One of the biggest challenges facing our society is the provision of appropriate housing to address the demographic ‘time bomb’ presented by a rapidly ageing population.

Pinnacle Group led the consortium for the delivery of the Excellent Homes Housing PFI project by Kirklees Council in 2011. The project aimed to create a balanced housing market, able to meet the needs and aspirations of older people within the community with a range of social care and health needs. The project promotes community living where people retain their ‘own front door’, are together in numbers, and can enjoy safe lives together.

The £69m investment comprised the delivery of 466 new homes. This included the new build of 140 homes for older people offering care and support within three extra care housing schemes, 291 one and two-bedroom homes for smaller ‘downsizing’ households, and 35 homes specifically designed for wheelchair users. The new homes were built on 27 sites across Kirklees Borough.

The new homes were delivered over a 27-month construction programme. Services will ramp up with the handover of each site and will continue for 20 years after the last site is completed. All services are delivered by Pinnacle PSG and include housing and tenancy management, cleaning, grounds and waste management, helpdesk, responsive repairs, planned and cyclical maintenance, and lifecycle replacement.

Throughout the project, Pinnacle worked in close partnership with the local authority service department and user groups to define the scope and generate detailed designs for each element of the scheme.

Supporting Training and Employment

We place social and economic impact at the heart of the projects we deliver. The Excellent Homes for Life PFI provided the opportunity to create a number of local apprentices and trainees; a core element of our community investment strategy. As part of our contract with Kirklees Council, we were required to:

  1. Provide 26 opportunities for trainees and apprentices during the construction period.
  2. Ensure 22% of the anticipated construction supply are based in the Kirklees area, with 78% based in West Yorkshire.

Pinnacle met – and exceeded – these targets throughout the life of the project. With our partners, we supported 49 apprentices to gain valuable, practical experience to assist with the completion of their chosen qualifications (see 1 above). The prestigious PFI project provided a number of opportunities for the apprentices (aged 17 to 30 years of age) to pursue their individual specialisms across a wide range of trade and professional career paths, as follows:

  • NVQ Level 2 – 18 people, courses included Bricklaying, Groundworks, Warehousing, Business Administration and Transporting 
  • NVQ Level 3 – 24 people, courses included Electrotechnical Technology, Electrical Installations, Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration 
  • Other courses completed by apprentices included; IRATA Rope Access, AAT Accounting, HND Civil Engineering and BSc Degree in Quantity Surveying 

Four permanent jobs were created by our contractor Wates through the trainee programme, specialising in production and commercial disciplines. All four of the appointed trainees have been offered sustained long-term employment and are now working with Wates on other regional projects following completion of the PFI programme.

A total of 313 job opportunities were created for Kirklees’ residents throughout the Excellent Homes for Life project. Beyond the Kirklees border to wider West Yorkshire, this figure jumps to 1,107 jobs and for the whole of the Yorkshire region, the total number of jobs created reaches 1,566. This represents more than 80% of the total –  substantially higher than the national average of 60% –  as highlighted by the National Skills Academy for Construction (see 2 above). Our supply chain provided opportunities in construction, housing management and architecture (technician and graduate roles).

Community Initiatives

We take pride in supporting local good causes and investing time and funding support for community initiatives. With our construction partner Wates, we undertook 12 Community Day events, with 696 staff hours being donated throughout the delivery of the 27 sites. Projects included estate-wide litter cleaning across Kirklees, creation of a community garden and assisting a local primary school to create a Wildlife Area to help pupils learn about science and nature.