Willmott Dixon has been awarded a £6.5m interior fit-out contract for 428 apartments on the high-profile Perry Barr Residential Scheme by Birmingham City Council, through the Constructing West Midlands framework.
The appointment follows Willmott Dixon’s successful delivery of plots eight and nine on the project – a new-build scheme creating 428 one-and-two-bedroom apartments in collaboration with Lendlease – which is set to be occupied from 2023 and is part of a wider delivery of 5,000 homes in Perry Barr within the next two decades.
The interior fit-out contract, which includes installation of amenities and decoration across all apartments and common areas, will see Willmott Dixon invest heavily in the local community. Over £2m will be spent with local SMEs, and the equivalent of £3m will be invested in local communities through social value activities, such as improving employability for local people, running enrichment programmes with local schools, and providing work experience opportunities.
Since construction works started on plots eight and nine in January 2020, the company has created 139 job opportunities, 34 apprenticeships, and spent £20m with local businesses within ten miles of the site, as well delivering 322 weeks of work experience and more than 1,250 hours of time being volunteered by staff.
Dan Doyle, operations director at Willmott Dixon, said: “We’ve developed a fantastic working relationship with the Birmingham City Council team over the course of the project and delivered not only two brilliant buildings, but a tangible social value and community-led legacy for the local area.
“We’re particularly proud of the 139 jobs and 34 apprenticeship roles we have created since 2020. We’ve had someone not in education, employment, or training (NEET), join us for work experience and she impressed the team so much that she applied for our management trainee programme and is now a trainee assistant build manager. We’ve also had our general operative join us via the government Kick Start programme.
“Social value and collaboration have been two key elements of the construction phase of the Perry Barr Residential Scheme. By working closely with Lendlease and Birmingham City Council, we’ve not only contributing to the council’s housing delivery but also the Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility.
“We’re therefore delighted to be appointed for the interior fit-out works and have the opportunity to continue the delivery of plots eight and nine, ensuring the continuity of service and a smooth transition from exterior to interior ready for onward occupation.”
Designed by Corstorphine & Wright, plots eight and nine are part of a wider residential development that will create new activity and vibrancy for the area while providing much-needed housing provision.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We have a clear need for new, high-quality, homes in this city to help meet the needs of local people and their families – the award of this contract brings them a step closer to occupation. I am pleased we are able to utilise the services of a local company, which has done much to ensure their work on this project creates social value and a meaningful legacy beyond the development of new homes.”
“It shows how the council can use its purchasing power to support local businesses to improve the lives of our communities.”
Peter Yates, regional framework director for Constructing West Midlands, said: “Over the last ten years, Willmott Dixon has consistently demonstrated their commitment to working in partnership through our framework. They’ve had a real focus on creating and sustaining opportunities for local people and business communities here in Birmingham and across the wider West Midlands region.”
Contractors operating on the Perry Barr Residential Scheme all work in collaboration to support 1,000 pre-employment training places and contribute towards hosting 10,500 work experience hours during the development. The contractors’ support of the local community has also seen them working in collaboration with Birmingham City Council’s employment access team to promote jobs and training opportunities through a variety of initiatives including the Construction Skills Hub and the Women in Construction programme.
For more information on the community benefits of the scheme, please visit Birmingham City Council’s website.