Cheshire East Council’s biggest ever infrastructure scheme has won a top award.
The £90m Congleton link road project team won the Civil Engineering Contractors’ North West award for ‘social value’, which recognises exceptional partnership work delivering local community initiatives.
The project team, consisting of Cheshire East Council and contractor Graham staff, supported an array of community projects during the construction of the 5.5km Wolstenholme Elmy Way – including helping create a new allotment at Marlfields Primary School, enabling improved access to parking at Back Lane playing fields and the donation and planting of a new 14ft Christmas tree in Somerford.
Councillor Craig Browne, chair of Cheshire East Council’s highways and transport committee, said: “This is fantastic news and a well-deserved accolade for the whole team for their dedication, passion and commitment to supporting the local community during the construction of the council’s biggest infrastructure scheme to date.
“I am extremely proud of the positive impact the project team has had and the benefits they brought to the community. We are committed to ensuring that engaging with local people, keeping them informed and improving communities is always at the heart of such projects.”
Community schemes delivered by the link road project team included:
● Supporting five local schools’ community projects;
● More than £70,000 of social value support to community projects;
● More than £12,000 donated to local schemes, events and charities;
● More than 50 community activities undertaken, including a couch-to-5km initiative for high school pupils, school visits and careers advice and employment events;
● Engagement with seven local town and parish councils; and
● Six work experience placements, four graduate placements, nine year-out placements and two apprenticeships.
Alastair Lewis, contracts manager for Graham, said: “This is a terrific award for the whole project team – and well deserved for their real dedication and hard work within the local Congleton community. At Graham, we strive to make a difference and our impact is measured not only in the quality of the Congleton link road we delivered but also the longer-term impact on the local community, people and environment.
“Despite the challenging impact of the pandemic, we were able to help support and deliver some fantastic projects that had a real impact for people in the local community. And we did this while delivering a complex link road as close to the original schedule as possible – and within budget.”
Marlfields Primary School received support for its allotments project, which included donation and installation of stock-proof fencing, planters, concrete paths, shed bases and a poly tunnel for growing plants.
Headteacher Sandie Isherwood said: “This facility is going to bring a new dimension to our children’s experience.
“It has been a tough 18 months for us all but we can’t thank Graham and the project team enough for still supporting us under these difficult times – we have been in total awe of the support they have given the school. We are well on our way to seeing our first shoots of growth really soon.”
Wolstenholme Elmy Way was officially opened on 19 April 2021 and joins the A534 Sandbach Road to the west and the A536 Macclesfield Road to the north, improving connectivity between Macclesfield, Congleton and the surrounding area and the M6.
It will release 20 hectares of new employment land with the potential to create 3,000 jobs by 2035.