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PLANNING STAGE: Birmingham Housing Project

IMG_3830We worked with a leading developer to engage local young people in the planning stages of a new housing development in Birmingham. Activities were designed to inspire and engage local young people in shaping the new estate on their doorstep as well as promoting diversity in the Built Environment sector.

Students took on roles in marketing, finance, ecology and construction to design their own housing prototype, with winning students invited to pitch their ideas to the development's industry experts.

Council Leader, Ian Ward, said of the scheme: “Having a high-profile Birmingham business come forward to promote this kind of careers activity is vitally important in terms of raising aspirations and showcasing opportunity across the city. The events that Ahead Partnership deliver are designed to get young people excited about their future job prospects and it’s very welcome to see businesses engaging on skills in this manner.”

PLANNING STAGE: Harrogate Convention Centre Redevelopment


We were appointed to work with the consultants and partners responsible for the redevelopment of Harrogate Convention Centre to support with the design and delivery of their social value programme. The project partners included the lead consultant and overall project manager, as well as a consortium of organisations involved in the development scheme at the enabling stage including civil engineering, architecture and electrical engineering businesses. 

Having listened to the partners' objectives we proposed an education project themed around the refurbishment of the centre itself in which all the partners and the redevelopment project's commissioner, Harrogate Borough Council, could play a meaningful part: a Design Thinking Work Experience for Year 10 and 12 students aimed at local secondary schools and sixth form colleges across the borough. 

This was delivered using a blend of face to face activity, visits to the Centre, virtual mentoring sessions and self-directed learning. The experience was themed around emerging technology, sustainability and environmental management and user-centred design.

100% of the students increased their understanding of roles and careers linked to property development and 100% had a greater interest in a job linked to design or engineering following the project.


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The Morley Town Deal is a £24.3m programme of funding that will deliver an ambitious and transformative vision for the town of Morley. Ahead Partnership devised and designed the Growing Talent Morley programme for the Town Deal to inform local young people about the benefits of the Morley Town Deal, supporting them to engage with the themes, activities and outcomes of the Town Investment Plan and enhancing awareness and interest in digital skills and careers linked to job opportunities in and around Morley.

The three-year programme has engaged thousands of young people to date in a rolling calendar of inspirational and engaging activities such as careers panels, ‘world of work’ days, workshops and live brief challenges.

Gerald Jennings, Chair of Morley Town Deal Board, says: “We are delighted with the progress of the Growing Talent Morley programme which directly engages our youngest stakeholders in Morley around what is happening right on their doorstep. Ahead Partnership has brought this together and delivered activities which speak to and excite local children and young people. The business volunteers love being involved and working collaboratively to improve knowledge and attitudes about Morley.”

Social value for built environment

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Effective stakeholder and community engagement is essential to informing a successful development.

We specialise in engaging young people who will be living in, working in and experiencing your developments in the future. We use a design-led approach that is customised to a specific scheme or development and the particular business requirements of our clients. This can extend to delivering exciting and inspiring activities throughout the lifecycle of your development. 

Through our programmes:

  • You can engage with and learn from your future users;
  • Young people can become advocates for your development;
  • You can engage with your potential talent pipeline, help address skills gaps and diversify the future workforce;
  • Your activities can help young people gain essential employability skills;
  • You can evidence an impactful approach to community engagement.


Our clients span the planning, development, construction and infrastructure sectors and include LandSec, St Modwen, MEPC, Arup, Caddick, Arcadis, Extra MSA and Strata. We also work with local authorities. We understand the drivers of both the private and the public sectors.

“Seeing the energy and ideas generated by young people on our programme has been a real eye-opener. The team at Ahead Partnership have provided expert and detailed guidance and support every step of the way.” 
– Gemma Smith, Managing Director, Strata Homes

We can support engagement of young people at all phases of a development and take on all aspects of design and implementation.

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“We grew our work with Ahead Partnership by launching new initiatives through their school-specific programme… as well as helping students understand how projects work, this showed that we design developments with the community in mind – countering some local misconceptions.” 
– LandSec Sustainability Report

In the planning stages, we enable you to deliver on everyone’s aspirations for the development by:

  • Incorporating the views of your future users into your plans
  • Engaging genuinely with young people to create goodwill and support
  • Evidencing your commitment at an early stage to addressing local skills priorities.


We can help fulfil planning obligations through:

  • Activities that are designed specifically around your scheme to generate and maintain excitement
  • Activities that showcase career opportunities and the skills needed within the Built Environment sector
  • Meeting any specific undertakings you have given e.g. on skills and apprenticeships.

We can build programmes around specific business parks to strengthen relationships with occupiers and customers. This will support the sustainability and profitability of an investment asset. This helps:

  • The development and its wider offer to gain visibility amongst young people
  • Occupiers to address their skills needs so that they see real value from their landlord
  • Showcase careers opportunities available onsite and develops a potential pipeline of talent
  • Occupiers to diversify their workforce and attract a wider range of potential applicants.


By working with us you are choosing a team that understands the Built Environment sector and has all the expertise necessary to design and deliver successful activities that will make a great difference to your developments.

Contact info@aheadpartnership.org.uk for more information.