Translink recently received two top awards at the National Social Value Awards 2021 for its delivery of social value activity around the development of the Belfast Transport Hub project.
Announced as part of the virtual National Social Value Conference, these prestigious awards recognise organisations that demonstrate innovation, leadership and best practice across the UK.
From the outset, Translink has embedded social value into its business culture. This was clearly evident in this first phase of the enabling works on this important flagship project.
Two separate awards were presented; a ‘Highly Commended’ for Social Value in Development and a ‘Commended’ for Social Innovation.
The Social Value judging panel were particularly impressed with the commitment made to local communities at the statutory consultation phase of the project and for leaving a procurement legacy in the themes of Skills and Employment provision; Arts and Heritage; and voluntary contributions to community projects.
The judging panel also highlighted Translink’s unique position in delivering social value in advance of the introduction of relevant legislation in Northern Ireland, which has been in place elsewhere in the UK for some time.
Translink Group CEO, Chris Conway said: “We’re delighted to receive this industry recognition, especially given the stiff competition from elsewhere. We are committed to supporting vibrant communities and it is our aim through our social value journey to make a positive lasting legacy on the communities surrounding the new Transport Hub.
“Public transport and the Belfast Transport Hub will have a key role to play in a ‘green’ recovery for both Belfast and Northern Ireland, so to receive these awards gives us great confidence that our approach and delivery is viewed as national best practice.
“I’d like to pay tribute to the Translink team, our partners in Belfast City Council and most importantly our local communities for this collective success”.
Social Value Portal Chief Executive Guy Beattie said: “The Translink project team consulted extensively with the local community and constructive responses to all stakeholder concerns were incorporated into the scheme’s design and Social Value Plan.
“A full-time Community Engagement Manager now works to achieve outcomes across a range of key themes and there has been a focus on social value from conception and through all stages of delivery.
“This is reflected in the ‘Construction Employment Academy’ (delivered in partnership with Belfast City Council) and the ‘Arts and Heritage Strategy’ which both represent significant innovation in Northern Ireland for a strategic infrastructure project and really made the project stand out as one designed to maximise social value for local communities”.