Corporate, Social Responsibility
Involvement - Our engagement with communities
The creation of sustainable communities lies at the heart of our philosophy. The creation of places that all members of society wish to stay and share is the measure of sustainability as we see it, and this can only be achieved through active engagement from local residents. Without that buy in, the development process takes far longer delaying the benefit that all parties enjoy from actual delivery on the ground.
Communities are fully engaged through genuine thoughtful consultation, their needs expressed through proper master plans and delivered through strategic investment and development. Large-scale regeneration should not be monopolised by a single developer, and in our view, inclusive partnership approach is the only way to achieve holistic, balanced and sustainable solutions.
Commercially there are significant benefits in efficient delivery, and successful community building generates increasing land values - thus maximising the regeneration receipts for recycling locally.
A truly Virtuous Cycle.
The development management role is one that Sigma Inpartnership (SIP) have adopted and developed to serve all of its long term partnerships with local authorities and affiliated companies. The careful nurturing of a project through its administrative early stages and fitting the pieces of the social and construction jigsaw together to solve the puzzle all requires a particular skill, understanding and project nouce that the team at Sigma have been acquiring and specialising in for the last 14 years. One of the members of this team is Matthew Townson. With over 20 years experience of working within the public and private sectors Matthew has developed the expertise and knowledge to prepare and deliver a variety of project types from conception through to completion and then onwards to include occupation and use. With a previous employment record that covered housing associations, residential developers and a regional development agency Matthew came to Inpartnership (IP) in 2006 and immediately took on the responsibility as development manager for IP in its role as the development partner within the North Solihull Partnership. Matthew was project lead for the delivery of the Partnership and Council sponsored primary schools capital programme and since 2006 the project has evolved from the problem of there being a shortage of pupil school spaces together with dilapidating campuses to the construction of four new two-form entry primary schools that deliver modern flexible teaching spaces and also provide nursery, adult and community-led learning facilities together with a variety of community spaces that include cafes, religious, library and parish council users. Matthew has not just orchestrated the procurement and construction of these school buildings but facilitated and stewarded all the associated land and property aspects required to successfully deliver a heart-of-the-community centrepiece building. Two further primary schools in Solihull are on site and with the experiences of the programme to date these have been planned, designed and procured as a pair and will be delivered as such under one contract, a more practical and commercial approach.
Matthew has taken this skill-set to support the SIP and Council led Liverpool Partnership with its secondary school programme and in particular the project at St John Bosco School in Croxteth. The challenges of constructing a new building for 1,000 pupils a stones throw away from the existing school has proved a scheduling and logistical trial for the contractors but SIP has smoothed this process and brokered the relationship between the contractors, council and teaching staff so that all sides understands the others needs. This approach has been acknowledged by the school winning both the coverted RIBA NW Building of the Year and Client of the Year in 2015.
It is a deliberate policy of the Partnerships that they focus on an education-led regeneration strategy that addresses a variety of factors within a single project. As a result Matthew has attained a particular specialism in planning, programming and delivering school projects, understanding that design can influence academic performance and that effective engagement between teachers, governors, community representatives, council and education staff with contractor, construction professionals and statutory authorities can achieve a fit-for-purpose motivational building.