Morgan Sindall’s community card

14 January 2020

Artist’s impression of the £23m service hub

The local community is key to the construction of a new council hub in west Suffolk. John Stedman of Morgan Sindall construction talks us through the project.

John Stedman

I am overseeing the delivery of a new £23m operational hub in West Suffolk, where community engagement has been placed at the heart of the construction process. 

Morgan Sindall Construction is delivering the new West Suffolk Operational Hub (WSOH) for two partner organisations – Suffolk County Council and West Suffolk Council – which will use the site to provide waste and recycling services.

The state-of-the-art facility is being built to accommodate the changing requirements for waste management in West Suffolk and will bring a number of operational services together on one site to increase efficiency and to reflect the anticipated growth in population and housing in the area.

I’m extremely proud to have been part of a fantastic team on this significant scheme for West Suffolk and to be involved in the regional community engagement initiatives being driven by Morgan Sindall Construction.

Earlier this year, the WSOH project was shortlisted for recognition by the national Considerate Contractors Scheme Ultra Site Awards – which reward models of best practice in construction across the country.

Our project team was nominated in the community engagement and workplace wellbeing categories in recognition of their outstanding performance and commitment to best practice.

From the outset, community engagement has been a priority for the team and we’ve been committed to connecting with people in the local area throughout the project life cycle – helping to keep residents informed and doing all we can to minimise disruption.

We’ve created platforms to keep residents updated, including a website and newsletters, while visitors have been able to watch progress from our viewing platform. We have also commissioned regular drone footage – which we hope has helped to give the local community a genuine overview of the scheme.

The project team

Other engagement activity includes hosting a talk by an archaeologist for more than 50 people at the site to learn more about archaeological findings in the pre-construction phase. We’ve also hosted community events such as BBQs and engagement days with charities to deepen links with local residents.

Our project team has also been acknowledged for its work in ensuring optimum workplace wellbeing. A social value charter was created to monitor the project workforce’s wellbeing and the team benefits from a number of development and training opportunities, which include human performance coaching and in-depth induction processes.

Initiatives have been implemented to boost the project team’s wellbeing, including the presence of specially trained mental health first-aiders, and recreational facilities including a games and study room where team members can relax and enjoy a space dedicated to leisure and training.

This is a project which is completely centred on the regional community and its growing needs. I’m incredibly proud of the work delivered by our project team to date to ensure that everything possible is in place to bring the community with them on the construction journey.

We’ve implemented a wide range of communication platforms and processes to keep residents updated, informed and connected at every stage of the development. We’re looking forward to continuing with our work on site and delivering this central facility for the West Suffolk community.

John Stedman is senior contracts manager with Morgan Sindall Construction

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