The Factory: Social Value Achievements

The Factory is a cultural hotspot located next to the Science and Industry Museum in the new St John’s neighbourhood, formerly home to Granada Studios. Uniquely flexible in its design, the building includes a 1,600 capacity theatre, a 5,000 capacity warehouse, and two new riverside outdoor spaces, which will be programmed with free events.

Procured through North West Construction Hub, constructed by Laing O’Rourke (LOR) and engineered by many talented and well-known UK design firms, work is due to complete towards the end of 2022.

The project is currently on track to achieve against the hugely ambitious and challenging social value KPI’s set out within the contract.

To date, a wide range of education programmes, work experience, employment and homelessness support initiatives have been delivered, which have benefited over 5000 local people. From the inception of the project, there has been tremendous effort and input by all the team to embed social value as a core to project delivery in a collaborative and innovative way.

Small House Kits Challenge

A recent example of this has been the ‘Small House Kits Challenge’ developed in partnership with Manchester International Festival (MIF) and neighbour The Science and Industry Museum (SIM) to create a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Maths) learning activity for children during lockdown. Framework partner, Laing O’Rourke (LOR) sit on a collaborative social value group for the project made up of client, end user and local partner organisations to work collaboratively to maximise local benefit throughout the construction phase.

In the group, it was recognised that one of the issues coming out of the latest lockdown is the impact on children working from home and being able to engage virtually. LOR, SIM and MIF have responded to this by developing practical learning activity kits in partnership with social enterprise, Kids in Space. In the kits, the children learn about The Factory and construction by building their own Small House Model and then have the challenge of designing their own festival to take place in their own home as part of MIF’s Festival in My House Programme.

300 kits have been distributed to vulnerable children in Manchester and the deadline for the competition is the end of this month. The child with the winning submission has the opportunity of MIF bringing their festival idea to life later in the year!

This is a great example of how LOR are working with local authorities and partners to target social value work to priorities coming out of Covid 19 and adapting our delivery methods in new ways to continue engaging our communities during this time.

The Factory Model Activity

As a spinoff of the Small House Kits challenge, members of the team are currently in the process of creating a ‘model’ activity of The Factory to be used as a learning resource to educate young people on build process, and wide ranging careers and disciplines involved in the construction industry.

The model is being manufactured by Kids in Space with the guidance of LOR team members and guidance/learning resources are currently in development to sit alongside the activity. It is hoped that the activity will be rolled out to schools by mid-May. This will be an educational legacy piece for the project to showcase the construction of this unique building, with Science and Industry Museum and MIF, hoping to utilise the model for further engagement in the future.

Thanks to William Hare, Mansells and Briggs Amasco who have offered to contribute to the cost of the model.

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