Tewkesbury Borough Council office refurbishment, Tewkesbury
The council was keen to generate income from underutilised office space it owns. To do this, the existing office space needed to be refurbished to attract potential new companies. This was also enhanced by an approved application for funding to create a new Business Enterprise Growth Hub. These spaces are leased to both established companies and new emerging start-ups.
With previous experience of working on refurbishment projects within live environments, Perfect Circle helped to manage and plan the works to ensure the client was able to release areas of the office in time for the new businesses to take occupation. The team also helped to review the initial brief and challenge the requirements to ensure the works were in line with the budget.
Tewkesbury Borough Council made a strategic decision to undertake a full refurbishment of its main office accommodation to enhance the working environment, provide improved services to members of the public, and also be able to create improved office accommodation, which could be let to third party companies.
The refurbishment was undertaken in several phases across 11 months of construction work. The building remained live and needed to continue to provide public services to the local community.
To provide space for new start-up companies to operate from, extensive alterations were made internally to create a new Enterprise Business Growth Hub on the ground floor. This was funded separately by the LEP.
Perfect Circle has provided project management and quantity surveying as core services.
Maintaining a live site for both staff and local residents was extremely important and difficult to maintain. The coordination of works was critical to ensure disruption was kept to a minimum during the works.
The accessibility to the front of the building needed to be improved and, as a result, extensive ground works were required. Asbestos containing materials (ACMs) were found in the external ground around the main entrance.
Working to tight programmes to ensure all new lease agreements with third party companies could be met was also a challenge.
Extensive upfront communications were required to help review and agree a phasing plan for the works. One challenge was ensuring disabled access was maintained to the lifts while works were undertaken around the area. Staff were briefed and inducted onto the site who needed to have access through the site. This process was agreed with the CDM advisor, client health and safety team, and the principle contractor.
The programme was very challenging as the leases were dictating the programme of works. This enabled the council to start charging rent and seeing a return on investment in the main office building.
The refurbished general office areas within the main building have subsequently been let to three individual local companies. The first company agreed to lease part of the area before the general works contract was signed with the principle contractor. The whole office refurbishment – including the general areas, council chambers and meeting rooms – have been very well received by local councillors, members of public, council staff and the new businesses.
The underlying impact this scheme will have will be to ensure that Tewkesbury Borough Council not only supports new businesses to grow and establish themselves, but also generates ongoing income from renting out underutilised office space. The facilities of the main council office building will be up to date with modern facilities, greatly enhancing the levels of services provided to local residents and the local community.