COMMUNITY BENEFIT FUND
We want our developments to have a positive influence on those communities in which we work, over and above the substantial jobs, training and socio-economic growth opportunities that they deliver.
As part of our Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy, we have decided to create a Community Benefit Fund (CBF) which can be used by the local community for locally chosen initiatives.
Upon first occupation of each building on newly consented sites from 1st June 2018, a payment of 10p per sq ft of development will be made into the Fund. On a typical development of 1,500,000 sq ft this would result in a total fund of £150,000. This is over and above any mitigation measures that we must include with our developments to satisfy the requirements of the planning process.
For each fund, local stakeholders such as the local MP, Local Authorities and Parish Councils will be invited to join a Community Fund Panel who would invite bids and shortlist entrants from which the local community would be asked to choose projects to be allocated funding.
At the very heart of localism is empowering communities to make decisions which benefit their local area which is why we believe that it is essential that local people make the decision about how the money is spent.
db symmetry will also, if required and at its cost, deal with the legal, banking and constitutional arrangements to initially establish the Community Fund Panel and to secure the payments into the Community Benefit Fund.
The Community Benefit Fund in no way affects or is intended to affect the proper exercise at any time by the Council or the Secretary of State of any of their statutory powers functions or discretions in relation to the Site or otherwise. The Community Benefit Fund is not a planning consideration, but part of our CSR policy aimed at directly giving something back to the communities in which we work.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
As part of all of our schemes, we are committed to exploring a range of measures to improve skills and training opportunities for the local workforce. To us, a critical part of this process involves promoting the value and opportunities that a career in logistics offers, and inspiring the workforce of the future.
We seek to foster positive working relationships between our developments and the pipeline of young talent being nurtured by local schools and colleges who share our ambitions. Currently we have agreed Vision Statements with the Sir Frank Whittle Studio School (Lutterworth) and Bicester Technology Studio, and are always seeking new opportunities for collaborative working.
Flexibility is key, and specific commitments can be tailored to the needs of all parties. Typically, our shared visions involve:
Partnership with Bicester Technology Studio
We have agreed an educational and work experience partnership with Bicester Technology Studio, which specialises in providing students aged 14-18 with opportunities for vocational training in engineering and business, with a focus on the logistics sector, alongside mainstream academic study.
Collaborative initiatives include giving students tours of the symmetry park site at various stages of construction and providing them with specialist presentations to aid their studies. After completion, db symmetry will encourage its suppliers and occupiers of the site to partner with the school and provide apprenticeship opportunities.
Speaking about the partnership, Richard Taylor, Principal of the Bicester Technology Studio, said:
“A close working relationship with db symmetry is hugely beneficial to the school and with our vocational focus, we are always keen to forge new links with local employers. Opportunities for work experience and apprenticeships are immensely valuable to our students, providing the hands-on experience they need to get straight into work when they leave us.”
“By signing a Joint Vision statement with db symmetry, we are committing to ensuring that the Bicester Technology Studio will be at the forefront of using the Symmetry Park development as a platform for training the workforce of the future and equipping our young people with the range of skills they require to succeed in a career in logistics.”
We undertake a varied programme of events across the year to raise money for local charities and assist in projects that they are undertaking. A selection of recent activities is provided below:
Supporting Ride High
Our Northampton team has been helping at the local horse riding centre charity, Ride High in Milton Keynes, which supports disadvantaged children.
The team carried our tasks including with cleaning, rubbing down walls and giving them a fresh lick of paint.
Ride High is a registered charity, that was set up nine years ago by Rachel Medill MBE which helps transform underprivileged children’s lives through interaction with the ponies – improving self-confidence, attitude and life prospects.
Open to the public for riding lessons, liveries and parties, the equestrian centre’s profits all go towards supporting the 80 local children that visit every week.
Raising Funds For Children’s Charity
In the summer, we supported a golf day which was set up to raise funds for Steve Burne Rooms. The charity was set up by architect and friend Steve Burne to raise £250,000 to create five new rooms at the Ronald McDonald House, which will be used by the families of poorly children.
The Manchester team completed a gruelling 10k tough runner at Arley Hall to help raise more funds for the charity. Thanks to the amazing amount of money raised, the rooms have already been built and are in use – a fantastic achievement to everyone involved.