Commitment to Social Value at Pentre Awel

In the heart of Llanelli, Southwest Wales, Bouygues UK is currently constructing Pentre Awel, the prestigious and innovative £87m development bringing together life science and business innovation, research, education, community healthcare and modern leisure facilities at the 83-acre Delta Lakes site on the Llanelli coastline.

Key to both Bouygues UK’s and Carmarthenshire County Council’s agenda for the project is social value, ensuring that throughout the build we are empowering communities, engaging with local supply chain partners and boosting employment levels.

Since starting on site this time last year, we have been working hard to meet our social value targets and so far, we have created over 40 job positions, from graduates and new entrants to trainees and apprentices, as well as granting 5 individuals long term employment with us from an unemployed status. Bouygues UK has delivered over 80 hours of activities with 8 different schools and impacting over 500 pupils as well as partnering with almost 10 local sub-contractors.

One of the key pillars of our social value agenda is employment support. Recognising the challenges faced by those who are long-term unemployed, we established an on-site employment hub at Pentre Awel dedicated to providing pre-employment engagement. The results speak volumes; over 40 job positions have been created to date, with over 5 individuals transitioning from long-term unemployed status to obtaining employment with us.

We know social value is not just about creating jobs, it is also about fostering a stronger sense of community and to help us reinforce this, three Llanelli residents stepped up earlier this year to become Community Ambassadors for Pentre Awel. These ambassadors, chosen from within the local community, play a pivotal role in liaising with residents, keeping them informed about the project’s progress, and addressing any concerns that may arise.

Nina Williams, Bouygues UK’s social value advisor for Pentre Awel, emphasises the importance of these ambassadors, stating, “the Community Ambassadors are a key part of our project delivery. This is a great opportunity for members of the local community to engage with the project, think creatively, and express their ideas freely.”

Raymond Majer, one of the ambassadors, highlights the positive impact Bouygues UK has had on the local community, from protecting the natural environment to offering employment opportunities. We know this is a collaborative effort, with community input shaping the project’s trajectory.

Our commitment to social value and community engagement was further acknowledged in a Construction Considerate Scheme (CCS) report, where Bouygues UK achieved full marks and received praise for promoting opportunities for local subcontractors and engaging with educational establishments and the community around the site.

Investing in the talent of the next generation is key to the success of any business and the wider economy and Bouygues UK, in collaboration with Whitehead Building Services, is actively contributing to the development of skills in the region around Pentre Awel.

Through the Cyfle Building Skills Shared Apprentice Scheme, we have committed to supporting 10 mechanical and electrical apprentices. This initiative not only benefits the apprentices on the scheme but also strengthens the local supply chain, creating a lasting legacy for training and skills in Carmarthenshire.

Peter Sharpe, Bouygues UK’s Project Director at Pentre Awel, emphasises, “local people are at the heart of this project in Pentre Awel. Bouygues UK is already working with many local subcontractors at the Pentre Awel site, as part of its commitment to provide employment, training, and skills opportunities to local people and underrepresented groups.”

Our commitment extends beyond the present to invest in the future of our industry by doing all we can to encourage the younger generation to join us in a career in STEM. Since starting on site at Pentre Awel, over 80 hours have been dedicated to school engagement activities, impacting over 500 pupils across 8 different schools. The Pentre Awel 21st Century Skills Work Experience Scheme, in collaboration with Carmarthenshire County Council, has been a key driver for us in our aim to empower learners from local schools about careers in construction and design.

Our partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council and the Regional Learning and Skills Partnership has established a Real World Work Experience Scheme, providing valuable opportunities for local schools.

Nina Williams, Bouygues UK’s Social Value Advisor for Pentre Awel, describes this as a radical approach to careers and work-related experiences for schools. The project not only offers transformative experiences but also builds future relationships between schools and industries, enhancing students’ knowledge base for future career paths.

The scheme has come to a head this week as groups of students from five different schools presented their designs for a particular space in Pentre Awel that doesn’t have yet a purpose. Their ideas were pitched to a panel of judges who will then award a winning school with each group able to take away what they have learnt from the experience into their schooling and career development.

In our mission to add social value, we understand the importance of collaborating with local businesses. We’ve partnered with seven local subcontractors so far through our project at Pentre Awel, including Green4Wales, Redsix Partnership, Gavin Griffiths Group, Dyfed Steels, Dyfed Recycling Services, Owen Haulage, and Shufflebottom.

At the start of the project, we hosted a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event, where over 100 local businesses had the opportunity to discuss collaboration on zone 1 of the Pentre Awel development. For us this was about more than just the construction programme, it was about creating a network of mutually beneficial and trusting partnerships that will leave a lasting impact on the local economy and community.

As we reflect on the progress we’ve made so far, achieving full marks in the CCS report, collaborating with local schools, and developing partnerships with local businesses, we recognise that we still have a lot to do if we are to meet our social value targets during our time at Pentre Awel. Bouygues UK remains committed to leaving a positive mark on the communities we touch, and we have many plans to continue our work with the people living around the Llanelli coastline so that together, we can build a brighter future for South Wales.