Our investment in thriving communities

This year National Highways will invest more than £220,000 in projects that will benefit communities alongside its road network

Our four pillars of social value

Our social value projects focus on four key areas:

Economic prosperity

For example, supporting:

  • micro, voluntary, charitable and social enterprises
  • apprenticeships, skills and education
  • small-to medium-size enterprises
  • local businesses

Like our A19 project team, helping local students to fine-tune their interview skills and boost their chances of employment.

Using their lived experience, the team gave students feedback and tips to help them succeed, especially around challenging questions.

The initiative has opened up future partnering opportunities with other schools and colleges.

Interview training
Interview training - based on experience

Improving the environment

This includes working toward net carbon zero emissions, enhancing the natural environment, improving air and water quality and reducing noise.

For instance, our staff and suppliers who helped improve Grays Wood Nature Reserve in Coventry.

Together, they helped lay 200m of pathway as well as creating a clearing, log circle and firepit for outdoor educational activities.

Delivery partner Carnell led the team of volunteers and supplied 32 tonnes of stone.

The improvements support the Sherbourne Valley Project to reconnect the people of Coventry with the River Sherbourne and the green spaces beside it.

Volunteers on site at Grays Woods
Volunteers on site at Grays Woods

Community wellbeing

This includes promoting safe and active travel and connections between communities. It can also involve helping to create quality places to live in and support for education and heritage programmes. 

Like the carpentry apprentices of our supplier, SISK, who hand craft wooden toys for the communities where they are working.

The aim is to leave a legacy for children in the community to enjoy for many years to come.

This wooden sit-on truck was part of a donation to Colchester Toy Library and Grove Pre School, Stanway. The contractor was working on the nearby A12 Marks Tey to Stanway concrete road reconstruction.

Wooden toy created by SISK carpenters
Wooden toy created by SISK carpenters

Equality, diversity and inclusion

For us, this doesn't just mean more inclusive and accessible road network. It means making opportunities to create a more equal society, and contributing to employment and opportunities for all.

Like our work with Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI). Together, we support veterans and people with disabilities into employment - making thousands of road signs each year.

RBLI leads this initiative through its social enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC). BBMC employs more than 100 people – 70% of whom are veterans and people with disabilities.

With help from us and our suppliers, RBLI has been able to significantly expand its operations and improve the lives of the people it supports.

Getting back into the workplace - making roads signs
Getting back into the workplace - making roads signs
"For us, social value isn’t a ‘nice to have’, it is integral to everything we do. With our partners and colleagues on board, I’m excited about what we can achieve for our local areas, communities, and the environment in the next 12 months and beyond."
Malcolm Dare, National Highways Executive Director of Commercial and Procurement