A CONSTRUCTION firm responsible for a new police station has built a legacy that will last for years to come – including a £25 million boost for the region.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones says contractors Galliford Try have built not only an eco-friendly divisional police headquarters in Llay, but also a stronger regional economy while creating well paid jobs and other opportunities for local people.
It all adds up to an estimated £25 million economic boost in spending in the businesses and shops of the region.
And the company with bases nationwide – and a new regional office due to open in Mold – reckons the person largely responsible is its North West Community and Social Responsibility manager Joy Woods, who is based in Warrington.
She was winner in the new category of Social Value Award in a ceremony at the Celtic Royal Hotel, in Caernarfon hosted by Arfon Jones who had fulsome praise for Galliford Try.
He said: “This project has been a massive economic boost for the region but also contributed hugely in terms of social value from visits by local schoolchildren to initiatives involving unemployed people in work experience, the creation of apprenticeships and even safeguarding local wildlife and habitat as well.
“I am determined that major infrastructure projects like this and smaller ones as well will benefit the communities in which they take place and Joy has been a shining example of how this can be done.”
Joy said: “I’m honoured, proud and flattered to receive this award, but without the commitment and passion of the Galliford Try team it wouldn’t have been possible.
“The client, North Wales Police, was also open to new ideas and the success owes much to them as well.”
During the £17.5 million project Joy and her team built up a strong relationship with HMP Berwyn in Wrexham and she added: “I held a workshop with ex-offenders to explain employment opportunities and skills needed for our site.
“I explained what type of skills the construction industry looks for My message was do not let the fact you have been in prison deter you.”
Liz Bryan, North Wales Police Estates Project Manager, said: “The community and social value work has been spearheaded by Joy. She has been instrumental in liaison between the contractor, subcontractors and community in providing education, sponsorship, work experience and job creation opportunities.
“Galliford Try started working with the schools in the locality prior to the contract being signed in December 2016 with a visit to Darland High School in Rossett to deliver a numeracy workshop.
“And there have been many other activities during the 18 month course of construction.”
These have included meet the buyer events, Construction Industry Training Board and Construction Workers Innovation Centre engagement and toolbox talks with 54 on-site operatives, an open evening at the Coleg Cambria campus in Wrexham, a year 11 mock interview experience at Rhosnesni High School in Wrexham, an opportunity awareness high impact event at the Catrin Finch Centre at Wrexham’s Glyndwr University, and Careers Wales mock interviews at Bryn Alyn High School in Gwersyllt.
There have also been Open Doors visits by students from Glyndwr University and Coleg Cambria Wrexham and Deeside campuses, a women in construction event at Glyndwr University, lectures and workshops at the Wrexham university, Open Doors events for Llay Primary School, Youth Justice and Communities for Work, and an introduction to site engineering talk to second year construction management students at Liverpool’s John Moores University.
Liz Bryan said through Joy, Galliford Try has also supported a number of community initiatives and projects.
The company has sponsored Wrexham youth football team Pentre under-16s, provided a storage container for community bike equipment at Alyn Waters Country Park in Gwersyllt, pedal power work with disabled residents to encourage cycling and active lifestyles, and provision of a fire pit and a tree platform for outdoor play sessions for regeneration charity Groundwork at Brymbo.
It also cleared scrub to improve an area of grassland donated to Chester Zoo to provide grazing for giraffes, rhinoceros and elephants.
Joy has worked with a number of community groups including the Prince’s Trust, Communities for Work, Groundwork, Communities First and Careers Wales.
“The Clean Slate project with HMP Berwyn in Wrexham deserves a particular mention,” said Liz.
“Galliford Try has been actively supporting offenders via their Clean Slate project with the Construction Youth Trust. It works closely with HMP Berwyn employability coaches.
“Galliford Try supports individuals to build self-confidence and work readiness, providing careers mentoring, mock interviews, Construction Skills Certification Scheme health and safety tests, health and safety behavioural training and employment opportunities after release.
“Throughout the project it has, wherever possible, sourced labour and materials from local suppliers. To date 51 per cent of the project spend has been within a 30 mile radius with many of the workers being drawn from the immediate locality.”
Local firms engaged for the police station project have included ELM of Llay for the ecological management of the site, scaffolding by Altrad of Flint, masonry by Briars Grove of Mold, roofing by Redwither of Flint using Greenfield’s Kingspan products, windows and curtain walling by Bretton Architectural, and J E Curtis decorators of Flint.
The Social Value Award was presented to Galliford Try’s Joy Wood by North Wales Crime and Police Commissioner Arfon Jones at a glittering ceremony at the Celtic Royal Hotel in Caernarfon.
Joy has almost 20 years’ experience managing a diverse range of social, environmental and sustainability projects within the private and public sector.
The North Wales Eastern Command and Custody Facility in Llay is itself now in the running for three categories at the Constructing Excellence Wales Awards at the Celtic Manor in Newport on July 6.
One of the nominations is for the Offsite Award for the innovative approach by contractor Galliford Try and its construction partner PCE Ltd. They made a pre-cast concrete frame offsite, saving £1.5 million in efficiencies and cutting construction by 10 weeks.
North Wales Police has been shortlisted in the Client of the Year category and sub-contractor Ecological Land Management (ELM), based in Llay, is in line for an award for Small and Medium Enterprises.
Galliford Try is due to hand over the building later this summer and it is due to be operational in the autumn.
The new divisional headquarters is on the site of the former Sharp warehouse in Llay and the overall cost of the project is £21.5 million which includes the purchase of the site, the fit out and IT installation.
The old police station in Wrexham will be demolished and a new town centre station, complete with a public front desk, will open in the town’s former Oriel Gallery.