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Can a building become a good local citizen?
9 January 2020
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We work hard to ensure that every project we undertake generates a positive social impact.

When we think about developing a building, we consider not only the design features, layout and materials, but also the place and community in which it sits. How a building relates to its context is hugely important. It has to serve the greater good of its community and the thousands that live there, not just those few who work inside of it.

We are aiming for TBC to generate considerable social value for the Southwark community through jobs, local economic growth, and environmental benefits.

A key part of the strategy for TBC is to create space where local groups can come together with tenants to build strong relationships within the local area and drive positive change. The ground floor will incorporate a flexible space for events, workshops, exhibitions and town hall-style meetings, available to the community free of charge for 30 hours per week. TBC will also host events with social enterprises on the 7th floor, including yoga and meditation, book clubs with schools, cultural interactions and cooking classes.

Before construction has even begun, we have been busy working towards our goal. After the building was vacated, we hosted a series of events for good causes, ranging from a workshop for the socially and environmentally conscious start-ups participating in Impact Hub’s Feeding the City programme, to London’s largest indoor market for dogs and their owners in aid of rescue charity All Dogs Matter.

TBC was the hub for the organisers of London Car Free Day 2019 which saw Tower Bridge and roads across London pedestrianised, and we hosted stakeholders from local businesses to plan Love Lunch, a wellbeing campaign organised by Team London Bridge.

Part of the hoarding and building wrap at TBC will be dedicated to social enterprises and environmental causes, free of charge, to help raise awareness.

We aim for at least 20% of the construction jobs created during construction to be filled by local people and businesses. We are also committed to creating job opportunities for the homeless, the long-term unemployed, ex-offenders, young people, and care leavers. Seeking to improve gender diversity in the construction sector, we will insist on gender pay gap disclosure through the entire supply chain.

Acknowledging the importance of looking after health in the workplace, initiatives on site will range from mental health training for site workers to the promotion of healthy and sustainable modes of transport. On-site catering will be sourced from local suppliers with a social mission.

When TBC opens, the building will boost the local economy through the creation of jobs and spend in nearby retail and food outlets. We will work closely with our tenants to ensure that they involve themselves fully with the community and recognise the benefits of recruiting locally.

While difficult to quantify, we have used some sophisticated tools and widely recognised methodologies to try and start to measure the value of these initiatives. Independent experts have put a figure on the benefit to the local community of more than £145m over the next 20 years, a meaningful part of which is pure social value attributed to things like skills training, local employment, and other outcomes. A great result for single building.