Working with the Community
Prior to construction, the Harbour Way team developed an indepth Community Strategy to ensure that all stakeholders were kept informed about the scheme and its impact on the surrounding community.
Costain appointed a Community Relations team to deal with the public, local schools and businesses on a wide variety of issues relating to the project.
The strategy focused on making infomration readily available. This was achieved through a number of mediums, including a dedicated website, visitors centre, newsletters, notices of specific works and press reports.
The team also used social media to keep the public up to date. The project’s Twitter account highlighted new and breaking information as well as drawing attention to new information on the website.
Displays were taken to the Aberafan Shopping Centre, the Tata canteen and Swansea University where Costain staff members were on hand to answer questions about the project.
The website received over 25,000 hits, from as far afield as Azerbaijan and Zimbabwe, and eight editions of Harbour Way News were produced and distributed to the local community. A key element of the Communications Strategy was that everything distributed was bilingual.
Forty six local organisations were givenm sponsorship or financial support by the project team. These ranged from sponsoring the Costain League, an inter-school rugby and netball competition for all primary schools in the County Borough, to providing a table tennis table and sports equipment to a local youth club.
The project team provided a new path for Port Talbot Scouts to enable their disabled Leader access to the hall and the provision of equipment and materials to assist the Sandfields Renewal Area team in constructing a Community Garden.
The team was committed to charity fundrasing and raised over £25,000 during the lifetime of the project. £18,000 of that was donated to local charitied, SNAC and Everybody’s Gateway Club, who are both based in Taibach and received £11,500 and £6,000 respectively.
The team also supported the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, by sponsoring a match played at The Gnoll, Neath between Wales and The Cook Islands by making approximately 300 match tickets available to local underprivileged children.
The Harbour Way team were totally committed to delivering wider economic regeneration benefits to the community and to providing a legacy for future generations.
A total of 41 jobs were created by recruiting locally in collaboration with Workways.
In February 2012, Jane Hutt, the Welsh Government Minister for Finance visited the harbour Way site, together with local AM David Rees, to see for themselves the benefits being brought to the community by the project. At the time of her visit the Minister said “Harbour Way project is a great example of how large construction projects can bring about huge benefits to the local communities.”
Following on from this visit, BBC Radio 4’s award winning current affairs documentary programme File on 4 also visited to report on the good work being carried out.
Working closely with Careers Wales, the project team supported a range of educational activities, including attending careers events, mock interviews sessions, team building construction events within schools and hosting work experience placements to school aged pupils. In addition, a number of undergraduate civil engineering students spet time with the project team, gaining valuable experience of what it was like to work on such a large project.
The team also hosted placements arranged through Go Wales as part of their Graduate Academy and Work Taster programmes.