England. Since 2001, ECF has been transforming places across England to benefit communities. In 2022, the partnership extended its life until December 2036.