Community spirit

Working with the community is important to us here at Oakfield - we want our neighbours to have a say in how things are done and put their mark on the development. Earlier this year we asked those who know the site best to come up with road names relating to three themes; Oakfield through the ages, green heroes and society builders. There were some great ideas which we’ve now passed over to the Council and we’ll be able to share next year. The next step is to name the community hub which is a community space and set of apartments. You can send in your suggestions to hello@oakfieldswindon.co.uk.   

This year we've been able to support our local communities through the Oakfield Community Response Fund, funded by Nationwide Building Society our project sponsor which was set up in partnership with the Wiltshire Community Foundation. More than £51,600 of the £100k fund has been awarded to 12 fantastic projects so far, ranging from helping Swindon’s refugee community to summer youth projects in the more deprived areas of Swindon. More funds are available, so if you’re a local organisation in need you can apply for a grant here.  

We’ve seen some positives come out of lockdown too. The local community spirit has inspired us. Community groups have been providing colouring pages for children to put in their windows to spread joy, and local shops and volunteers have been going out of their way to help those shielding at home by delivering groceries to them – a truly amazing community if you ask us! We were really pleased to be able to hand out bird feeder sets for local children to decorate over the summer too.   

A local workforce

Our construction partner Mi-space is dedicated to hiring local companies and creating jobs for those who live close by. Already Mi-space has been able to create 10 new jobs for locals. This has been a fantastic highlight of 2020, and there’l be more opportunities in the future. If you’re a local tradesperson contact Scott Dee on 07419 988 969 for more information.  

We’ve mentioned Mi-space’s two apprentices before on our Instagram and website but Brandon and Ollie deserve another shout out! As part of Mi-space’s ‘Launch’ training programme they’ve been hard at work alongside the construction team at Oakfield getting the site to where it is today. Working alongside studying for qualifications, it’s safe to say they’re doing a great job! Have a look at this interview to find out more.  

Making good progress

2020 saw the start of construction onsite, with Mi-space ‘breaking ground’ in March. This was very exciting as the years of planning and gathering ideas from our neighbours were starting to take shape. Lots of progress has been made since then including piling to provide sturdy bases for the homes, and the first roads being tarmacked – more than 1200m to be precise!  

To capture this progress, back in February we worked with local business Firebird Films Ltd to put a camera on top of some residential flats that overlook the Oakfield site. At the time, we didn’t realise just how important this camera would become in helping those of us that don’t live locally watch the progress on site. While it felt like many aspects of everyday life ground to a halt, Oakfield was able to continue, with lots of extra provisions in place to make it safe for work to continue. Click the play button in the image to watch the timelapse video.