As one of the UK’s leading providers of planned and responsive maintenance services in the social housing sector, Wates Living Space maintained over 500,000 homes across the UK in 2016.
As a result, the business is synonymous with consistently delivering excellent service and improving the communities in which we operate.
One of the major highlights of the year was the successful mobilisation of one of Europe’s largest Housing Maintenance contracts with Birmingham City Council. On 1 April 2016 we successfully TUPE’d across 365 staff and seamlessly commenced the day to day, gas, and planned maintenance for 34,000 properties. To date we have delivered over 100,000 repairs to the Birmingham properties, with high levels of customer satisfaction. This is an excellent example of Living Space’s capability to deliver large scale maintenance contracts.
In addition to Birmingham, a number of other new contracts commenced in 2016 including Network Housing, Family Mosaic, Bedfordshire Pilgrims and Guinness Housing. We were also very pleased to retain all of our key contracts including Clarion (formerly Circle 33 and Circle Mercian). These contracts demonstrate that the strategy of growing a long term sustainable business is very much being delivered, and with the on-going investment in people and systems Living Space has the infrastructure to continue our growth.
In 2017 the focus continues to be on delivering excellent contracts to all of our customers, and creating long term social value in the communities in which our residents live. A key pillar of this is the annual commitment we make to invest in social enterprises. In 2017 Living Space will spend a minimum of £1m with social enterprises demonstrating our credential as a long term force for good.
BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL
Birmingham City Council appointed Wates Living Space in November 2015 to deliver its flagship housing repairs, maintenance and investment programme across two areas covering approximately half of the city’s council housing stock, valued at £45m. Mobilised in April 2016, this is one of the largest social housing maintenance contracts in Europe. During the contract period, over 190 vans will operate across the city and over 260 maintenance operatives will carry out housing improvements and gas services at over 31,000 properties in west central and east Birmingham.
As part of its presence in the city, Wates Living Space has also pledged to ensure that its work brings with it a host of training and employment opportunities for local people. In 2016 this included supporting 12 apprentices, four of whom have since progressed into full time employment, engaging eight work experience students and supporting over 300 local students through careers workshops and education activities.
The team has also committed to supporting the wider community through the delivery of a Wates Building Futures employability skills programme for 12 local, long-term unemployed candidates, providing DIY workshops to residents about to receive the keys to their new homes as part of the council’s House-2-Home project.
To reduce our environmental impact on the city, Wates Living Space also trialled electric vehicles on this contract in 2016, with the aim of moving towards a carbon neutral fleet in 2017. The team also recycled 98% of site waste and worked with 44 local companies within a 20 mile radius, bringing an economic boost to Birmingham’s SMEs.
PROVIDING SOCIAL VALUE AND CREATING EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES WAS AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF THE PROCUREMENT FOR THESE CONTRACTS. IT IS THEREFORE VERY ENCOURAGING TO SEE WHAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED BY WATES LIVING SPACE IN ONLY THE FIRST YEAR OF THE CONTRACT.
Wates Living Space Business Director, Stewart Reid with Martin Tolley, Birmingham City Council.
Wates Living Space was appointed by Hackney Council in October 2015, alongside three other contractors, to provide planned and responsive maintenance programmes across 31,400 properties in East London under a four year framework agreement.
Works include kitchen and bathroom replacements, interior refurbishment works, window replacements, re-roofing works, EWI installation, electrical rewiring, asbestos surveys and removal, boiler replacements and heating system repairs.
The team operates from a co-located “ project office with Hackney’s contract team, helping to cement its strong working relationship with the client and ensuring the immediate resolution of any issues that arise. As a result, Wates Living Space has exceeded client expectations, with customer satisfaction levels in 2016 recorded at 90% and 97% of properties handed over defect free.
Wates Living Space is committed to leaving a lasting legacy in the communities where we work and is set to achieve a social value return on investment in Hackney of £6.6m. This includes initiatives such Building Futures courses for long-term unemployed adults in Hackney, working with local schools and colleges to provide apprenticeships and work placements and donating unused materials to Hackney Community College and Bootstrap Company, a social enterprise providing workspace for local small businesses.
I WANTED TO EXPRESS MY THANKS AND SINCERE GRATITUDE TO WATES FOR THE RENOVATION OF MY KITCHEN AND BATHROOM. THE JOB WAS DONE ON TIME AND TO A HIGH STANDARD, YOUR OPERATIVES WERE COURTEOUS, POLITE AND ALWAYS ON TIME AND SPARED NO EFFORT TO PLEASE. AS A RESULT OUR HOME HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED. THANK YOU FOR A JOB WELL DONE.