At South Bank Quay, the multimillion-pound scheme to build the first phase of a 1km-long deep-water quay aims to embed social value from the outset, particularly on skills and training. By Jordan Marshall

Faithful+Gould supported by Atkins were appointed by Teesworks at the start of 2022 to help deliver a multimillion-pound quay as part of ambitious plans to transform the area, though Faithful+Gould’s initial involvement dates back to 2018.

The 450m-long first phase of the 1km South Bank Quay will help unlock 2,300 acres of land to the south of the River Tees, in the Teesworks industrial zone, for economic development focusing on innovation, advanced manufacturing and clean energy.

Quays 1

Construction work in progress at the 1km South Bank Quay site, on the south side of the River Tees

The construction of the quay is also central to plans to make the region the UK’s premier offshore wind location for manufacturing, storing and mobilising wind turbine technology.

The two consultants are project managing the South Bank Quay scheme, which includes demolishing an existing wharf, jetties and other structures along the river and construction of 450m of deep-water quay, including heavy lift platform and concrete paving providing direct access to ships from all over the world.

Other services being provided include contract administration, NEC supervision, risk management and project controls co-ordination.

“What we’re doing at Teesworks is all about creating better places, better lifestyles, better opportunities for people from the local region.”

Sean Lynch, Faithful+Gould

When Atkins and Faithful+Gould were appointed, Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: “South Bank Quay is vital to our clean energy ambitions for the Teesworks site,” saying it would complement plans for wind turbine manufacture and other advanced industrial space.

“This will help create the thousands of good-quality, well-paid jobs local people want to see come to Teesside,” he said.

“Across the Teesworks site local people are helping to breathe new life into the former Redcar steelworks; former steelworkers are returning home to work just minutes away from where they live – meaning they can put more money in their pockets for them and their families – and Faithful+Gould and Atkins are a big part of this.”

>> An introduction to ‘Delivering social value’

Faithful+Gould director Sean Lynch says this approach was planned into project delivery from the outset. He cites the demolition contracts, now almost complete, that were already let to local suppliers and contractors as helping to create an environment that employs and trains from the local community.

“We want to establish a feeling they are all part of the North-east community,” he says. “All of our contracts have social value commitments, particularly to do with training and jobs; that is a real focus.”

Delivering Social Value supplement cover

The full Delivering Social Value report will be published in our April print and digital edition on 21 April, 2023.

The case studies will be available individually online over the next fortnight. 

The report has been produced by Building with Atkins and Faithful + Gould

Lynch says this is a particularly applicable form of social value in this region, because there is an available workforce that “just needs moulding into what it needs to look like going forward”.

He adds: “There has been a major focus on that. In terms of apprenticeship schemes, they are very much embedded into the contracts that we let – and even when we don’t directly let.” It is a clear supply chain requirement that each firm ensures local employment and training is maintained throughout the project.

Local engagement

This has led to local engagement, including events that involve up to 450 local supply chain participant, explains Lynch. “Teesworks has set up a jobs portal that we actually tie the [supply chain] into as well,” he says.

“That makes sure that we have people on both sides of the equation. We have those that are looking for work and firms that are offering training and providing that the inward investment can actually access that directly. The establishment of the Teesworks Skills Academy on site and the co‑ordinated recruitment by the inward developers is targeted to maximise local employment.”

“Former steelworkers are returning home to work just minutes away from where they live – meaning they can put more money in their pockets.”

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley mayor

Another example of how the project aims to embed social value from the outset, particularly in relation to skills and training, is the procurement of the main contractor for the South Bank Quays scheme, says Lynch.

“Social value commitments were 20% of the weighting for us to assess and select our preferred contractor, which is Graham Construction.

“We used the Social Value Portal for the assessment of those commitments and, as part of that, Graham now has a dedicated social value co-ordinator on site.”

Quays 2

How the new South Bank Quays will look when completed – helping unlock 2,300 acres of land in its first phase

As project manager, Faithful+Gould is working closely with the social value manager to create a number of dashboards to quantify the social impact of the measures it is taking, including taking on local apprentices and working with the Teesworks Skills Academy.

But skills and employment is not the only focus when it comes to the social value planning of the Teesworks scheme. Sustainability and green measures are also at the heart of how this project aims to add value to the community – something that is particularly significant since it is the largest brownfield site in Europe.


Social Value Live is back for 2023, with registrations now open to the free-to-attend event.

Running across two days this year’s event will cover a range of topics including designing for neurodiversity, the implications of 15-minute cities, and plenty more.

Explore the agenda and register today.

Carbon cluster

As an example, Lynch cites the Northern Endurance Partnership’s East Coast Cluster, which includes Net Zero Teesside, which was set up in October 2021.

It was selected as a priority cluster in phase one of the UK government’s carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) cluster sequencing process. The partnership between BP, the National Grid, Equinor, Shell and Total is aiming to make Teesside Britain’s carbon capture capital.

Overall, Lynch says wanting to get the most out of the scheme from a social value perspective comes down to a simple ethos. “I know it’s only early and I’m not a social value expert – that’s not my background,” he says.

“However, what interests me and what we’re doing at Teesworks is all about creating better places, better lifestyles, better opportunities for people from the local region. If that’s not social value, what is?”


Sean Lynch

Source: Chris Rout Photo

Sean Lynch has been at Faithful+Gould for almost 20 years and is currently a director and member of the operations board. 

While his background includes experience on a number of different major projects, he spent seven years on the Hinkley Point C project, where he was deputy supply chain director. 

He is currently rail systems alliance managing director on HS2.