The council has been determined that its construction and ongoing management will also deliver ‘social value’ for Sandwell and the wider region which will leave a lasting legacy for its people. The council has sought to award work to suppliers who not only provide the best economic value but also secure wider benefits for the community including opportunities in skills and employment.
The council made it a priority to ensure community benefit clauses were clearly written into its contract with main construction contractor Wates Construction to ensure the Sandwell Aquatics Centre development brings lasting jobs, skills, local regeneration and business growth to Sandwell.
Since the beginning of the development, Wates Construction has appointed up to four apprentices and trainees who are local to Sandwell via sub-contractors Metclad and Morrisroe, to work across various areas in construction from management, ground work, scaffolding, while also working towards gaining a qualification.
The development of Sandwell Aquatics Centre is also helping to build skills for the future, enabling employees and apprentices to gain experience working on such a large, high-profile project.
Councillor Maria Crompton, Deputy Leader for Sandwell Council, said: “When appointing our contractors to build this world-class Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick, we have ensured that social value is woven into the very fabric of this project so we can make sure our community will benefit from the new centre by being part of the construction of this amazing facility.”
Councillor Rajbir Singh, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for skills and employment, added: “I am pleased that this centre has opened up opportunities for local people to gain work as apprentices and trainees and will be part of constructing this centre of excellence, which will benefit the local community and the wider region and will leave behind a legacy for many years.”
John Carlin, managing director for Wates Construction in the Midlands, said: “Sandwell Aquatics Centre will be a Midlands landmark for years to come. We believe it is so important that young people play a part in its construction and have invested in nurturing and developing local talent.
“Our apprentices are in integral part of this highly complex, technical build’s success and when speaking to them, it’s clear just how proud they are of this project and of their region.
“The experience gained at Sandwell will help them hugely as they progress their careers and adds to the positive ripple effect that this project is having on the wider community.”