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New partnership builds social value at £130m Miller’s Quay development

Hundreds of students from Wirral Met College’s construction campus at Wirral Waters will have access to a ‘real life’ classroom and a structured programme of activity to enrich their learning and prepare them for employment in the modern construction industry.

Building on strong foundations between Wirral Waters developer, Peel L&P, and Wirral Met College, construction firm GRAHAM and Peel L&P’s funding partner PIC, have all joined forces on the project to create opportunities for the local community, narrow the skills gap, and improve employment prospects for Wirral Met students.

Construction work began on the transformational £130m Miller’s Quay residential project in April. The development, which will comprise 500 highly sustainable and energy efficient homes, is expected to take 2.5 years to complete. During this period, over 400 students, learning a wide variety of trades, will benefit from this unique opportunity.

With construction work now underway, students will get straight to work through a structured programme of activity, which will include site visits, work experience and masterclasses, linking qualifications in a wide range of trades with GRAHAM’s work programme. The Community Impact team from GRAHAM will also be offering the students CV writing workshops and mock interviews.

Miller’s Quay is Peel L&P’s cornerstone residential scheme at Wirral Waters and is the single biggest development to date at what is the UK’s largest and most sustainable regeneration project. The scheme will include 500 one and two-bedroom waterfront apartments, including 100 affordable new homes. Rents on the affordable homes will be a maximum of 80% of open market value, delivering significant social impact.

Richard Mawdsley, Director of Development for Peel L&P’s Wirral Waters, said: “From day one, we committed to work in partnership with Wirral Met College to help create a local construction workforce for the future. The Miller’s Quay project offers the next step towards that ambition. Through GRAHAM Construction, Millers Quay provides huge and practical learning opportunity in traditional, modern and green methods of construction as these new homes have been designed to be energy and resource efficient.

“It represents a ‘live’ classroom, where hundreds of students will benefit from a unique learning opportunity. This has all been made possible through the strong partnership between Peel L&P, GRAHAM, PIC and Wirral Met.”

Sue Higginson, Principal of Wirral Met College said: “This regeneration project has been built upon partnership working and it is through this that we can provide opportunities for young people to take an active role in making it happen.

“Our partnership with Peel goes back many years and our Wirral Waters campus, which is dedicated to construction skills, was the first building on the Wirral Waters development. We look forward to working with GRAHAM and seeing these ambitious plans become a reality. Exciting times ahead that will transform the neighbourhood and the lives of those, who can help make it happen.”

Graeme Moffat, Contracts Director at GRAHAM commented: “We’re committed to making a meaningful difference to the communities we work with and this unique partnership means we can do that with tangible results. Construction is an evolving industry that rewards people with opportunities for career advancement, and we want to show these students what a future in construction could look like for them while equipping them with the skills needed to prepare them for employment.”

Hayley Rees, Managing Director of PIC Capital, said: “As we seek to secure the pensions of our policyholders over future decades, it is very important to us that our investments create significant social value. Wirral Met College sits at the heart of what will become an inspirational place to live, learn and work. Students passing through the college will have the opportunity to work on the UK’s largest urban regeneration project, shaping their futures and that of the local community as they enter the construction industry with hands on experience and knowledge. We are delighted that our cornerstone investment of £130 million in Wirral Waters really is becoming a model for the regeneration of the local community in particular through its focus on placemaking.”