From education to employment


Over 20 young people in Wandsworth have used their Easter holiday to learn how to design and model their dream skatepark at a workshop hosted by Wates Residential and Betongpark on 6th April.

The event, which was organised by Wates, one of the UK’s leading family-owned construction, residential development and property services companies, alongside skatepark design company Betongpark, aimed to inspire the next generation of urban designers. By using innovative methods to educate, Wates hopes to showcase the breadth of opportunities available in the built environment sector, helping to address ongoing skills shortages.

Lasting five hours, attendees were invited to sketch, mold and model their dream skatepark, while considering practical factors such as budget, local surroundings, and impact on residents. The designs have the potential to be transformed into a skateable structure by Betongpark at one of Wates’ sites in Wandsworth, as it works with the Council on its ‘Housing for All’ programme to deliver 1,000 new homes by 2027.

Taking learning beyond the classroom, Betongpark’s experts shared their knowledge to teach skills such as 3D modelling, as well as providing insights into the building methods that would be used to construct the designs. The day ended with an hour of skateboarding lessons.

Danielle Buckley, Community Investment Manager at Wates Residential said:

“Community investment is at the heart of everything we do at Wates. We are committed to delivering lasting legacies through investment in training, education and skills, and this design workshop is a perfect example of how we can inspire the next generation in new and exciting ways. It was incredible to see so many talented young individuals with a keen eye for urban design. Skateparks provide a safe space for young people to gather and we look forward to seeing whether any of these designs can be taken forward on our developments.”

Stuart Maclure, Betongpark Development Manager, said:

Skateboarding has allowed us as a team of designers to create some of our dream landscapes. At this workshop we wanted to share this process with young people in the local area, to help inspire them to think about the type of spaces that appeal to them and in turn, consider a future career in design and construction. We hope that the day showed attendees how skateparks can provide communities with safe open spaces to exercise, facilitating both a healthy physical and mental development.

The skate workshop is one of many social value activities being delivered by Wates as part of a wider programme in Wandsworth. It recently celebrated 39 local students from St John Bosco College who were the first to complete its 11-week Beacon Programme –a work experience programme covering 11 career routes across a full spectrum of business functions within construction, from project management to marketing and health and safety. 

In December 2021, it completed the delivery of 71 new homes at Sphere Walk on Shuttleworth Road, Battersea. Through the project Wates delivered over £1.8 million in social value, including more than £750,000 investment into local skills and employment.

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