VIDEO | How to deliver meaningful social value

How do we ensure that social value is more than just a box-ticking exercise? That was the question debated at an insightful roundtable discussion hosted by Robertson Group.


  • Matthew Ainsworth, director of skills, work, and inclusive economy, Salford City Council
  • Sophie Bevan, director of development and major projects, Liverpool City Council
  • Lowri Bond, development manager and footprint lead, igloo
  • Alan Hall, projects director, Genr8
  • Dan Heffernan, social value lead, Faithful + Gould
  • Malcolm Jackson, chief operating officer, Langtree
  • Rachael Patterson, head of partnerships and external relations, Knowledge Quarter Liverpool
  • Dirk Pittaway, managing director North West, Robertson Group
  • Chaired by Julia Hatmaker, editor, Place North West

Key talking points

From the discussion, it was clear that for social value schemes to have any impact they have to be developed with community input. Social value delivery, the panellists agreed, does not work well when it is formulaic.

It is important that we do not get hung on the metrics when it comes to delivering social value. While it is nice to be able to quantify success with figures like the number of apprenticeships or the number of school visits, some impacts cannot be measured. The legacy of a kitchen built at a food bank, which enables those in need can take cooking classes and feed their family, is hard to evaluate. You’d have to take into account every single person who took a class and follow them after, as well as every kid who was fed and their future. Meaningful social value has a long-term impact.

It is also good business, the panel agreed, sharing how it has helped with retaining staff, securing repeat clients, and attract a more diverse workforce.

You can hear highlights from the roundtable in the video at the top of this article, as well as on the Place North West YouTube channel.

Robertson Group logo (SOCIAL MEDIA)


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