Organisations playing a leading role in levelling up the UK have been celebrated at a new set of awards. The Levelling Up Goals Awards recognise those organisations that are committed to boosting opportunity and being truly purpose-led.
Swindon Housing Company was named a winner in the Building Homes and Sustainable Communities category.
Swindon Borough Council’s Housing Company is a development company that delivers new housing with improved social benefits for Swindon’s residents.
The scheme often brings council land back into use, with profits going back to the Council to help support services.
As part of its developments, Swindon Housing Company regularly carries out additional work within the local community such as replacing and upgrading play areas.
A good example of the successful work carried out by Swindon Housing Company is the fourteen adaptable bungalows built in Pilgrim Close in Shaw, Swindon.
The bungalows were designed to be adaptable for older and disabled residents needs as they change. They have been thoughtfully located next to the GP surgery and village centre. This was a good use of a redundant site for much-needed homes.
MPs, businesses, and others throughout the UK nominated organisations for the 14 different award categories which are focused on equality of opportunity at key life stages. These included awards for good health and wellbeing, infrastructure for opportunity and closing the digital divide.
The Awards were hosted at Darlington Hippodrome with cross-party backing from Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP, Robbie Moore MP, Dame Margaret Hodge MP, Guy Opperman MP and others. The Levelling Up Goals Awards are Co-Chaired by former Minister for Public Health Seema Kennedy OBE and Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington.
The categories are based around the ‘Levelling Up Goals’ launched earlier this year by former Education Secretary Rt Hon Justine Greening. The Goals provide a benchmark for activity focused on driving equality of opportunity from early years through to careers, alongside barriers such as the digital divide, health and infrastructure.
Seema Kennedy OBE said:
“A huge congratulations to our winners who have shown that they are playing a key role in helping their communities’ level up. Accelerated by the pandemic, we are seeing a massive shift in expectations of organisations within society and the 2021 Levelling Up Goals Awards celebrate those that are leading the way in being truly purpose-led.
Co-Chair of the Levelling Up Awards Peter Gibson said
“Levelling up can be a reality for communities up and down the UK. These awards show the fantastic work already going on to level up our communities from digital skills to health. This is a crucial moment for our country, and it is brilliant to celebrate some of the work underway in our communities to build back better.”
South Swindon MP, Robert Buckland said:
“I am delighted that Swindon Housing Company has been recognised for their fantastic work in the local community, as they bring council land back into use to provide much-needed affordable housing here in the town.”
Swindon Housing Company Director, Gary Sumner said:
“We are delighted to receive the award in recognition of the inspiring work the Swindon Housing Company is producing. We genuinely hope that our diligent approach and desire to positively impact communities and environments is a welcome change to other, less community focused developers. This award recognises a shift away from just focussing on profits and is a step towards greater customer focus within the housing market.’
Cllr Tim Swinyard, Cabinet Member for Levelling Up, Communities and Place:
“I am pleased to see the Swindon Housing Company deliver homes for older and more vulnerable residents which can be adapted to suit their needs as those needs change. The right housing for our residents can make a huge difference to their lives and help many to remain independent for longer. Bespoke housing like that built by the company, can help people stay in and feel more connected to their communities. We are all really proud of the work that the team has done and delighted that they have been recognised with this well-deserved award.”
The Levelling Up Goals Awards are sponsored by the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility, which supports organisations across the UK that work with young people to achieve their potential.