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Northampton’s Market Square contractors invest in local community

Northampton Market

21 February 2024

Children wearing high visibility jackets looking and pointing at artwork on the barriers for the market square redevelopment

West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) contractor for the Market Square project has been adding social value to the area by encouraging the aspirations of local people.

As part of an ongoing commitment to ‘Level Up’ West Northants, WNC ensures that the contractors for our regeneration projects add social value to the community they are working in. This social value requirement means that investment from the Towns Fund not only enables us to deliver great projects such as the Market Square redevelopment, but some of this investment directly benefits communities across West Northants.

Delivering on these social value requirements has included partnering with schools to deliver engaging workshops, providing employment and placement opportunities as well as supporting local businesses to grow the local economy.

Over the past year Stepnell have visited many local schools to spark an interest in construction and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) related fields through creative and interactive workshops with students of all ages.

Representatives from Stepnell have worked with seven schools, committing over 70 hours to engage with young people who have an interest in construction and STEM. They ran fun, interactive workshops with children of all ages to teach them a range of skills including team working and critical thinking as well as introducing them to basic concepts in design, engineering, physics and material chemistry.

These workshops taught students about biodiversity in construction by building ‘bug hotels’ for the school grounds. They learnt about how different insects and bugs are attracted to different materials.

Zip wire construction provided insights into momentum and scientific experiment design by enabling children to investigate and experiment how different materials and angles used affects the ability of a zip wire to transport a toy from one side of the classroom to another.

It is excellent to see Stepnell provide our school children with these creative and informative sessions where they were able to take part in fun challenges whilst learning key concepts in STEM and construction.

I hope that these sessions provided insight into the construction world and sparked an interest in STEM subjects and the wider redevelopment of West Northamptonshire.
Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families at WNC

In addition to working with schools to provide these workshops, Stepnell further facilitated the encouragement of our young people’s aspirations by offering work experience to college and university students with an interest in civil engineering. The development created apprenticeship opportunities meanwhile Stepnell employed five local employees on training programmes.

I am delighted to witness the wider social value that the redevelopment of the Market Square has added to our communities across West Northamptonshire over the past year.

Our project to redevelop the Market Square sits at the heart of a broader strategy for the economic regeneration of Northampton Town Centre, it is great to see that our partners are also working to add social value to this project.
Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at WNC
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