The Economic capital relates to the long-term viability of our organisation and the Strategic Sites we retain and operate.
Why do we pursue inclusive prosperity?
We are experiencing a momentous shift in societal expectations of business, with organisations required to demonstrate their contribution to wider society and multiple stakeholders, not just shareholders.
This concept of “shared value” is particularly appropriate in view of Urban&Civic’s purpose to create sustainable and community focused places through the disruption of standard approaches to large-scale housing delivery. By building lasting partnerships and leveraging investments, we aim to create a positive economic impact for our communities, both during development and in use.
What is the journey?
To achieve this objective, we have identified three action areas to provide a strategic focus for our efforts and commitments: first, to ensure that all contractors directly employed by Urban&Civic are paid the Real Living Wage and are engaged in line with our Ethical Labour Policy; second, to work towards economic inclusion by prioritising local suppliers and third, to promote innovation and entrepreneurship both within our business and as part of the project delivery process.
Good quality employment
Driving prosperity for us means improving the welfare of all people with whom we interact. We are committed to generating good quality, long-term jobs for people living in our local areas, providing real opportunities to increase skills and stability. Our supply chain is critical to achieve this.
- All contractors directly employed by Urban&Civic and housebuilders employed under licence paid the Real Living Wage as contracted in accordance with Urban&Civic’s Ethical Labour Policy.
In 2020/21, 93% of contractors we directly employed were engaged in accordance with our Ethical Labour Policy (ELP), which includes a requirement and positive declaration to pay the Real Living Wage. The contracts for the remaining 7% did not include the Urban&Civic ELP because it hadn’t been drafted in its current form at the time the contracts were entered into.
Graph recording the percentage of contractors directly employed by Urban&Civic, employed in accordance with our Ethical Labour Policy and making positive declarations to paying the Real Living Wage.
In line with “shared value” approaches, we intend to actively incorporate local businesses into the Urban&Civic family by procuring businesses near to our sites. We have taken this step for many years and are keen to formalise it in our Framework, aware of the many advantages it brings about. Local procurement can reduce transport related carbon emissions and improve the health and wellbeing of those employed by nearby suppliers thanks to shorter commuting times. It is also highly beneficial when we consider the long-term economic impacts of our development sites in the context of the location where they exist.
- At least 80% of the total value of direct contracts is placed with principal contractors whose offices are within 25 miles of the site.
Our target is challenging so we recognise it was a good achievement to get to 63% in 2020/21. Although specialist labour and contractors may not always be available to a scheme “locally”, the benefits are clear for the communities we are operating in.
Economic inclusion: Innovation and entrepreneurship
Promotion of local economic growth
Nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship, both within our business and when working in the communities we are developing, is essential for us to play our part in promoting local economic growth. It is people’s ideas that fuel innovation, so fostering a culture of creativity, as well as sharing information, celebrating innovative solutions and highlighting lessons learnt, is key.
We have defined six initiatives to help our sites in meeting our 2025 target, including providing pop-up/permanent space, contracts and opportunities, business awards/sponsorship, seminars and workshops, being part of local business groups and forums, and marketing and promotional support.
- All strategic land sites in delivery actively promote local businesses and start-ups to help cultivate entrepreneurship and economic growth, and annually publish initiatives together with key learnings.
An average of between three and four initiatives which actively promote local businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurship and economic growth have been implemented across our
strategic land sites. This is on track to meet the 2025 target.
Graph showing the sites which collectively utilise Urban&Civic’s six initiatives to actively promote local businesses and start-ups to help cultivate local entrepreneurship and economic growth.
New district centre for Priors Hall Park
2021 saw a series of major additions to Priors Hall Park’s amenities with the opening of a new District Centre, providing the community with everything they could need just a short walk away.Read more
First impressions; early engagement and partnerships at Manydown
Over the last twelve months Urban&Civic team members have attended numerous parish council and community group meetings, either virtually or physically where circumstances allowed, to introduce the partnership and discuss the issues that are important to neighbouring communities.Read more
Over 70 families at Middlebeck received a free Christmas wreath during 2020 for families to enjoy and proudly display on their front doors throughout December.Read more
Local Centre (Co-op)
Co-op became the first local convenience store at Houlton in September 2021. The opening event saw children from Houlton’s St Gabriel’s Primary School attend to cut the ribbon. In preparation for the opening of the store, the children had also created artwork for the interior fit out which is displayed for staff and customers to enjoy while they shop.Read more
Giving apprentices the EDGE
EDGE has now delivered IAG to over 774 local job seekers, many of whom have gone onto employment, volunteering or training & education as a result of our interventions.Read more
Career change opportunities in construction
The Spring 2019 Green Team, funded by Urban&Civic and EDGE Construction Skills Centre, saw the transformation of the Margaret Wright Community Orchard in the Abbey Ward. Over the course of 14 weeks, the team learned new skills and constructed a paved disabled access pathway, a raised stage area, two ponds, a rockery and three shed platforms as well as constructing four large raised planters.Read more