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David Smith planning director at IM Properties talks about why he’s reflecting on 2019 with a feel-good factor.

It’s been an eventful and extremely busy 12 months here at IM Properties with several major schemes securing planning permission including Peddimore – set to become one of the UK’s most significant new manufacturing and logistics developments and junction 11 on the M42 (Mercia Park), delivering 3.5 million square foot of space to Jaguar Land Rover and DSV.

Social Value Agenda

Clearly, both are major milestones for the business, and of course, in planning terms, they’re a big achievement, yet what is particularly satisfying for myself and the company is the narrative surrounding our schemes and the development of our Social Value agenda.

Delivering meaningful positive benefits to the communities we impact has become an essential dimension to my role. And working with the business and our trusted supply chain we are helping to ensure we leave a lasting legacy on the sites we deliver.


Historically this is nothing new for the IM Group. Lord Edmiston, who founded the business from a £6000 redundancy pot, has since donated £300 million via his Christian Vision Charity. He also set up the Grace Foundation to ‘develop tomorrow’s leaders’ and help children reach their full potential with Grace academies launched in Chelmsley Wood, Darlaston & Coventry. The group is continuing its work in this area, supporting a growing number of schools to transform young people’s lives.

This philanthropic ethos of giving something back, is one of the key values of the IM Group along with respect, commitment, togetherness and integrity and is very evident throughout the design of our new headquarters.

Forward Thinking

As society demands greater transparency from business, this focus on giving back to the communities you impact is recognised as an integral element of any forward-thinking company. A key part of this is revisiting how we and our supply chain deliver our projects – changing behaviours and looking at things differently.

The support given to date from IM Properties has been on many levels, including promoting skills and training, assisting community projects to donating to local charities and organisations.

On our new Peddimore scheme, which we’re delivering in partnership with Birmingham City Council, we’ve embarked on an ambitious six-year social value programme, to support and empower the communities which surround the Minworth development.

Social Value Partners

Concurrently with working up the Peddimore planning application, we partnered with four Social Value charity Partners– St Basils, The Jericho Foundation, The Pioneer Group & Witton Lodge. At the point of planning permission, we’d already delivered 12 months of our Social Value programme to the surrounding local communities, which has included supporting local schools, community projects and social enterprises.

To date, IM Properties and its supply chain on Peddimore has engaged in 728 hours of voluntary time to support local organisations, delivered 12 grants of up to £2000 each from our Peddimore Community Fund, achieved an 85 per cent procurement rate with local suppliers in a 30-mile radius and spent £120, 243 with social enterprises.

Investing in the Community

The Peddimore Community Fund is managed by Heart of England and offers grants to local organisations surrounding the Peddimore scheme for sports or community projects, social welfare, health and well-being initiatives or formal training and education programmes.

We’ve also selected the first 6 students to support through the Building Birmingham Scholarship scheme. Here, we are co-financing their university degrees and will be providing vital vocational experience in the built environment, alongside mentors from both IM Properties and our wider supply chain.

At Mercia Park, we will be launching a new Community Fund in early 2020. We anticipate its outcomes will be influenced by the Community Liaison Group being established as part of the project delivery. We very much look forward to listening to the views of the local organisations and people to establish where our support could be most effective.

And there’s more to come and more to learn from, but as a company, we’re committed to delivering Social Value, and for me, that’s the crucial part.

Thank you

So, a big thank you to our Social Value Partners, our supply chain and all who have worked in partnership with us in delivering sustainable developments that offer both social and economic benefits. We still have much to do and I am hugely excited by what we have in store for 2020.  However, as we finish in 2019, it is important that we thank you for your support. We hope you gain as much as we do from the feel-good factor of making a difference and giving something back.