BAM’s newly constructed offices for Home Group in Newcastle City Centre has raised the bar for delivering social value

One Strawberry Lane, the new home for Home Group, one of the UK’s largest housing organisations, has returned a 44% social value score – up to three times the national average for a similar sized project.

Research last year by Social Value Portal and SCAPE show that the average social value scores for construction projects range between 13% - 25%, with the lower score correlating to larger developments.Home Group worked alongside BAM plus developers Ask Real Estate to draw up an agreed plan to ensure the project delivered to the highest standard.

In particular, the One Strawberry Lane project has delivered significantly against the local spend criteria. More than £16m has been reinvested within 30 miles of the project, with majority of the local spend supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Alongside the social value relating to the building itself, the delivery partners also set up a separate community benefits programme, with a pot of £150,000, comprising financial contributions, labour and volunteering hours, and donated materials. 

The headline figures from the development include:

  • 43% social value return
  • 7 community projects supported with a value of £150k through the Community Fund and donated volunteer hours and materials.
  • 77% local spend
  • 182 people engaged in industry workshops
  • 31 local unemployed people into work
  • 19 apprentices gained training on the project
  • Grassroots sports supported
  • Mental health and wellbeing initiatives for the workforce throughout

Kitson Keen, Director of Development at Home Group, said: “Delivering social value within procurement and project management across many sectors has improved significantly over recent years.“A major part of the One Strawberry Lane development was to ensure we provided the best possible social value return. Our focus on this has led to us to achieve this remarkable result and it is credit to my colleagues, and our partners Ask and Bam Construction.“We have now created a yardstick for ourselves, and it is challenging one, but one we are fully committed to working towards.”

John Hughes, managing director of Ask Real Estate added: “As Home Group’s chosen development partner we were keen to support their aspiration to deliver change for the local community from the very outset of the project. It has been fantastic to see such a wide number of local community groups benefit from, not only cash contributions, but from the expert help of our professional team and BAM’s skilled tradespeople. It really has set the benchmark for future projects of this kind.”