Success of Alexander Stadium redevelopment highlighted in new report

The lead contractor behind the redevelopment of Birmingham’s iconic Alexander Stadium is reflecting on the success of the project and the wide range of community benefits it brought to the local area.

McLaughlin & Harvey has detailed the outcomes of its social value programme which was implemented over the course of the redevelopment in a report published today (17 August 2022), including impressive local job creation figures, ethical procurement, and a range of community partnerships. 

A total of 370 jobs were created and sustained throughout the redevelopment of the stadium over the last two years, as well as a total of 35 apprenticeships, work placements and internships, and 756 weeks’ worth of vocational training. 

58 per cent of employment was created for those living within 30 miles of the site, and an impressive 334 members of the workforce were upskilled throughout the course of the project. 

91 community and education groups and over 600 school pupils have been engaged throughout the redevelopment, and £80,000 of community investment, both financial and in-kind, was achieved. 

McLaughlin & Harvey recently won the Inspiring Change in the Community Project Award for their Employment & Education Academy initiative on the project, which addressed the employment and skills gap by removing inequalities and barriers in employment and education. 

Judges at the Inspiring Change Conference & Awards, organised by CECA, praised the contractor for their outreach to local ‘hard to reach’ community groups, which ultimately led to 48 new entrants to the industry, including 26 long-term unemployed.

Ethical procurement and working with local suppliers was also key to McLaughlin & Harvey’s social value programme. 50 per cent of project spend was with local businesses and in total the social value programme generated £21.5m of local economic value.

Martin Keys, Operations Director at McLaughlin & Harvey, said: “The greatest challenge faced was ensuring the project ran to time and budget. This was achieved amidst a world health pandemic and a global shipping crisis – to name a few – thanks to the collaboration, engagement and one-team approach from all partners involved.

“Alongside this excellent achievement, today’s report also highlights the real benefit we have brought to local communities here in Birmingham, both engaging with young people and hard-to-reach groups, encouraging them into work and bringing a lasting legacy to the area, which as a business, we are very proud of.”

The £72.4m stadium redevelopment project was part-funded by West Midlands Combined Authority (£25m) and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (£20m), with Birmingham City Council providing the remainder of the funding.

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Anyone who visits the venue knows what an amazing job our contractors have done on the redevelopment of the Alexander Stadium – which is now the undisputed premier athletics facility in the country.

“But the community story is just as impressive. McLaughlin & Harvey told us they would be good neighbours and project partners and they backed up their words with a really impressive programme of community engagement and support for grassroots projects not only in Perry Barr, but right across the city.

“They’ve set a standard for other firms working on projects for the council to meet.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “We invested in the stadium redevelopment because we knew that it would provide a world class sporting facility for the region and enhance our reputation on the global stage. Anyone can see the contractors have certainly delivered on that.

“This project also creates a social legacy as we can see with hundreds of quality construction jobs and training opportunities created and supported through the pandemic and engagement with the community including local school children who will be inspired by their experiences for years to come.”

Anita Bhalla, Interim Chair, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), said: “After successfully completing the redevelopment of Alexander Stadium on time and on budget, this latest report highlights how McLaughlin and Harvey also managed to deliver a wide-ranging and impactful community engagement programme. 

“Increasingly, social value is at the heart of how we measure our GBSLEP investments like the £20 million that went into this City Council project.  We recognise how critical it is that local people feel the benefits of the major developments that are happening on their doorstop. This contributes to driving inclusive and sustainable economic growth across our region and for all our communities.”

The report can be viewed on the McLaughlin & Harvey website.

About the report

The Alexander Stadium redevelopment project was guided by the Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility (BBC4CSR) to ensure appropriate themes, outcomes and measures were used to enable the Council to achieve social value. The charter has 6 main themes that the social value report measures against:

  • Theme: Local Employment BBC4SR accredited organisations will create employment and training opportunities for local people especially in target areas.
  • Theme: Buy Local BBC4SR accredited organisations will take account of the social, environmental and economic impacts of buying locally when commissioning and contracting, thereby reducing unemployment and raising the skill level of the local workforce.
  • Theme – Good Employer BBC4SRaccredited organisations will support staff development and welfare within their own organisation and within their supply chain.
  • Theme: Ethical Procurement BBC4SR accredited organisations will commit to the highest ethical standards in their own operations and those within their supply chain
  • Theme: Partners in Communities BBC4SR accredited organisations will play an active role in the local community and support organisations, especially in those areas and communities with the greatest need.
  • Theme: Green and Sustainable BBC4SR accredited organisations will commit to protecting the environment, minimising waste and energy consumption, using resources efficiently and contributing towards Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone. These commitments will also apply to their supply chain.

Source (https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/downloads/file/11223/charter_policy)

About McLaughlin & Harvey

McLaughlin & Harvey is a privately owned construction and civil engineering business with 169 years of experience. The company employees over 800 people and operates throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, delivering high quality construction, fit-out, civil engineering, and facilities management projects in multiple sectors. For more information, go to www.mclh.co.uk.

About WMCA

Led by the Mayor of the West Midlands, the WMCA brings together 18 local councils and three Local Enterprise Partnerships to oversee the transfer of powers and funding from Whitehall to the West Midlands.

The WMCA is putting these new powers from government back where they belong, in local hands, bringing the region together to build a healthier, happier, better connected and more prosperous West Midlands.

Billions of pounds are being invested by the WMCA to improve the region’s transport network, transform its derelict industrial land into new homes and workplaces, support existing businesses and help grow the innovative, green industries of the future.

At the heart of this vision is a strong economy that is both green and inclusive, one that supports the region’s ambition to be net zero carbon by 2041 and offers everyone the opportunity of a good quality, affordable home and the skills needed for a worthwhile job.

About GBSLEP

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) is a partnership of local councils, businesses and further and higher education institutions. Its mission is to drive sustainable inclusive economic growth across the city-region, creating jobs and improving the quality of life for everyone.

The GBSLEP area spans nine local authority areas: Birmingham, Solihull, East Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Tamworth, Redditch, Bromsgrove and Wyre Forest. It is home to over two million people and an estimated 1.1 million jobs.

Using business-led intelligence, GBSLEP implements policy and evidence-driven interventions. It leads on growing priority sectors, funding large capital projects and providing business support including skills, through the GBSLEP Growth Hub.

The GBSLEP Growth Hub is part of a government backed network of 38 hubs in England. It is part-funded, managed and led by GBSLEP. It supports small and medium sized businesses at all stages of their journey with a broad range of services, from expert one-to-one business support to events, specialist programmes, funding, access to finance and peer to peer programmes.

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