Team Valley-based national construction company Willmott Dixon dug deep to help a local charity regenerate a community allotment in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The company, currently building a new police headquarters adjacent to the East Coast mainline on Forth Banks for Northumbria Police Authority, provided a mini-digger and construction equipment so its team could create new pathways to improve access for people using the Oxnam Crescent allotment in Spital Tongues.

The work was completed for Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle (STAN) as part of a Business in the Community Initiative called ‘Give and Gain Day’, which is focused on the Wingrove and Elswick areas of Newcastle and encourages employees to use their skills for important community–related work.

Willmott Dixon, which was recently named ‘Contractor of the Year’ by Constructing Excellence in the North East, worked with employees from its local partner J Hughes Construction to help out on the allotment regeneration project.

David Dixon, Willmott Dixon’s construction manager in Newcastle, said, “The team were really keen to use their skills to get involved and help make a real difference at Oxnam Crescent. Our work will make it easier and safer for the allotment members to get around their plots and we were delighted to have helped.”

Trai Anfield, former BBC North presenter and Groundwork STAN trustee, also attended to support Give and Gain Day and said: “Groundwork is a fantastic charity that makes a positive impact to local people, their neighbourhoods and the environment. Owning an allotment was a fantastic experience for me, so I understand how important allotments are to residents in Spital Tongues. I’m so pleased to see a local company like Willmott Dixon get involved; a big thank you to them and all their employees for giving their time.”

Siobhan O’Brien, business coordinator at Groundwork STAN, oversaw a diverse range of projects for Give and Gain Day and said, “Working across 11 sites has been a real challenge this year but thanks to the support of my colleagues at Groundwork and the efforts of the volunteer teams we have made a massive impact in the west end of Newcastle. We are very grateful to Willmott Dixon, Blacketts, Crown Paints and Newcastle City Council who provided a range of support. Thanks to them we were able to complete more work than we ever thought possible and make a lasting difference to the local community.”