We seek to craft vibrant developments that are embraced by their neighbours as well as the people that come to live, work and/or socialise there. This involves active stakeholder engagement, job creation and economic growth, a focus on efficient design, the environment and sustainability and transport initiatives. Some recent examples include:
Doing things right extends to every aspect of our business and we both encourage and support our team to play a part in their communities whether this be at work or at home. The insight and experience gained by the team in participating in community activities, twinned with the expertise and enthusiasm they are able to contribute, makes this a doubly rewarding activity. For example, this year has seen James Scott, who serves as a non-executive of East Thames and chairs their property and development committee, be actively involved in their merger with L&Q to form one of UK’s largest and most dynamic housing associations. On average, Urban&Civic’s staff collectively spend 53 days per year on non-Group community-focused activities.
Our developments, large or small, become part of their communities. From the outset, we work hard to ensure that local people and stakeholders see these projects as playing a positive part in the life of the world around them. This can take many forms, from opening a site up to community uses, such as we’ve done at Waterbeach and Alconbury, to leveraging the skills and contacts within the Feethams team, as well as involving the community around a development to support projects in need of funding.
We believe that a sense of community is not just limited to the local level but that our business, our team and our projects should play a part nationally.
In addition to participating in conferences, workshops and industry bodies, we have also supported a series of regional and governmental projects which focus on our shared principles such as housing delivery, jobs and skills, quality of placemaking and delivery of infrastructure.
Most recently, we hosted a Garden Village conference in the central hall of Alconbury’s primary school to which all 51 local authorities pitching for Garden Village status were invited by the Homes and Communities Agency. Attended by the Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, and Lord Matthew Taylor, this was a fascinating event that set out clearly the government’s ambition to deliver homes in quality places. Tim Leathes, standing alongside Huntingdonshire District Council’s Andy Moffat, jointly presented the way in which Alconbury had evolved from local pariah, before we acquired the site, to the development that you can see today and our team then guided a series of tours around the site sharing best practice.
Case study – WATERBEACH toddler playgroup
The Barracks was the perfect setting and the Urban&Civic team’s help before, during and after the event was invaluable.Download case study PDF
Whilst Urban&Civic’s charitable donations continue to be aligned with its business strategy, staff are also encouraged to contribute their time to charitable activity. This year has seen more cycling with Matt Croft cycling from London to Paris to raise money for Cerebral Palsy Awareness and Richard Hepworth undertaking various challenges on his bike to raise money for St Teresa’s Hospice in Darlington, of which he is also a trustee and vice chairman. Maria Brennan eschewed the bicycle, walking 100km from Richmond Deer Park to Brighton Race Course in 36 continuous hours to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Both business and staff supported our colleague’s endeavours and we are immensely proud of their achievements.