Social Value Symposium inspires conversations around maximising Impact

Earlier this month, Socius joined Hill Group UK and Places for People, at Meeting Place’s Social Value Symposium in Cambridge, to discuss the importance of social value within the real estate industry and to inspire one another with examples of positive social impact.

Following Meeting Place’s first symposium, which was held in Bristol earlier this year and called on the government to be bolder when it comes to social value, the latest event focused on delivering social value in three areas of property development; planning, procurement and construction.

Liam Ronan-Chlond, Head of Engagement at Socius, led the conversations about ‘social value in planning’, with his group discussing the role it plays in the planning process. Discussions and take-aways from the session included; why social value is so important, the role consultation and community engagement play in ensuring long-term positive impact, how social value can be delivered during the planning process and how it can demonstrate the benefits of a proposal within a planning application.

The event was attended by the built environment sector and local community representatives, including Councillor Katie Thornburrow, Cambridge City Council Executive member for Planning, Councillor Dr Tumi Hawkins from South Cambridgeshire and Heather Jones from Greater Cambridge Planning service.

Liam explains: “Continuing to learn, to talk to one another and to exchange ideas is really important, because social value is still a fairly new concept. Despite this, it’s clear that there is a large proportion of people within the real estate industry who are committed to change, and to delivering significant social, economic and environmental value.

“Events like this one help us to build momentum and create genuine change, and we’re really excited to be leading these conversations.”