Mott MacDonald - Think Future Generations!

Wales & West Utilities Building Stronger Communities Award, 2017, Winner

Mott MacDonald is a management, engineering and development consultancy which designs infrastructure solutions ranging from flood defences, bridges, different kinds of buildings and foundations. As an employee-owned business staff are given a unique role in the approach taken to working with communities on each project that the company delivers. 

Good for business

  • Winning more work – following the success of the Think Future Generations! project in Merthyr, Mott has received two direct referrals for new contracts
  • Morale boost – colleagues report, via internal council sessions, that they get an “emotional boost” from this new and different approach to working
  • New suppliers – new sub-contractors, previously unknown to Mott, have been brought on board to support the project in Merthyr and work with Mott on future projects

Good for communities

  • Flood prevention – the community project area has now been protected against flood events in the future
  • New community activities – the Christmas Fayre has been bolstered and handed back to the community to run, on a more sustainable financial footing
  • Moving on from Aberfan – there is now a new Scout troop in Aberfan for the first time in 46 years, providing young people in the area with new and exciting community-based experiences

Think Future Generations!

Mott MacDonald managed and helped deliver a series of infrastructure projects on the site of the 1966 Aberfan Disaster, projects which will not only physically support the community but also breathe new life into a community which “was wounded and looking in on itself”. Through Mott’s Think Future Generations! programme, staff were pushed at every stage to consider what legacy the company would leave after the contract had been delivered.

The 1966 Disaster was a hammer blow to Aberfan and led directly to years of prolonged socio-economic decline. Above and beyond the contractual requirements that Mott delivered for Merthyr Tydfil Council and the Welsh Government, the TFG! project team quickly established links with community groups and Communities First to better understand what actions could be taken locally to reinvigorate the local area. These relationships ensured that the activity delivered as part of TFG! were relevant and appropriate to the issues being faced locally. 

As a result, the TFG! team were involved in the reorganisation of the Christmas and Summer fayres and the Art for Charity festival, the clearing and refurbishment of church grounds and working on practical community initiatives (outside of the scope of the contract) such as redesigning and building a new recycling centre. The contract was met with flood defences being put in place, bridges repaired and environmental measures put in place, but Mott’s commitment went beyond the contract as the company had been on the ground to understand what was happening locally. 

The experience of working in Aberfan has been reported back into the company, ensuring that the early engagement approach advocated through TFG! is built on and used elsewhere. This has led to further contract work being secured by Mott to the value of £6mn. In addition, Mott has been lauded by the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales for the work carried out in Aberfan – building their reputation as a community-driven business. 

By working in partnership with community groups – and crucially understanding the issues on the ground – Mott has been able to successfully hand over legacy projects to stakeholders in the community.

What Mott MacDonald’s Chairman said:

“It’s always wonderful to see the Mott MacDonald ethos of opening opportunities with connected thinking being put into practice. The ‘Think Future Generations’ team has exemplified the Mott MacDonald values of Progress, Respect, Integrity, Drive and Excellence, and their commitment to the project should be applauded. Well done all.”Keith Howells, Chairman, Mott MacDonald