Building and construction services firm, GMI Construction Group PLC (GMI), has revealed the findings of a supply chain report for its South Shields Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) project, which show that more than 80 per cent of subcontractors working on site are North East-based.

Of the subcontractors currently working on the project – which is due to be completed by the end of the year – 83 per cent are based within a 40-mile radius, 69 per cent are based within a 20-mile radius, and 40 per cent are based within a ten-mile radius of the site.

GMI’s commitment to using local suppliers, emphasis on employment skills and education, as well as its outstanding record of project delivery, was key to the company securing the contract.

The company was appointed to build the BREEAM ‘very good’ 12,000 sq ft building on Mile End Road that will become home to 65 DWP employees, bringing over from its former site on Barrington Street, a range of services to help people of working age find employment, claim benefits, as well as specialist support for those with disabilities.

The relocation of DWP from Barrington Street to Mile End Road is one of the key pieces in the repurposing of South Shields town centre, as it will free up land and bring forward the third phase of the game-changing regeneration of the area – an exciting retail and leisure offer with improved connectivity, pedestrian access and public open space to benefit both the town and the community.

The ambitious £100m South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan is being delivered through a close collaboration between GMI’s client, Muse Developments, and South Tyneside Council.

Lee Powell, Divisional Managing Director for GMI Construction, said: “We feel very proud to be building in South Shields and are fully committed to the local area.

“The project has enabled us to invest in the local infrastructure and employ local people. We have a very strong local supply chain, with more than 80 per cent of the subcontractors involved in this project based within a 40-mile radius of the site.

“We have an Employment and Skills plan, including creating apprenticeships and employing those who have previously been unemployed.  The project has been very good for us in terms of our investment in the local area and as part of our expansion into the North East.”