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Multiplex proves social value of Glasgow construction project

9 Mar 21 A new report by Multiplex has demonstrated that construction of a Glasgow University learning hub generated over £135m in social value and economic impacts.

The James McCune Smith Learning Hub generated £1.87 for every £1 spent on its construction
The James McCune Smith Learning Hub generated £1.87 for every £1 spent on its construction

Multiplex was the lead contractor for the James McCune Smith Learning Hub and is programme delivery partner for the University of Glasgow’s campus development programme.

It produced the social value report using a methodology accredited by professional body Social Value UK. The report shows that £1.87 has been generated in return for every £1 spent by the university in the construction of the new learning and teaching facility.

The building will accommodate over 2,500 students, including a lecture theatre with capacity for 500 people, as well as other teaching spaces ranging in capacity from 75 to 340 students. The hub also includes a number of seminar and group study spaces, as well as a café on the ground floor. In addition, it is designed to serve as a conference venue.

The economic impacts are being felt locally by businesses and supply chain partners, but the report also details other social outcomes, such as the value of education, training and work opportunities generated by the project.

The project has generated investment of over £73m in the local area, including economic benefits for local supply chains and companies that service the site, as well as over £45m to the economy. Employment opportunities including apprenticeships, work placements and new entrants have delivered a social impact of over £11m. Training opportunities valued at over £1.5 million have also been generated by the project, including health and wellbeing initiatives, first aid and other training courses.

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The report also shows that the construction of the James McCune Smith Learning Hub proved an effective pathway for engaging new talent with the construction industry by creating positions for 47 new entrants.

Professor Frank Coton, vice principal academic planning & technological innovation at the University of Glasgow, said: “When we conceived the project, we envisaged a building that not only served the University community, but also added to the social fabric of our local community and the city. As part of this, we wanted to ensure we were working with our lead contractor, Multiplex, to maximise the societal benefits that the construction process will bring to the local area – it is therefore very satisfying to see these so clearly displayed in the findings of this report.”

Darren Pike, project director for Multiplex, said: “We are committed to delivering positive social and economic impacts as part of the historic development of the University of Glasgow campus, ensuring a lasting legacy for our local communities. By working in partnership with the University of Glasgow, our supply chain, and community partners, we are able to maximise our outcomes, creating sustainable employment and skills opportunities, engaging with local SMEs and social enterprises, and supporting our community groups.

“We are proud that the James McCune Smith Learning Hub project has facilitated school and university research projects throughout the construction phase and will now deliver state-of-the-art learning for many years to come.”

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