Thriving places Broadgate Connect
Thriving places: How Broadgate Connect has created a return on investment
Written by Julie Hutchinson (Deputy Chief Executive at ELBA) and Anna Devlet (Head of Social Sustainability at British Land)
Broadgate Connect is an employment and training partnership between British Land and ELBA, which connects Broadgate businesses with local talent. It has been helping East Londoners gain fulfilling jobs and apprenticeships in and around Broadgate since 2012, enabling diverse local hiring for our campus customers and suppliers.
A recent report celebrating 10 years of the programme has just been published. This report reflects on how ten years of cross-sectoral collaboration has created positive impact for the local economy, community and British Land customers – and what this means looking forward. Here we hear from Julie Hutchinson (Deputy Chief Executive at ELBA) and Anna Devlet (Head of Social Sustainability at British Land) about the programme and its impact over the past decade.
JULIE: Broadgate Connect is ELBA’s longest-standing employment project. We have immense pride in the impacts the programme has generated – including £10m economic value in its first ten years – and the lessons and opportunities it opens for the future. Together, we have targeted sustainable career opportunities, training and upskilling in our diverse and talented local communities, addressing social mobility, unemployment and under-representation.
ANNA: Broadgate Connect has been helping Broadgate businesses access local talent since 2012. New, independent research has revealed that for every £1 invested, Broadgate Connect has generated £39 of economic, social and fiscal value. In its first ten years, the programme has upskilled 839 East Londoners and supported 545 people into jobs. It’s connected 84 employers to a diverse local talent pipeline, supporting their sustained commercial success and their own social goals.
ADAPTING AND LEARNING
ANNA: Since we first piloted our embedded employment model at Broadgate in 2012, the local landscape and our approach to the campus have evolved, so we’ve continued to adapt. We’ve learnt and innovated with ELBA and other local partners, while tweaking our approach to reflect specific local challenges. This is one of the ways we create a long-lasting, positive social impact.
JULIE: Our partnership with British Land is a genuine collaboration. We listen and value each other’s expertise, co-designing strategies, adapting and challenging each other to better serve our communities. When British Land comes to us with an idea we don’t think will work, we’re able to challenge it, knowing that they will listen.
JULIE: When Broadgate Connect launched in 2012, British Land was one of four pioneering employers to embed an ELBA project manager in their teams to unlock job opportunities. Today, they’re the only one remaining, showcasing their unwavering commitment to Hackney and Tower Hamlets. This milestone could not have been reached without the support of Broadgate employers and community partners in both boroughs.
ANNA: Collaboration has been fundamental to the success of Broadgate Connect, amplifying outcomes and achievements, but there’s still more to do. Our focus is now on expanding customer engagement and continuing to smooth the pathway to employment, supporting local talent into a broader range of roles with our customers and increasing socio-economic impact in the years to come.
A MODEL FOR THE UK
JULIE: Together, we have shown that unemployment can be addressed through simple yet effective solutions, driven by genuine intent, the right resources and real commitment. The benefits of sustainable employment extend beyond the financial, promoting self-esteem and a sense of belonging and enhancing community cohesion.
ANNA: Broadgate Connect shows the power of being nimble, pragmatic and collaborative, within a flexible framework. The beauty of the model is that it’s both locally tailored and replicable; a transferable framework for inclusive growth.
JULIE: The ongoing impacts of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis have exacerbated poverty and widened existing inequalities, disproportionately impacting individuals on lower incomes and in informal employment. Now, more than ever, it is crucial for each of us to acknowledge our role. Collective action is required to build a society that prioritises fairness, inclusivity and equal opportunity for all.
ANNA: In the face of such need, we hope that the evidence in this report encourages greater cross-sector collaboration to drive inclusive economic growth across the UK. Everyone at British Land is proud to have been involved in a decade of partnership with ELBA and we look forward to innovating together into the future.
Following the launch event, British Land have also hosted a series of follow-up sessions aimed at Broadgate customers too. Read the full report here.