PCC praises contractors as new custody development nets £10m+ for local economy

Contractors working on the creation of the new Durham Investigative Hub are celebrating a major new milestone after boosting the social and economic value of the project beyond £10m.

The Durham Gate development, which will provide more than 6,600m2 of up-to-date accommodation including 48 modern cells, has been intentionally designed to improve local opportunities, life chances and wellbeing for local people.

County Durham and Darlington Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen set an ambitious goal to generate £6m in social value through the scheme by securing local contracts, creating new jobs and increasing opportunities for people to obtain and develop new skills.

Long before the project’s completion date, the development has surpassed its original aims with more than £10m now spent with local businesses in the force area including MGL Group based in Durham, Aspect Facades in Newton Aycliffe and SCH Site Services in Newton Aycliffe. Furthermore, over £18m of the overall contract was spent in the North East.

On top of this, the project has generated new employment and work experience placements while the team has volunteered more than 150 hours with local charities including housing charity DASH and St Cuthbert’s Hospice.  

The PCC, who is the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ (APCC) Joint Lead for Environment and Sustainability, took the decision to include social value principles in procurement tenders shortly after her appointment to encourage successful bidders to award goods and service contracts to organisations based in County Durham and Darlington and the North East region.

This saw leading UK building, infrastructure, engineering and fitout company Tilbury Douglas Construction appointed as principal construction contractor on the two-storey project.

She said: “I am proud of the outstanding work that has been taking place to draw out the full potential of this development and leave a positive legacy across our communities.

“When we embarked on this project, I had every faith we would honour our pledge to make a difference. What I wasn’t expecting was how quickly we would exceed our own expectations and build on our commitments with further support for our workforce and communities.

“This is an example of partnership working at its best and shows what can be achieved when public organisations work in tandem with the community and businesses to make their limited resources go even further.”

Paul Ellenor, Regional Director at Tilbury Douglas Construction, said: “Social value is so important to all of us at Tilbury Douglas and it’s great to see the benefits being returned to the local community from the construction of the new Durham Investigative Hub.

“The whole project team has worked hard to deliver the maximum benefit, and have already exceeded many of our initial targets.  We continue to work with our local supply chain, charities, and education providers to create opportunities in the Durham area and I’m confident of the lasting legacy this project will bring, and proud of my team’s achievements.”