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UGC ensures added value delivers for local community through VINCI Building appointment

Solihull’s Urban Growth Company is working with VINCI Building to promote a social inclusion programme to help deliver real change for communities around the £3.2 billion Arden Cross site.

Solihull’s Urban Growth Company (UGC) is working with VINCI Building to promote a social inclusion programme to help deliver real change for communities around the £3.2 billion Arden Cross site.

VINCI Building is the design and build contractor for the new Multi Storey Car Park (MSCP) for the HS2 Interchange station at Arden Cross.  It is an integral part of the UK Central Hub – an initiative that will support and protect 70,000 jobs, 8,000 new homes and a raft of infrastructure improvements right across Solihull.

VINCI and its supply chain has already delivered an impressive £2,932,958.70 of social value across the project, as measured by the Social Value Portal, and will be working to deliver more as work on the car park progresses.

Relevant outcomes from VINCI and their contractors so far include 10 new jobs created for local employees, and 38% of total full-time employees recruited from the local area.

VINCI and its contractors’ staff have performed an on-going programme of outreach work that includes engagement with 100 students from nearby Arden Academy (a secondary school in Solihull) and running workshops with local students around the subjects of architecture, commercial and engineering.

Workshops have also been undertaken at other secondary schools, namely Nishkam High School in central Birmingham, Tile Cross Academy in East Birmingham and Tudor Grange Kingshurst Academy in North Solihull.

The UGC wants to ensure the contract awarded to VINCI is leveraged to deliver the most impact it can for communities in and around the UK Central Hub, including educational and training pathways.

By working in partnership with the local community, VINCI is making a difference in neighbourhoods by employing local people, including trainees and apprentices. This helps ensure the socio-economic impact of its work is felt precisely where it can have most impact and within communities who will most benefit from the economic uptick of the wider development and its job creating potential.

Jonathan Bretherton, managing director of the Urban Growth Company, said: ‘VINCI is the perfect partner to bring the plans for the MSCP forward for the benefit of our existing communities as well as the new communities being created as part of the wider UK Central Hub.

‘Their ability to engage with the local community and carry out a wide range of outreach work with local schools, colleges and their students, helps us to inspire students to join the construction, infrastructure and development sectors and also to drive interest in STEM subjects.

‘This holistic approach will bring benefits sooner for local people and create jobs and opportunities for the parts of Solihull and Birmingham that will benefit most from them. VINCI’s ability to measure and record the difference its work is making to both individuals and communities is invaluable.’

VINCI believes passionately in a world where a broader definition of value will change decision making and ultimately decrease social and economic inequality and environmental degradation.

And in a world where the built environment accounts for up to 40% of carbon emissions, this framework is being rolled out to help maximise the environmental as well as social value of its work.

Scott Marsh, Project Director at VINCI Building, said:The most important part of any project is not the numbers at the end; but what is done in the first place with local communities and how designs affect efforts to create long term social impact.

‘Through ourselves and our contractors and partners, we are reaching out to people across the region and specifically in the North Solihull and East Birmingham area to find motivated workers as well as trainees and apprentices.

‘Crucially, the MSCP project itself frees up an additional 30 hectares of land for job creating development opportunities for the benefit of local people, and the design of the building itself is future proofed with e-charging and facilities for autonomous vehicles.’

Along with all private contractors involved in Arden Cross and the UK Central Hub, VINCI fully embraces its role as a private sector partner working in the public interest.

The announcement of VINCI Building as the main contractor at the 4,000 space MSCP earlier in 2022 was followed by the award of planning permission by Solihull Council in November.

The car park is part of plans to create a world-class opportunity for new homes and jobs at Arden Cross, alongside the new Interchange station and just minutes from the existing Birmingham International station and airport. The proposals also take account of current and emerging requirements relating to electric vehicle charging, as well as future connected-autonomous vehicles.

Located at the 140-hectare, 346-acre Arden Cross development adjacent to the M42, NEC and Birmingham Airport, the UGC’s plans consolidate previous HS2 proposals for 7,500 surface car parking spaces associated with the Interchange station.

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