Community benefits on North Lanarkshire builds ‘changing lives’

North Lanarkshire Council

A range of community benefits are being delivered alongside North Lanarkshire Council’s work to deliver 5,000 new homes by 2035, the local authority has revealed.

Local jobs for local people, training and employment opportunities for young people, and funding for a range of community groups and projects, are just some of the benefits already delivered by the local authority and its contractors.

Over the past three years the programme has delivered 54 new jobs, provided work experience for 15 young people, delivered 31 projects in support of local communities, and facilitated 52 training and career events.

This year’s community benefits programme secured 10 new entrants to the council’s new build projects through targeted recruitment and employment; 15 apprentices; 10 work experience opportunities; 25 careers events and delivered site visits and school mentoring programmes to support young people into the construction industry. In addition, three supply chains have been developed with small and medium enterprises.

A range of financial and non-financial support has been provided to support communities. Examples include a £250 donation to Chryston Gala Day 2022; £300 to the Health Improvement Team to help disadvantaged young people during the holiday period; and a £3,000 donation to Sunnyside Café within Volvo Construction, for a barista coffee machine to teach young people and adult learners with additional support needs skills to assist them into employment.

Contractors also donated various items such as training time and excess construction materials that may otherwise have been recycled or sent to landfill. 50 internal doors with an estimated value of £2,920.00 were donated to Getting Better Together in Shotts; materials were donated to Viewpark Conservation group and used to make benches and signposts for nature walks; £2,400 worth of excess bricks donated to the restorative justice team to use for community projects; £1,778.50 CSCS training (Signs & Symbols); and construction health & safety awareness’ training for Buchanan High school and excess timber provided to the Men’s Shed, Coatbridge.

Councillor Heather Brannan-McVey, convener of housing, said, “Community benefits play a key part in the contracts for our new build homes and we’ll continue to look at ways to support our communities, future workforce and local people.

“Our community benefits development group coordinates benefits and works with a range of services including education, early careers, supported enterprise and the apprenticeship team to maximise opportunities created through the new supply programme. For example, a range of education events took place this year, including interactive sessions delivered to over 2,400 young people and sessions to mark International Women’s Day to highlight women in construction.

“Another success includes a construction skills initiative supported by one of our new supply contractors which involved delivering bespoke training to help reduce barriers for our young people with additional support needs. Five pupils from Buchanan High School participated in the CSCS training and are continuing their construction journey.

“Our community benefits are changing lives and communities and we’ll continue to put local people at the heart of our future plans to make North Lanarkshire the place to live, learn, work, invest and visit.”