03 January 2012
Swansea construction projects support the community
Social responsibility at the top of the agenda for Mi-space
Two landmark construction projects located in the heart of Swansea city centre have been used by contractors Mi-space as models of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The projects have promoted community engagement through providing apprenticeship opportunities, work experience, educational visits and support for charities and local initiatives.
Mi-space, the affordable homes business of Midas Group, is the main contractor on the Urban Village and Castle Street projects, both undertaken on behalf of Coastal Housing Association
Urban Village is a £25 million project to create affordable apartments, offices, food and drink outlets and a three storey car park with a view to developing a ‘creative cluster' designed for people working in the creative industries. Nearby Castle Street is a recently completed 32 apartment scheme on the site of a former nightclub.
Amongst the CSR initiatives implemented by the Mi-space team were 10 apprenticeships on the Urban Village site, including three bricklayers, two electricians, two plasterers, two decorators and a plumber. The site also employed two adults with hearing difficulties.
During the course of construction, the Urban Village site was used by the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service for crane rescue training, two students were given work experience and another is undertaking one day a week mentoring and management experience while studying for an HNC in construction.
There have also been a number of school and college visits to both Swansea sites, including a visit to the Castle Street development from 50 civil engineering and construction students from the Metropolitan University of Wales. The students were shown around the site by Mi-space Management Trainee Matt Harries, a former student at the University who worked as Assistant Site Manager on the scheme.
Mike Pyatt, Mi-space's Project Manager on the Urban Village Development said: "Engaging with the community is in our DNA. We earn our living working within local communities and we rely very much upon the forbearance and goodwill of those who live and work locally.
"Our work invariably impacts on the environment and local communities and it is essential that we leave behind net benefits to both.
"Apart from contributing to a socially positive legacy, we want to be seen as good neighbours while we are working in someone else's environment so we ensure we communicate with residents about what we are going to do. We also support local projects such as providing old timber and pallets to help rebuild community gardens."
Top Picture: The Urban Village Management team - from left Haydn Smith (Site Manager), Mark Perry (Project Manager), John McLaughlin (Design & Build Manager), Ian Pyatt (project Manager), John Collins Site Manager