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Peak Court 3

Creating Social Value at Darley Bank & Peak Court

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Darley Bank & Peak Court Refurbishment

Morgan Sindall Construction recently completed refurbishment works to Darley Bank and Peak Court, two student accommodation blocks at the University of Derby. Valued at £1.9 million, the scope of work included the renovation of 117 bedrooms, 22 kitchens and all associated communal areas within a tight eight-week programme. 

Not only did the project finish on time – ready for students to start the new term – but it also finished on budget with a client satisfaction score of 10/10. Of equal importance for the site team, however, was its commitment to deliver a social and economic boost to the local community outside of just bricks and mortar.

Going beyond the Build

A key driver behind this was its procurement through the SCAPE National Construction framework. As a leading public sector procurement authority, it is dedicated to creating efficiency and social value via the built environment, with all of its delivery partners tasked with achieving at least 20% of the contract value in monetised Social Value.

Morgan Sindall has long recognised the importance of Social Value, which in turn enables it to leave a positive and lasting legacy for communities. This vision is brought to life through the contractor’s Intelligent Solutions approach which seeks to create unique, sustainable, and inspiring places for its customers. Intelligent Solutions impacts every aspect of construction, from carbon reduction, collaboration with its supply chain and industry consultants, to enhancing lives and local areas in which it works.

Darley Bank Student Accommodation Building

Driving Social Value

Following Morgan Sindall's appointment on the SCAPE National Construction framework, it pledged to achieve a minimum of 30% return on Social Value on all its SCAPE projects. The site team at Darley Bank and Peak Court exceeded this even further however by achieving an impressive 52.6%, ensuring more than £1 million of the project spend was reinvested within the local area.

This was achieved, in part, by making sure the majority of labour used on site was located within 20 miles, while close to 90% of the project spend was with small to medium businesses within the local area.

The following four Social Enterprises - whose primary purposes are to try to readdress social or environmental imbalances within the construction industry - were also appointed on the project:

Paint 360

Paint 360 collects used paint from waste management companies, councils and contractors before re-engineering it back into brand new paint. On the project the company supplied all the paint used on the ceilings, with each litre containing 50% recycled paint - enough carbon savings to fuel a van for five miles.

Radiant Cleaners

The project also provided an opportunity to work with Radiant Cleaners, a real Living Wage employer that provides employment opportunities to disadvantaged adults who may have struggled with homelessness, learning difficulties, mental health and language barriers. Two cleaners were appointed on the project to ensure the site office and welfare areas maintained high standards of hygiene and cleanliness.

Recycling Lives

Environmentally friendly skip hire company Recycling Lives was also used to help ensure 100% of the project’s waste was diverted from landfill. It also helped Morgan Sindall achieve SCAPE’s waste reduction targets of 0.032 tonne of waste per metre squared.

Nuneaton Signs

Finally, Nuneaton Signs was used on the project. With 70% of its workforce employed through disability and intern schemes, the company was used to provide all site and health & safety signage on the project.


From a charitable standpoint, Morgan Sindall employed its Intelligent Solutions approach to enhance communities with its supply chain by collecting and donating items for a local food bank and hosted a Harvest Breakfast Community Engagement Event in partnership with the local church and the University of Derby. The event invited disadvantaged people in the local area to a hot meal and drink whilst also providing them suitable clothing and sleeping bags for the colder months.

All this amounted to 54 hours donated, two mentoring opportunities, £1,800 donated towards community investment projects and a total Social Value spend of £1.04 million.

Food Bank Initiative

Richard Fielding, area director of Morgan Sindall Construction’s Midlands team, said:

Our team works day in, day out to ensure that we’re meeting all of our client’s goals, both on and off site. It’s part of our ethos. Sometimes that comes in the form of creating opportunities for Social Enterprises, such as supporting the fantastic team at Radiant Cleaners, and other times it can come through initiatives such as providing food and sleeping bags to those who need them. We are always looking for ways to be a force for good wherever we go and do our part in leaving a lasting legacy – Darley Bank and Peak Court are great examples of how we can achieve just that.”

Ross Hughes, Interim Senior Project Manager at the University of Derby, commented:

We have been impressed with the way that Morgan Sindall delivered this project on time and on budget, despite the tight schedule. The University also has a strong commitment to support the local area through our Civic University Agreement, so it is good to see the social value of this project, supporting our local businesses, social enterprises, and disadvantaged communities.”