Publication title

Measuring the Social Value of Offices

Publication date



BCO Research & Policy

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Non Member Cost


The research conducted by the British Council for Offices together with Legal & General Investment Management and the Social Value Portal highlights how co-operation between local authorities, building owners and development teams can unlock the significant benefits to society and the economy by considering the broader social value that buildings can create within the local community. At present, social value is only indirectly considered in the planning process through Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended). However, S106, which is designed to mitigate the detrimental impacts of a development on the local community, is particularly focused on cash contributions, and as such does not recognise or ‘value, any positive benefits that the development could bring to a local area. The BCO report demonstrates that the social value of a development is likely to be significantly larger than its potential S106 contributions and that a continued focus on cash contributions is leading all parties to miss the bigger opportunity. BCO’s research’s findings show that Social Value could be delivered through improved procurement practices during manufacture and construction stages, by ensuring building managers focus on local sourcing and through ‘buy local’, including an obligation for occupiers to have their own employment and engagement programmes. The report sets out a series of recommendation in order for the industry to realise the opportunity.

As local government grants are cut, local authorities are looking at how they can make their ever-reducing budgets to go further. The research highlights the importance and benefits to society and the economy of unlocking greater social value from development projects in order to deliver the best outcomes for the community.