Costain Skanska Joint Venture Delivers Significant Social Value To Communities In London

The Costain Skanska joint venture (CSjv) team working in partnership with HS2 has today shared details of its legacy programme that has created vast numbers of local jobs, invested in SMEs and challenged the stereotypical diversity of a construction project.

These outcomes known under the term ‘Social Value’ support the long-term wellbeing and resilience of individuals, communities, and society in general.

The social value activities CSjv has delivered support economic growth, local job creation and opportunities for local businesses. The joint venture’s activities also promote healthier and safer communities and protect the environment. Working with Social Value Portal (SVP), the project has been able to quantify the value of its legacy programme, achieving an equivalent of £115m of Social Value across seven London boroughs.

Nathan Goode from the SVP, which has independently verified CSjv’s social value figures said:“SVP was very pleased to work with Costain Skanska joint venture on the HS2 Enabling Works (EWC) programme, which showed how value can be added for communities by planning for social value and proactively managing supply chain.

“There is no doubt that CSJV has achieved a strong result on social value delivery and the EWC programme is performing well against its regional comparables. This provides a strong base for the construction partners to build their future social value strategies.”

Louise Dailly, Costain Skanska’s Head of Legacy said: “A key focus for our team on the Enabling Works Contract in London is to provide local jobs and support economic development to leave a lasting social legacy in the communities we’re working in. We’ve also looked at how we can deliver additional social value across our programme. One example is tackling homelessness.

“Two of our boroughs – Camden and Westminster – have some of the highest rates of homeless people in London. So we wanted to see how we could improve the lives of these vulnerable people and create opportunities to help them off the street and into sustainable jobs. Through partnering with local charities and community groups we have supported nine homeless people into accommodation and jobs on HS2.”

Costain Skanska’s social value activities have included partnering with Buses for Homeless (B4H), a social enterprise which aims to get homeless people off the street and into full time sustainable employment and accommodation. B4H refurbishes decommissioned London buses into spaces suitable for their guests to live and takes them through an intensive 12-week training programme. The site set up includes separate buses for sleeping; cooking and eating; learning; and wellness and therapy.

Speaking of the initiative, Dan Atkins, Founder of Buses 4 Homeless said: “From the day we moved onto the HS2 site in October 2019, we have had nothing but support from CSjv and HS2. The team gave us the opportunity we needed to be able to get our pilot programme up and running and it would not have been as successful as it is without their support and commitment.

“Not only have they provided us with key equipment, supported us with paperwork and the land to run our project, most importantly, the team have helped us upskill our guests and through their Supply Chain, they have offered full time employment on the HS2 programme, giving our guests a big confidence boost to be able to gain independence and get back on their own feet.

“We couldn’t be more grateful for the incredible support we have received since we moved onto site and we can’t wait to welcome the next cohort of guests on board so we can, together, help change their lives.”

Julie King, Director of Community and Stakeholder Engagement, HS2 said: “Investing in skills, employment and education is crucial to HS2 achieving its vision of being a catalyst for growth and a creator of new opportunities across the UK.

“Costain Skanska joint venture has demonstrated its commitment to be a good neighbour within the communities it works, ensuring the benefits of social value activities are realised locally. This support is just one of many ways in which HS2 is contributing to Britain’s post-pandemic economic recovery.”

You can read CECA’s report The social benefits of infrastructure investment here. The SVP report is available on HS2’s website here.