Stadium contractor announces final round of You Matter Communities scheme
McLaughlin & Harvey, the lead contractor for the council at the Alexander Stadium Redevelopment, has announced a third and final round of the You Matter Communities scheme.
A focus is being placed during this round on tackling climate change, encouraging biodiversity and enhancing the natural environment.
The scheme, open to all Birmingham-based community organisations, offers support to local communities, such as volunteer time, small grants, and the use of excess materials from the construction process.
The first round of the You Matter Community Fund in August 2020 had an overwhelming response with applications received from across Birmingham. In total there were 17 community projects across the city that benefitted from grants worth a combined total of £15,000.
The second round of the You Matter Community Fund in March 2021 awarded a range of organisations with 15 grants of up to £1,000 and 5 organisations with volunteer time.
Projects were selected based on their ability to meet McLaughlin & Harvey’s social value objectives and the Partners in Communities measures of the Council’s Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility.
Some of the winning projects from the first two rounds included nature-based projects that engage people who are socially-excluded in improving the environment, sporting projects that increase access for marginalised groups and mental health community activities that are helping to address some of the impacts of COVID-19.
And now as Birmingham responds to the climate emergency, the third round of the You Matter Communities scheme will be focused on supporting community organisations to protect and enhance the natural environment, to implement environmental initiatives which encourage biodiversity and create habitats and to build sustainability and resilience in the local area.
McLaughlin & Harvey recognises the importance of access to the natural environment and nature for physical and mental wellbeing, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. McLaughlin & Harvey are committed to protecting the local environment and improving green space. The third round aims to enhance the local environment and encourage people to spend time outdoors.
Martin Keys, McLaughlin & Harvey Operations Director for Alexander Stadium, said: “You Matter Communities has been a huge success and a fantastic opportunity for community organisations and social enterprises in Birmingham to access our resources. We are extremely proud to launch the third and final round of You Matter Communities and provide support to local community projects tackling climate change and environmental challenges.”
The scheme has three strands:
Support is at hand through the You Matter Communities TimeBank, an innovative way of matching skills from the construction team with local social enterprises and community organisations.
Birmingham-based social enterprises and community organisations can apply for volunteer support.
Volunteers have previously helped to upgrade a road at a local allotment, contribute as a board member to a local social enterprise and designed an outdoor shelter for a community hub.
This time around, volunteers could, for example, support activities that inspire young people or help develop employability skills.
To avoid waste and protect the environment, the You Matter Communities ResourceBank offers community projects free access to excess and unused materials from the construction of Alexander Stadium. This includes off-cuts, over-ordered materials, salvaged materials or seconds.
In this next round, the You Matter Communities Fund will offer £15,000 worth of small grants of up to £1,000 each to community groups to help people come together and make a difference locally.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Having seen for myself some of the work done in our neighbourhoods as a result of the You Matter Communities scheme, I know this package of support from McLaughlin & Harvey is making a positive difference for many people and the organisations that have received support through the programme.
“It’s great when we have partners who are truly committed to the community and we look forward to being able to support many more groups through this third round of bidding.
“I would urge everyone to spread the word and make sure the groups they know of put in proposals this time around.”
The third round of the You Matter Communities scheme is open for applications from July 26 to August 20 of this year.
Applications for the TimeBank and Community Fund and information on the ResourceBank can be found within the Alexander Stadium tab on the council's Perry Barr Regeneration webpages.
Alternatively, you can contact the McLaughlin & Harvey team direct on ASCommunities@mclh.co.uk
Funding for the Alexander Stadium Redevelopment comes from three sources: Birmingham City Council (£27.4million), the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (£20million) and West Midlands Combined Authority (£25million).
The West Midlands Combined Authority is made up of 18 local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships working together to move powers from Whitehall to the West Midlands.
The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Limited (GBSLEP) is a partnership of business, public sector and further and higher education leaders. Its mission is to drive inclusive economic growth across the city-region, creating jobs and improving the quality of life for everyone.
Since 2010, the government has awarded GBSLEP £433 million to invest in a range of projects to grow the local economy. These include transport infrastructure, skills development, business support, innovation, and cultural and creative assets. The GBSLEP Growth Hub provides direct business support and has helped over businesses to help realise their growth potential.
GBSLEP are proud to be contributing £20 million from the Local Growth Fund to the re-development of Alexander Stadium, which will act a catalyst for wider investment in the area.
The GBSLEP area spans nine local authority areas: Birmingham, Solihull, East Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Tamworth, Redditch, Bromsgrove and Wyre Forest.