Property company, BEC is proud to plough its profits back into the local area, at the same time sponsoring local sports teams and inspiring communities to invest in green energy. Michael Pemberton tells us more about how the firm is doing all it can to make a difference.
Build Extraordinary Communities (BEC) is a profit-for-purpose firm that reinvests the profit from its property portfolio to deliver lasting regeneration, low carbon and social outcomes that positively impact local communities.
Chief Executive, Michael Pemberton, explains a little more about this rationale.
“We create developments with people in mind,” he begins. “From the smallest communities to society at large, we work hard to ensure that our impact is positive and our actions are ethical. To do this, we support the local communities in which we operate, champion urban regeneration and provide inspiring places to work and live.”
BEC’s aim is to bring West Cumbria together, supporting all the local authorities to maximise the potential of their economic assets for the benefit of local residents, businesses and communities. It also strives to create financial independence for BEC through commercial property development, while delivering sustainable low carbon interventions and regeneration; secure alternative funding streams and investment into local communities; as well as excelling in low carbon economic development.
With core values of Self-Worth, Kindness, Respect, Support, Integrity, BEC creates developments for people to enjoy and work in. It upholds sustainable building practices and environmental responsibility at every turn and supports extraordinary businesses by providing spaces for them to thrive.
The firm’s two key developments include North Shore and Westlakes Science Park.
North Shore is an exciting regeneration plan that will bring new life to Whitehaven’s harbour area. An ambitious, sustainable proposal, North Shore has plans currently under consultation for a four-star hotel, a modern office building, food and drink offerings, a buzzing innovation centre and much more.
Westlakes Science Park is set in rolling parkland and features an architecturally diverse mix of buildings around a vibrant, community hu which is home to some of Europe’s brightest minds and most dynamic businesses.
Already a cutting-edge development, there are even bigger plans for Westlakes as BEC is looking to take it off-grid for all its electricity requirements, by developing a microgrid that will generate and store electricity from renewable sources.
“We’re committed to sustainable building practices and upholding a low carbon agenda. It’s what we call our ‘Golden Thread’ – and it runs through everything we do.
“Our ‘Golden Thread’ is our driving force whether we’re considering net zero carbon property developments like North Shore, looking for further efficiencies at Westlakes, or searching for opportunities in our local communities, we aim to develop projects that are both economically viable and of real benefit to those living and working in the area.”
BEC’s success can be put down to a few key areas, these include:
1. Investing in buildings: By creating inspiring places to work and play BEC will support the well-being of those who work in them as well enhancing the local environment and communities in which they are located.
2. Managing environmental impact: A commitment to caring for the environment by investing in green energy solutions in all buildings and communities, supporting conservation activities across the estate and educating the next generation.
3. Supporting communities: BEC uses its profits to support local communities by investing in urban regeneration, and creating jobs and opportunities for local businesses and individuals. We support local charities through volunteering and financial support.
“We care about the local economies in which we operate in and we help to regenerate communities,” Michael comments. “As a company, we set high standards of performance and ethical behaviours. We are judged by how we act – our reputation is upheld by how we live up to our core valued behaviours which serve as a compass for our actions and describe how we behave in the world.”
This year, BEC has made a lot of changes, including its new look branding which is deigned to be easier to read, and more appealing visually. However, perhaps the biggest change is that this branding has been developed with input from all members of the BEC team.
Michael explains further: “We have had a more engaging process with the team as a whole with the aim of increasing ownership of the Business Plan across the company.”
Indeed, BEC has created a company which attracts and retains really great people and this is a reflection on the team as a whole. Michael actively seeks out local talent and supports the local supply chain in full and the firm’s developments look to create significant employment opportunities.
“That sense of ownership of the content of our Business Plan is really important. This will be a huge year for BEC, perhaps the most important in our history – and we all need to pull together as a team to ensure we deliver on our aspirations and what is expected of us.”
This year, BEC has very big plans indeed, including the delivery of the Buzz Station, a pivotal development in the transformation of Whitehaven which is hoped will stimulate much needed diversification in the local economy and provide space for disruptive and creative businesses to become established and thrive.
The Buzz Station (which is, as the name suggests, the development of a former bus station) will combine flexible working space, wellbeing facilities and artisan food offerings to become a cutting-edge home of innovation, disruption and imagination at Whitehaven’s North Shore.
BEC also aims to continue to develop its plans for the wider North Shore Scheme delivery and for the continuing improvements and developments at Westlakes – the core of its business.
“All of this activity is not only underpinned by our Golden Thread and our aspiration to support our local communities but also the continual growth and development of the fantastic team we have created here at BEC.”
BEC will improve performance by developing and improving the individual performance of board members, senior management, staff and consultants. These valued behaviours will provide the individual with the guiding principles of the behaviours and actions that will be valued, recognised and key to BEC’s success.
“We live in interesting and exciting times but it is important to remember that such changes also bring opportunity for businesses with a clear focus, a simple plan to deliver and the talented people who supported and encouraged to ensure that delivery is achieved. At BEC we have that in spades and we all have our part to play!”