South Wales Police Learning Centre, Bridgend

Sector

Blue Light

Value

£20 million

Region

Wales

Status

Project in progress

CGI of the new South Wales Police Learning and Development Services Building

Background

South Wales Police has one of the largest estates within the blue light sector across the UK. The force conducted a strategic review of its whole estate and identified opportunities and shortfalls of its services. Due to an influx of recruits and new officers, it was decided that the facilities where students are taught and assessed were inadequate.

Requirements

Following extensive refurbishment of the force’s current headquarters in Bridgend, there was significant space available for further redevelopment of the site. A decision was made to invest in a purpose-built facility to house all the teaching requirements within one building. The new building will provide a permanent base for learning and development services, human resources and the police and crime commissioner. Several buildings in poor conditions also needed to be demolished, along with underground obstructions needing to be removed.

Perfect Circle is providing project management and quantity surveying services, along with health and safety and CDM advisory services. The scheme is required to be completed by the end of 2021, which is critical to the client due to leases finishing on buildings.

Challenges

As the building will be used by students, police staff and members of the police and crime commissioner’s team, it was crucial to ensure that it would maintain levels of privacy and security, while also being accessible to all. Due to the new building’s use and how it will function, it was also vital that Perfect Circle understood how students would arrive, congregate and be taught so a thoughtful plan of the building’s layout could be designed.

Like with many old buildings, asbestos has previously been used throughout the site. During the initial surveys, a lot of the asbestos material was identified, however more was found during demolition. Works were delayed while additional surveys were undertaken so the hazard could be dealt with. The presence of asbestos was also detected externally buried within made up ground. This was proven to be extremely difficult and time consuming to manage safely.

Testimonial

Perfect Circle has consistently provided a highly professional, technically competent, customer-focused and cost-effective service, which has proven extremely beneficial to the South Wales Police Estates Department.

Our most recent project with Perfect Circle has been the development of the new police headquarters. This has been a particularly different project; however Perfect Circle has provided commendable support to us throughout the whole process and continues to provide us with a service that is exemplar.

Clare Jones | Estates Manager (Capital & Strategic Projects), South Wales Police

Outcomes

With the engagement of a permanent site supervisor on site, as well as Perfect Circle working collaboratively with the contractor and health and safety advisor, a safe working practice and methodical way of dealing with identified risks, such as asbestos, was developed.

In order to meet privacy requirements, Perfect Circle spent time to fully understand: current teaching patterns and those proposed for the future; current numbers of students and the predicted figure; and how the classes will be delivered in terms of both theory and practical lessons. Detailed workshops were held with stakeholders of all levels to understand the teaching requirements.

This scheme will ensure South Wales Police is brought into the 21st century of teaching methods and facilities. It will greatly enhance the levels of training given to students, which will help in the longer term of front-line policing methods in the local community.

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