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Tustin Estate Reaches Financial Close

Linkcity has reached financial close on the first phase of the Tustin Estate scheme, a significant housing project for Southwark Council. Overall, the project will feature nearly 700 new homes. It’s the first large-scale project procured through Pagabo’s Developer Led Framework. 

The scheme includes 250 replacement council homes and shared equity properties, 220 additional council homes including keyworker homes, and 220 homes for sale. In addition, it will feature a central park, refurbishment of existing council homes and at least 1,800 sqm of commercial floorspace. Works commenced in autumn 2022 and the whole project is planned to complete in 2030. Bouygues UK will be the main contractor. 

Southwark Council has been working for several years on the preparation of the redevelopment and put together the outline planning application, granted this October. Linkcity, part of the Bouygues Construction group, were selected by the Council in 2021 at the start of RIBA stage 2 design to work closely with the authority to advise on buildability in the development of phase 1 and the masterplan.  

The mandate for the project was established through a community ballot, and Linkcity has communicated with residents from the start of its involvement to keep them updated on its plans. Residents have been able to feed back on and influence the various aspects of the project, including design, construction strategy and social value.  

The project is expected to achieve a 97% reduction on carbon emissions when in use. A large part of this is due to the clean energy being supplied by the local waste-to-energy district heating network. Additional measures such as high-insulation building fabric, solar panels, SUDs, and air-source heat pumps for individual houses will also contribute to this. Most of the demolition materials will be reused, demolition will be limited through refurbishing a section of the estate and Linkcity and contractor Bouygues UK will raise awareness of subjects like biodiversity through workshops with the local school and the construction of bug hotels.  

Tom Jackson, development director at Linkcity said, “It’s fantastic that a project of this size can start work on site so soon after concept design work. It’s a real credit to the officers at Southwark who have worked so hard with the residents and us on the design of the scheme. We’re delighted to have started work on Phase 1 and we can’t wait to see the plans come to fruition. Alongside our construction partner Bouygues UK, we are committed to providing social and economic value through local employment and education opportunities and achieving a significant reduction on carbon emissions.” 

Cllr Darren Merrill, Cabinet Member for Council Homes and Homelessness, said, “I’m delighted that we have reached this important milestone in our redevelopment of the Tustin Estate. We will soon start seeing tangible results from all the hard work put into this project, and I’m proud that our residents have been so involved in the designs for their estate. This major redevelopment will provide hundreds of new homes, rejuvenate the area and bring enormous benefits for the local community.” 

Jonathan Parker, head of construction at Pagabo, added: “It would be difficult to find a better large-scale scheme than that of Tustin Estate to be the first procured through our Developer Led Framework. Connecting Linkcity with the London Borough of Southwark is set to create social and economic value for the local community following a fair and competitive tender process – ensuring the best outcomes for all involved. We look forward to seeing the scheme progress and the benefits come to fruition.” 

Our Managing Director, Phillippa (Pip) Prongué recently sat down with Vanessa Vallely OBE at WeAreTheCity to discuss her two decade long career in the Real Estate sector, sharing her top tips on how to reach the top in a male dominated environment.

WeAreTheCity was started in 2008 by Vanessa Vallely to create a centralised site that housed a multitude of career development resources where women could develop new skills, grow their networks and ultimately progress in their careers. The site now offers gender-related news, a networks directory, calendar of events and conferences, internships, business schools, inspirational women profiles, HeForShe interviews, and job opportunities.

After joining us earlier this year, Phillippa is leading the change at Linkcity, growing the business even further with her expert team and finding new, innovative development opportunities for the company.

During her discussion with Vanessa, Phillippa gives invaluable insight into the importance of sponsors, why your network is your net worth and how to be that little bit bolder as a woman in property.

The Pastures, our development for the University of Essex, is going up at speed!

Uliving, our student accommodation arm, is working in consortium with Equitix on the £168 million development. We are working alongside our sister companies Bouygues UK, the main contractor on the project, and Bouygues Energies & Services who will oversee the facilities management once the development is complete.

Split across five new buildings, The Pastures will bring an additional 1,262 student bedrooms to the Colchester campus. One of these blocks will create a new hub which will include a reception, a post room, an administrative area, and a student services centre, along with staff welfare facilities.

The development has now been on site for 13 months and with a target date for completion of August 2023, the team are working hard to keep to this tight programme. In order to achieve this, Bouygues UK and its team of subcontractors now have over 250 people working on site​.

This development is the third phase of student accommodation that Uliving will deliver for the University of Essex, following the handover of Phase 1 (648 new build bedrooms and stock transfer of 772 bedrooms) and Phase 2 (643 bedrooms) in 2013 and 2018 respectively.

With the superstructure now complete and façade works well underway, the last of all six tower cranes have now been dismantled. The last 2 blocks are also expected to be weathertight by the end of October 2022. The internals trades and M&E sequencing have started in 4 of the 5 blocks, with works in the last block expected to start by the end of October 2022.

The team are being faced with many challenges as a result of the worldwide delays, increased lead times and shortage of materials, but Bouygues UK is working hard and using its international supply chain to secure and store materials to maintain the fast pace of progress on the project.

Kat Morris, Senior Project Manager at Linkcity said: “Collaboration with our partners on this development has been fundamental to its current success. If we continue to work this effectively, I have no doubt The Pastures will go from strength to strength and will complete to the exceptional standards the client expects.”

Amine Azidine, Project Director at Bouygues UK said, “The Pastures is going up at lightning speed and we could not be where we are today without our incredible team on the ground. It is a fantastic project to be part of and seeing the new scheme really taking shape is so rewarding. I am looking forward to seeing the lively community it will create once finished.”

Bouygues UK has completed its first self-delivered modular project, successfully delivering 491 bedrooms of student accommodation at The Riverside, a £115 million mixed use development in the historic City of Canterbury. Three of Bouygues Construction’s companies are part of the major urban regeneration project; Linkcity, the development partner of Canterbury City Council; Bouygues UK, contractor for the scheme; and Uliving – Linkcity’s dedicated student accommodation brand. 

The 491-bedroom student accommodation scheme has been innovatively delivered using modular construction, with the 430 modules built in a dedicated factory in Morocco and transported to the UK. A range of rooms have been delivered, from studios, ‘two-dios’, premium rooms and cluster rooms with an en-suite, while all rooms have access to the fitness studio, games area, roof terrace and courtyard as well as a study area and laundry. 

Offsite production is part of the UK Government’s roadmap for construction, and so Bouygues UK built a dedicated factory in Morocco to produce the student accommodation modules, which were then transported directly to the construction site in Canterbury for installation. This innovative process results in a shorter build time, less disturbance on site, a reduction in risk and improved quality.  

The Riverside sits at the centre of a new leisure quarter in Canterbury, with a new public square at its heart and overlooking the River Stour that runs through the city centre. This leisure-led destination is anchored by a five-screen Curzon Cinema, as well as restaurants and bars wrapping around the new public square. In addition to the student accommodation, the wider development also delivers 189 new homes, all within a pedestrian friendly neighbourhood that knits into the existing community.  

Rob Bradley, CEO of Bouygues UK, said, ”As our first self-delivered modular project, completing the student accommodation at Canterbury Riverside is a really exciting milestone for us. The completed project is of the highest standard and showcases our ability to design, build and operate student accommodation.  

“Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) is a crucial part of the future for construction, and we have learned a tremendous amount from this scheme, which stands us in great stead for future modular projects. Its successful delivery is a result of great collaboration, between Bouygues UK, Linkcity, Uliving, Canterbury City Council and our colleagues in Morocco, where we built a dedicated factory to manufacture the modules. We are looking forward to utilising these skills much more going forward.” 

Canterbury City Council Cabinet Member for Place which includes regeneration, Cllr Barbara Anne Flack, said: “For Canterbury, the epitome of a historic city, to become home to such modern buildings built in a cutting-edge and innovative way is something to be celebrated and sums up the kind of place this is. 

“The fact this is part of a scheme that will revitalise a rundown but vitally important part of the city, provide the cinema and leisure facilities residents have been demanding for such a long time, create jobs and result in much-needed affordable housing is cause for a double celebration.” 

Linkcity is pleased to welcome our first Land Manager.

Helena Powell, Senior Land and Development Manager, joins us from Countryside Partnerships with a repertoire of experience covering the acquisition of several major regeneration schemes across London, including the Clapham Park Estate for 2,500 new homes.

Working with her Linkcity colleagues, Helena’s role is to lead the search for land opportunities for Linkcity and Uliving. With a track record of building strong partnerships with our clients, Helena aims to grow Linkcity even further and find new development opportunities for the company.

We sat down with Helena to find out how her time with Linkcity has been so far and where she sees both herself and the company going in the years to come.

Helena describes herself as a ‘people person’; one of the reasons she enjoys her role as a Senior Land and Development Manager which involves constantly meeting new people and building relationships with those from across the sector. Working with a very passionate team and alongside our Managing Director, Phillippa Prongué, Helena’s role is key to Linkcity’s move into a new era. We are excited to be looking at ways to get Linkcity’s name out there, show the market what we are capable of and grow the business in partnership with Landowners, Councils, Housing Associations, funders and agents.

At Linkcity, we work closely with our clients to provide a bespoke approach to each development, unlocking maximum value and combining our global expertise with a local focus. Helena plays a key role in understanding our partners’ needs, what they require from a particular site and how Linkcity can help unlock the potential.

Having already partnered with a number of local authorities, we know what works and consistently deliver resilient, future-proof developments across London that help our clients reach their own targets effectively.

When asked what she was most looking forward to in her new role with Linkcity, Helena said, “It is really exciting to be part of a growing business. Having joined at a similar time to our new Managing Director, it is a great  time to be a part of Linkcity. Everyone is invested in growing the business and winning new projects. I hope that I can help build the momentum and excitement within the business and find us some excellent projects.

I’d like more people to know what Linkcity are about. We have a lot to offer our partners and we want people to know about our amazing projects like Carrick Yard and Tustin Estate. We are keen to get our name out there so people think of us when they have a project that needs taking forward.”

This time next year, Helena sees herself continuing to grow alongside Linkcity, stating, “I want to continue to grow and learn and  look forward to doing that here. Our land requirements are really diverse which will enable me to explore a wide range of mixed used projects. . In a years’ time, I hope we will have a larger pipeline of projects, projects that meet our partners social and commercial objectives and ones that we can all be proud of.”

To get in touch with our expert development team, click here.

This weekend, Linkcity sponsored the Community Fun Day at our Tustin Estate development for Southwark Council.

It was a fantastic opportunity to engage with estate residents who will benefit from the works, and to see local children getting involved with all the activities on offer. Our sister company, BOUYGUES UK, were also hosting their Meet the Contractor event alongside the Fun Day, where locals could ask questions about the scheme and get to know those building it.

We hope those who came along enjoyed learning more about the construction of phase 1 and the wider development. We can’t wait for the Bouygues UK team to start on site this Autumn!

The team at our development for the London Borough of Newham, Hallsville Quarter Phase Three, has reached a key milestone on the project. Linkcity joined main contractor, Bouygues UK, and One Housing Group in celebrating the completed the structure of the build with a topping out ceremony on Wednesday 17th August. 

The £240m (GDV) Hallsville Quarter scheme is one of London’s biggest regeneration projects, and the third phase, expected to complete in 2024, will be the largest to date, more than doubling the number of new homes the scheme has delivered so far. 

Linkcity has been working closely with our sister company Bouygues UK, One Housing Group, Grainger and the London Borough of Newham to deliver Phase 3 which will include: 

  • 278 private rental homes situated across two blocks owned by Grainger, including 2,400m2 commercial space within the blocks 
  • 245 shared ownership (including 10 shared equity)  
  • 50 extra care 
  • 47 affordable rent (including 10 London affordable rent) 
  • 6,800m2 of commercial space owned by Linkcity which it intends to let and/or sell to a commercial investor. 

This latest phase of the Hallsville Quarter development will also deliver an integrated health centre under an innovative new model with local health partners, 1,125m2 of business accommodation, a new basement car park for 143 vehicles, and new high-quality public spaces, including fountains and play areas. 

In total, the Hallsville Quarter development, which is part of the Canning Town and Custom House regeneration project, will provide 1,100 new homes, over 30,000m2 of leisure and retail space, and more than 2,975m2 of space for community facilities, as well as new public spaces, pedestrian links, cyclist provision and secure parking spaces.  

Phillippa Prongué, Linkcity Managing Director said, “For over 10 years, Bouygues UK and Linkcity have been working closely with the London Borough of Newham to deliver the regeneration of Canning Town. It’s great to be here to celebrate reaching this stage of the build in a project which will transform this area of east London and help create a thriving centre. Congratulations to everyone involved in reaching this point.” 

Gerald Farque, Bouygues UK Managing Director said,  “It’s wonderful to be here to celebrate reaching this important milestone at Hallsville Quarter Phase 3, one of the most significant town centre regeneration projects.  I am particularly proud of our in-house civil works teams who have delivered, as with previous phases, the reinforced concrete frame. I would also like to congratulate the project team on their commitment to social value, in particular supporting local labour at each phase of this regeneration scheme.” 

Robert Marcantoni, Group Director of Development for One Housing (Part of Riverside) added, “One Housing are delighted to partner with Linkcity and Bouygues UK to provide over 300 much needed social homes within one of our key London boroughs. This milestone is a fantastic achievement and builds on the existing homes we have within this community. In this housing and cost of living crisis this 3rd Phase of Hallsville Quarter provides much needed affordable homes and delivers a 50 unit Extra Care Scheme where we will be providing support and personal care services to adults over 55 years old. Following the recent off-plan launch of our Shared Ownership homes, we have already had great interest and feedback and we look forward to the handover of these great affordable homes.” 

Find out more about the wider scheme here.

We are delighted to see that the shelter we funded at The Canterbury & District Early Years Project is now up and looking fantastic!

Children should be able to develop their personalities, talents and abilities regardless of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities or gender. At the Canterbury & District Early Years Project, they aim to do everything possible to help children have the best possible start in life.

The Canterbury & District Early Years Project is a long-established, grass-roots organisation working in the Canterbury and coastal communities to provide support services to children and families. The charity offers parenting support programmes, play sessions, short courses, family events, support groups and much more to promote strong family relationships and positive outcomes for children.

It was a pleasure to work with the charity whilst on site at our development, The Riverside at Canterbury. Last year, whilst the pandemic was still rife, The Canterbury District & Early Years Project were looking to build a variety of shelters over their external areas to be able to continue providing activities. Having the capacity to support parents and children outside of their main building was a priority for the charity with social distancing measures still in place at the time.

We are proud to have made this shelter a possibility for those benefitting from the charity’s work. Now these covid-19 measures have been lifted the charity can make use of the shelter to hold bigger events outside in the summer months.

Social Value is at the heart of how we operate at Linkcity, with the Social Value Act 2012 embedded into our company ethos, sitting firmly within our Connect 2025 business strategy. Whilst our developments are under construction, Social Value must be delivered regardless of whether this is required by a client or not. Social Value is in our DNA, it is as simple as that.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Linkcity’s development – The Riverside at Canterbury – had only been on site for a few months. As a result, we had to respond quickly in order to continue to successfully deliver our Social Value commitments across the UK, but particularly on this development where relationships had only recently been established and were now all being developed virtually.

During one of the monthly stakeholder engagement meetings, the new Head Teacher at Parkside Primary School, Anthea McLevy, came forward asking for help to keep the school open and continue to provide good quality education and facilities to their pupils.

Located within The Northgate Ward in Canterbury, the school is situated in a very deprived part of the borough where statistics showed that in September 2019:

  • 27% of children were living in poverty; the highest rate in the area.
  • High rates of unemployment, with 2.4% of residents claiming Job Seekers Allowance.
  • The highest rate of mental health service contact for children and young people within the district.
  • One of the lowest life expectancies in the district: 75.6 years for men and 80.9 years for women.
  • Over 15% of households are in fuel poverty.

The school supports many families through food donations, financial support or outside agency support where needed. Currently, the school has 117 pupils. Of these, 77 are eligible for Free School Meals; some 66% of the school. The national average for the number of children eligible for Free School Meals is 17% across England.

Given the school’s proximity to The Riverside at Canterbury, and having learnt the issues they were facing, our Social Value team began to design a Social Value programme tailored especially to the needs of Parkside Community Primary School. Whilst our development for Canterbury City Council was live on site, we worked in partnership with main contractor Bouygues UK, adapting and innovating to provide as much support as we could to the school throughout the pandemic.

When putting together the Social Value programme, we had to consider what we could offer and if any of that could be face-to -ace, covid guidelines permitting. As we approached the summer months, we looked at ways of allowing the children to learn whilst keeping it dynamic. The obvious solution was to move some teaching outside.

So, during the summer of 2020 we:

  • Volunteered and laid topsoil in the garden so grass could grow, and children could enjoy being outside
  • Tidied up the garden enabling the children to grow their own fruit and vegetables
  • Donated wooden cable reels from our Riverside project to be used as outside tables, allowing children to learn outside. The pupils also enjoyed painting these to brighten up the garden.

As the weather then started to change and the children needed to be indoors more, we adapted our approach and donated

  • 100 Surgical masks
  • 100 Ventilation Mask FFP 1
  • 100 Ventilation Mask FFP 2

during the late summer and autumn of 2020, for the purposes of staff and volunteer safety. With the cost of these masks being almost £1000, it meant a huge cost saving for the school.

In the spring of 2021, when all schools were forced to shut down again by the Government, we kept in contact with Anthea to see how we could help. As a result, we were able to support the school by donating laptops that were then refurbished and put to good use by the pupils.

Anthea McLevy, Head of School said, “Parkside Primary School are really grateful for the continued support of Linkcity & Bouygues UK in making sure the children have access to a rounded education. During these difficult times some children had to learn from home remotely and they didn’t have access to devices. Bouygues UK were able to support with this by donating laptops. This meant that all children had the opportunity to access remote learning. Thank you for all your support as ever.”

In March last year, we applied for funding, via our parent company, Bouygues Construction’s Terre Plurielle Foundation to build a Sensory Room for the School.

Due to the impacts of Covid-19, coupled with living in an area of poverty, many of the children at the school suffer from trauma and mental health issues. This can have an impact on their capacity to learn inside a classroom. Having a space where the children could come to calm down and feel safe was a top priority for the school.

We were successfully awarded £5,000 by the Foundation with the promise to create a new Sensory Room in existing unused space within the school, containing resources to support children with additional needs and SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health) concerns.

Previously a wasted space, our team redecorated and made the room fit for purpose by installing the decoration, lighting and resources found in a Sensory Room. This involved replacing the existing door with a glazed one, installing the electrical works, replacing the flooring, and finally providing sensory accessories to be used in the space. The Sensory Room was successfully installed by the end of 2021.

Our dedication to providing substantial support to Parkside Primary School during this particularly challenging time for pupils and staff alike lead to us achieving a Highly Commended Certificate at the 2022 Social Value Portal Awards, something we are extremely proud of. Our Social Value programme was designed to support the school not only during the pandemic but also after, creating a lasting, positive impact for years to come, for both current and future students at the school. We feel reassured with the knowledge that we have , create a safer space for the pupils at Parkside Primary School.

Each year, the business elects a charity to which the majority of fundraising and volunteering efforts during the year are dedicated and this year Trees for Cities has been selected.

Trees for Cities is the only UK charity working at a national and international scale to improve lives by planting trees in cities. Engaging with local communities, Trees for Cities works to cultivate lasting change across the country through revitalising forgotten spaces, creating greener environments and getting people excited about growing and eating healthy food.

Respecting the environment and enhancing local communities is key to us at Linkcity, hence our decision to partner with Trees for Cities. We ensure our developments are built and managed in a sustainable way for people, places and the planet. We do this through incorporating mature trees into more metropolitan landscapes which are then more likely to grow to their full size. Podium and sensory gardens also feature on a number of our projects, allowing biodiversity to continue flourishing in our urban developments.

Elliot Dobie, Development Manager for Linkcity said, “We are looking forward to all that will come from our partnership with Trees for Cities. Be this donating directly to their cause, volunteering with them or getting the charity involved with making our own developments even greener, our work with Trees for Cities will skyrocket the potential to further protect and promote the trees in our cities.”

Tustin Estate Reaches Financial Close

In the Lounge with Phillippa Prongué

The Pastures Progresses at Speed

The Riverside at Canterbury Completes

Linkcity Partners with Solutions for the Planet for a Third Year Running

In Conversation with Helena Powell

Graduate Challenge 2022

Community Fun Day at Tustin Estate

 Hallsville Quarter Phase Three Reaches Important Milestone

New Shelter for The Canterbury & District Early Years Project

How Linkcity is Supporting the Diversity Access Scheme

Social Innovation at Parkside Primary School


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