Refurbishment and New build scheme
We are commissioned by Higgins Construction to bring our expertise in community regeneration work and ensure all interested parties in the project were engaged with the process. Our input aims to ensure that this exciting refurbishment and new build scheme is delivered on time and on budget and leaves lasting benefits for this community. We are helping to make sure that the project meets both the needs of the local community whilst contributing to the London Borough of Hackney’s wider strategic objectives.
To ensure that all stakeholders (including local residents) were fully involved from the outset we kicked off by conducting a community survey to gauge residents’ expectations, concerns and issues regarding the regeneration. We also held interviews with architects, Council regeneration staff, Hackney Homes, Higgins and Higgins Homes’, the Independent Tenants and Leasehold Advisor, local councillors and the Housing Lead in the Cabinet. This enabled us to identify everyone’s expectations and risks (both at strategic and operational level) and gain valuable insight from the stakeholders who had worked on similar schemes.
Then, using all of this feedback we organised a Partners’ Day. This was a really successful event that enabled us to uncover what the various stakeholders considered to be potential issues and risks. Following on from what we learnt on the day we developed a partnership action plan which included a Partners’ Charter. This ensures that all partners are working towards the same goals and are aware of potential issues. By getting all partners to sign up to an agreed structure we aim to avoid any possible future problems around communication, social or community issues. We chair regular meetings to ensure this charter is adhered to and any actions are followed through.
As well as working closely with corporate stakeholders we ensure that local people continue to play a pivotal role in the development of the project, by facilitating not just consultation opportunities but employment opportunities too! We have provided Charted Institute of Housing accredited training to two residents who have been employed by Higgins: a trainee Resident Liaison Officer and an Administrator.
Our involvement and approach to effectively engage all key stakeholders means that the project will not only be a success but that it will leave lasting benefits for the local community.
Senior staff from Higgins and the London Borough of Hackney have really ‘bought into’ the project and we’ve seen great involvement from local councillors and council staff. Hackney Homes even provided additional staff resources for the project.
Ensuring local communities prosper and thrive long after the initial regeneration project is completed is what we feel passionately about, so we have been delighted to secure through the Partnership additional resources to develop regular youth activities and see an increased use of the community centre. We are also helping to lay plans for the future management and maintenance of the project and give local people the tools and skills to improve communication and joint working locally. The residents who gained employment through the project also benefitted from expert training on our Neighbourhood Workers Programme and now have the skills and confidence needed to forge a great career.