Social value sees £1bn return in 2022


Social value addition (SVA) has increased by nearly 25% across 500 projects in the UK, according to a new report. 

Community building photograph.

The annual Social Value in Construction Benchmarking Report shows that social value in construction is rising, with more firms developing strategies to include it in project planning. 

The report, published by procurement specialists SCAPE and the Social Value Portal (SVP), looked at projects ranging from £20,000 to more than £200 million.

Regional differences in SVA were broad, with a sharp rise in application in Wales, Yorkshire, and East of England. 

Full scope 

Return on investment was higher for smaller contracts, with contracts below £2.5 million getting a 30% return on SVA and contracts more than £75 million getting just above 10%. 

The difference is due to larger projects not being able to hire enough relevant skilled labour in the local population and the need to bring in more than one subcontractor. 

Regarding regions, the East of England (35%) and the East Midlands (31%) had the highest rates of SVA, an increase from last year’s rates of 9% and 6%, respectively. 

London (9%) and the South East (12%) had the lowest SVA rates and are also the regions with the most higher-value contracts. 


Looking at the types of SVA, economic growth and jobs remain the largest measurements of SVA, with most projects focusing on job creation and work experience. 

Labour-related social value has been a significant factor in planning large-scale regeneration projects. 

Recently, Berkeley Group aims to provide 10,000 full-time construction-related jobs and 1,000 apprentices in its 20-year regeneration of the Ladywood Estate in Birmingham

Similarly, Bouygues UK is collaborating with residents in Southwark to plan the 700-home redevelopment of the Tustin Estate

Report partners 

The following firms partnered with SCAPE and the SVP on the report: 

  • Arcadis.
  • Arup.
  • Kier.
  • Mace. 
  • Sisk.
  • Willmott Dixon. 

If you found this article interesting, check out INSIGHT: Building materials market outlook to 2030.

Get industry news in 5 minutes!

A daily email that makes industry news enjoyable. It’s completely free.