Speke Retail Cinema Project
23rd March 2018
Extensive scaffold package for new build cinema in Speke, Liverpool
Being involved in British Land’s leisure extension at New Mersey by providing the access scaffolding was great. Our team found themselves working alongside lots of other local contractors and workers. This makes good sense because, when people work on local projects, they feel a strong sense of pride developing the area where they live.
British Land always encourages its construction contractors to offer opportunities to local firms. At New Mersey, bricklayers, groundworkers, secondary steelworkers and scaffolders came from local businesses. When the scheme opens, these workers will be amongst the local people visiting the cinema, restaurants and shops. And they’ll feel that strong connection because they were involved in the construction.
Our business is really committed to using local labour, with around 95% of our team living in Liverpool. It is great to see local work going to local SMEs. If you can get good workers on your doorstep, why would you employ from outside the area? And it means money is distributed locally, which feeds in to the local economy too.
We’ve been on site at New Mersey since May 2017. We were originally approached both by British Land’s construction contractor, McLaren, and also by Liverpool In Work about the project. Liverpool In Work helps local jobseekers and businesses find opportunities. Since winning the project, we’ve had a team of around nine people working on site, including three of our apprentices.
We recruited one of these apprentices as a direct result of New Mersey. Seeing that pipeline of work meant that we could take on local lad Jack as a scaffolding apprentice. We try to take on five apprentices each year, partnering with Simian Risk Training in Warrington. This is important for our business and industry, with many trades facing skills shortages around the corner.
Supporting apprenticeships is also something that British Land encourages its construction contractors to look at. It’s good to see clients interested in apprenticeships because, otherwise, we risk being at a standstill. Hopefully, with more companies looking at training tomorrow’s workforce, there’ll be plenty more to be proud of in the future.