Maximising local economic impact with Canterbury Christ Church University

The Creative Arts Building is an exciting c.2650 sqm project, which will contribute to the social and economic growth of the region by developing sought after skills in the creative industries.

We always look to maximise the positive local economic benefit of our construction projects. With the Creative Arts Building being prominent in our local community, this was no different. Our approach focused on the three pillars of sustainability: Economic, Environmental & Social.  An overview of some of the positive outcomes of our work with Canterbury Christ Church University are highlighted below.


We always look to maximise the local economic impact of construction, The Arts Building was no different:

  • Estimated £2.51 local economic benefit from every £1 spent on construction: based upon the Local Economic Multiplier Effect and our efforts to capture spend locally.
  • Maximising local economic benefit: as a Canterbury-based contractor, we used our local staff to deliver this Canterbury-based project. Thereby maximising retention of expenditure for both Canterbury and Kent. Our staff our proud to have delivered a project in their local community which will benefit the region for years to come. 54% (14) of our staff on the project live in Canterbury; with 16% (4) in Medway and 28% (7) in Thanet. 100% of our staff involved in the Arts Building live in Kent.
  • Capturing local spend: 52% of subcontract orders were placed with companies based within 20-miles. Over 21% with companies based within 5-miles.
  • Developing much needed creative skills: The Arts building will support the development of Canterbury’s economy and cultural capital by providing key skills in the creative industries and helping create a supply of graduates with the right skills sets to find employment. The Creative Industries currently contribute £10.5m per hour to the UK Economy.
  • Utilising local apprentices: The Arts Building gave a number of our existing apprentices the opportunity to continue their training. A Canterbury-based carpentry apprentice; a Canterbury-based bricklaying apprentice and a Medway-based carpentry apprentice all gained first-hand experience. In addition to our own apprentices, the Arts Building hosted training for apprentices from our supply chain. A further 5 apprentices worked on the project including two electrical apprentices; two mechanical apprentices and a carpentry apprentices from our subcontractors.
  • Enhancing local construction skills: we provided in excess of 500 training days for Kent-based staff.


The environmental impact of The Arts Building was minimised in a number of ways.

  • BREEAM “Very Good”: energy saving measures include maximising natural light through large areas of glazing and roof lighting; thermally efficient concrete frame; building management system; solar gain control in addition to water efficient fixtures, use of recycled material and tree protection measures.
  • 100% of waste was recycled: working with a local waste management company over 260 tonnes avoided landfill.
  • Reducing C02 and local congestion by eliminating c.3,000 car journeys. Our Site Management adopted the “Cycle to Work Scheme”. Following the good example of our Site Managers members of our supply chain started cycling too – at least another 6 operatives cycled including mechanical & electrical trades and labourers.
  • Minimising CO2 emissions by using local skills: 18 subcontractors were based within 15-miles of site minimising the carbon miles.


The Arts Building will provide a variety of benefits to wider society for years to come. For instance, it will provide an important additional location for arts events throughout the year and be part of the Canterbury Festival. While the arts community housed within the Arts Building will help enhance Canterbury’s cultural capital. During works we engaged with the wider community, including:

  • Supporting the “Minilympics” teaching 140 pupils from 9 local primary schools about sport, healthy eating and teamwork.
  • Sponsoring the University’s Women’s Football Team and their Women’s Cricket Team.
  • Working with the University’s Archivist to document the build.
  • Meetings with Havelock Residents Group discussed concerns and upcoming works.
  • The design celebrates the historic foundations of the campus, exposing sections of the original St Augustine’s Abbey wall beneath a glass floor.


The building is arranged over two and three storeys. A café and central exhibition space are at ground floor along with specialist music, practice, rehearsal, recording and performance spaces. On the first and second floors studio spaces are provided to house courses in graphic design, web design, multimedia design, digital media, illustration and photography. To place students at the heart the building, central open learning spaces are provided on the first and second floors.

The Arts Building is the latest in a long line of projects for Canterbury Christ Church University. Previous projects include The Salomans Centre, Tunbridge Wells , Maxwell Davies Building and St Gregory’s Music Centre both in Canterbury. More information about the courses on offer at the Arts Building can be found here.