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Commissioner visits West Division Headquarters site to see Social Value Policy in action

21 September, 2017

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw has visited Blackpool today, 21 September 2017, to see how his Social Value Policy is benefitting the local area.

During his visit to the new West Division Headquarters building site in Mereside Mr. Grunshaw met local apprentices, contractors and employees to talk about the positive impact the policy has already had locally. The Commissioner also spoke to Blackpool and Fylde College to hear about opportunities the project has created for students in the area.

The Social Value Policy was brought in by the Commissioner’s office with support from Lancashire Constabulary to ensure that all procurement and commissioning activity maximises social, economic and environmental benefit while also delivering value for money.

Speaking on site Mr. Grunshaw said: “The new West Division Headquarters provide a perfect example of how the policy is working to provide opportunities for local people and to invest money back into the local economy.

“It’s fantastic to be speaking to people and businesses who are part of the build project and to hear how they have benefitted already.

“Almost half of the money invested through this project so far has been spent within 20 miles of the site with 85% of the spend taking place within 40 miles. This means a lot of money is going back into Lancashire, creating local jobs and apprenticeships.

“Creating safe and confident communities is one of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan and making sure that we invest responsibly is a key part of that.

“The Social Value Policy ensures maximum benefit for Lancashire wherever we invest or procure goods and services and I am pleased to see the positive impact it is having here in Blackpool”

Ian Cosh, Director of Resources at Lancashire Constabulary, said: “The investment in the West Division Police Headquarters is the biggest in the Force’s history.

“It was always our vision that we would utilise local businesses and create jobs and training opportunities as part of the development of the building and it is great to see the benefits that this is bringing to the area.

“Where possible, we will continue to ensure that whenever we invest or procure goods and services, it benefits the local area.”

Simon Gut, Managing Director of Blackpool based, Ameon Utilities is delighted with his company’s role in the project. He commented:  “As a local company, Ameon Utilities was perfectly placed to operate within the Social Value Policy, which insists on the use of only local labour and skills on its contracts.

This policy has also enabled us to work for the first time with Willmott Dixon, with whom we share a similar ethos regarding investment through apprenticeships, skills development and the creation of employment opportunities for the regional economy.  We’re proud to be involved in such a prestigious contract and work with organisations with a defined social policy and we hope that more companies might follow suit in future for the benefit of our community as a whole.”

Jacob Currey from Blackpool works on site for lead contractor Willmott Dixon, he said: “I am from the area and it’s good to see jobs being created locally which helps the local community too.  It’s exciting to work on such a big project.”

Blackpool Apprentice Ben Howarth who is employed through the Calico Group’s shared apprenticeship scheme added: “The joint apprenticeship scheme with Willmott Dixon Construction and Calico has given me a great opportunity to gain skills and knowledge of the construction industry. I’m enjoying my role and am looking forward to learning more as the project goes on.”

The Commissioner also spoke to Roberta Austin from Blackpool and Fylde College’s Build Up business units which targets long-term unemployed adult residents for employment opportunities within the construction sector. Roberta said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the Willmott Dixon Team on the New Police Station in Blackpool.

“The site team have given learners site visits, work experience and employment opportunities. We welcome the working relationship we have with all staff on site.”

The Social Value Policy can be found on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s website at http://lancashire-pcc.gov.uk/the-commissioner/my-office/policies-and-procedures/.

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