More than 95 per cent of local labour is being used to complete some of Hull City Council’s key education projects across the city.
Although schools are closed for the summer holidays, Esteem Consortium, made up of Hull City Council, Dalmore Capital and locally-based Sewell Investments, is still supporting schools to ensure they have inspiring learning environments.
Esteem was established eight years ago to deliver a world class educational infrastructure for future generations in the £400 million Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme over a four-year period – the largest education regeneration programme Hull has seen.
In partnership, it delivered 27 schools, with £516 million local economic impact through the use of local companies, created 5,173 construction jobs, with more than 500 apprentices and more than 1,000 local young people gaining employability skills and trade experience through a dedicated skills academy.
Esteem went on to enable the delivery of a number of flagship schemes in Hull UK City of Culture 2017, including the refurbishment of the Grade II listed Hull New Theatre, Woodford Leisure Centre pool extension, Trinity Market refurbishment in Hull’s Old Town and Ferens Art Gallery transformation.
Now, it is continuing to use local companies to work on building, remodelling and refurbishment works at schools across the city – a further investment of more than £1.1 million in Hull schools.
From installing a temporary classroom at the city’s Broadacre Primary School, to partitions being put in place at Kingswood Academy, and improving the special educational needs service offering at Ganton School with one-to-one areas, a new head office and meeting rooms, the work is vast and varied.
Councillor Peter Clark, portfolio holder for Learning, Skills and Safeguarding Children at Hull City Council, said: “Hull City Council with its procurement vehicle, Esteem, delivered the £400 million BSF programme which was one of the largest and most successful in the country. Now, this vehicle is continuing to unlock further key projects which are vital to improving learning, school settings and aspirations across the city.
“Utilising local labour and delivering training opportunities is really important not only to support our local economy but to upskill our local workforce, making the city an attractive place to live, work, invest and learn.”
Paul Chapman, Director at Hull electrical engineering firm Vic Coupland Ltd, one of many local firms working on the schools programme, said the business has been able to expand and invest in another company thanks to involvement in Esteem.
He said: “As a result of working on programmes like this, we saw the opportunity to grow Vic Coupland Ltd to almost 50 employees and invested in a new company, ICB, a small mechanical services business in Hull.
“In addition to our existing team, we now have three office staff running that business and a team of 12 out on site, who are all based locally.
“Most recently, we have worked on the Ron Dearing University Technology College (UTC) and Kingswood Parks Primary School, as well on all of the current school improvement and refurbishment works in Hull, from a mechanical and electrical perspective.
“Over the last three years, we’ve taken on 10 apprentices across both companies and, in wages alone, about £2 million has been reinvested into the local economy.
“Esteem is a solid platform for us as a business and has given us the chance to grow while opening up new employment opportunities locally. It’s a pleasure to make a difference to our local communities.”
G4 Design & Print, based on Hull’s Sutton Fields Industrial Estate, is another local company involved in the current schools work, providing everything from hoardings to internal and external site signage, and wall coverings.
Managing Director Darren Jimmeson said: “We have been involved in Esteem from day one and invested in new machinery and training for our staff to help us offer more from a signage perspective. That’s as a result of being involved in programmes like this.
“We visit the school sites all the time, which enables us to have that face-to-face contact and close relationship.
“Keeping the supply chain local means we can react quickly, and supporting the local economy is a great investment in the region’s future.”
Richard King, Independent Chair of Esteem, said delivering quality schemes on time and on budget, while keeping the pound local, is at the heart of Esteem.
He said: “Through Esteem, Hull City Council has access to a quality local supply chain which is able to turn around a large volume of work over the short summer holiday period.
“When teachers, other staff and pupils return to school in September, they will be going back into improved environments equipped for the year ahead.
“The smaller school works underway through Esteem are critical and should not be underestimated in improving Hull’s schools.”
While this work is happening, Esteem is also being used on a much larger scale in the extension and refurbishment of Kingswood Parks Primary School, which will increase capacity from more than 500 to 630 pupils aged 3 to 11.
Mr King continued: “Kingswood Parks Primary is another example of how Esteem is continuing to support the education of children in Hull.
“The £10 million Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) is yet another recent example which is opening up a world of opportunities, inspiring young people to become the next generation of engineers and digital technicians.”