Sir Robert McAlpine generates £32m impact from school project

Sir Robert McAlpine has generated almost £32m of social and economic impact across Manchester and the North- West during development of a new 1,200-place secondary school. 

Delivered by the contractor, the Co-op Academy Belle Vue has been built in East Manchester.

The impressive scope of development’s positive impact on the region has now been revealed in the Co-op Academy Belle Vue Social and Economic Impact Report, published by the company.

Run by Co-op Academies Trust the secondary school welcomed its first cohort of pupils in September 2022 in temporary accommodation situated at Connell Co-op College before moving to the permanent site in January this year.

The school expects to reach full student capacity in 2027. 

During its development, social value formed an integral part of all project decisions, with Sir Robert McAlpine and its supply chain partners working to create new jobs, offer apprenticeships, host T Level and work experience places and support local community groups.

The total social impact value of the project was measured using Loop’s social value measurement tool, which follows government methodologies and is in line with the National Themes, Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) Framework, the Social Value Model and UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

The calculations combine the project’s total Social Return on Investment (SROI) of £1,808,793 and the total economic impact of £29,981,399.88.

SROI is achieved through the delivery of social value key performance indicator targets. 

For Co-op Academy Belle Vue, targets included jobs created, apprenticeships supported, T Level students hosted, work experience offered, and charities and community groups engaged. 

For example, across all of Sir Robert McAlpine’s social value initiatives, education is a key priority – particularly considering sector skills shortages – and the project supported eight T Level students from Manchester College on site, and 16 work experience placements. 

Sir Robert McAlpine and supply chain partners also hosted 18 apprenticeships, 34% of whom were from Manchester City Council postcodes.

The report also revealed the project had a social value ratio of £1.33, meaning for every pound spent there was an additional £1.33 for social and economic impact. The project also created 58 jobs. 

Paul Quinn, sector director Sir Robert McAlpine, said: “Purpose beyond profit lies at the heart of all we do. 

“Seeing what this means in practice in this new report is testament to how that principle has been embraced by our team members and supply chain partners. 

“Hopefully the report will become part of a wider conversation about the importance of sustainability and community impact in our industry.”

Dr Chris Tomlinson, CEO of the Co-op Academies Trust, added: “It’s fantastic to see how Sir Robert McAlpine and its supply chain partners maximised the opportunity of the project to deliver not only the new school for its generations of pupils to come, but to provide a lasting impact in the local community.”

Co-op Academies Trust was appointed by the Department for Education in partnership with Manchester City Council to lead the running of the school. Sir Robert McAlpine was appointed contractor for the project under the Pagabo Framework.

Click here to read the full Co-op Academy Belle Vue Social and Economic Impact Report.

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