Procure Partnerships Framework contractor partner Whitfield & Brown is currently on-site creating a new wellbeing and community hub to serve the communities of Bewsey and Dallam, Warrington for client, Warrington Borough Council.
Within the communities of Bewsey and Dallam there was a requirement identified for services to aid low income families, the unemployed, those with mental health issues and those in poor health. This requirement was indicated as a result of detailed research that was conducted on behalf of the town to identify the communities which could enjoy the greatest benefit from a provision of these services.
Zoe Brooke, Director at Whitfield & Brown commented on the significance of the project for the two communities: “The Bewsey and Dallam Hub is a project which is very close to our heart. The client, investors and design team have tirelessly worked together to ensure project is realised. To be operating in our locality is a blessing and it’s an honour to know the outcome will benefit so many people, inclusive of some of our own employees.
The hub has been designed to be a dementia-friendly setting, located in between the communities of Bewsey and Dallam. The hub will house a hydrotherapy pool, unisex changing village, digital wellbeing suite, community suite, and library. The project will bring two distinct communities together and give them an amazing facility that will increase personal interaction and offer superior health benefits to members of the Bewsey and Dallam Communities.
The Bewsey & Dallam Hub is a new build construction project of a community building, totalling 980m2 over 3 storeys. The Hub once complete will include a number of key areas, split across the 3 floors including:
· Digital Wellbeing Centre
· Rehabilitation Pool
· Fitness Suite
· Community Spaces
In addition to the main Hub facility there will be 32 new car parking spaces and terraced areas for service users to enjoy.
Warrington Borough council’s Executive Board Member for Leisure and Community, Cllr Tony Higgins commented on the project: “The Bewsey and Dallam Community Hub is a hugely important facility, which will make a real difference to local people’s lives. This is why we’ve remained fully committed to the project, despite some of the challenges we’ve faced in its delivery.”
One of the challenges when taking on this project was to ensure the involvement the local community as early on as possible, so that they can be a part of the hub from its very beginning. Whitfield & Brown put a comprehensive Social Value plan in place at the project’s inception to guarantee both communities were involved at every stage of project delivery.
To date, Whitfield & Brown have visited 3 primary schools to disseminate the project proposals, supported by CGI’s and “fly throughs” so that the children could visualise the building and elaborated on the provision of services that will be available to them upon the Hub’s opening.
In addition to this Whitfield & Brown has given interactive health & safety talks, utilising considerate contractor videos and tools. The contractor has also hosted “work place safaris” with Warrington & Vale Royal College, whereby the construction students visited site to see the breadth of career roles associated with the project.
Zoe Brooke, Director at Whitfield & Brown commented on the Social Value Plan being delivered: “Social Value is at the core of our business at Whitfield & Brown, with our teams embracing the concept of giving back. We believe it is our duty to support future generations, giving them the tools and knowledge, they need to succeed in their future careers”.
Whitfield & Brown has many more engagement dates scheduled for the future, but owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, future plans are currently on hold.
The current situation presented by the pandemic has brought a number of further challenges which Whitfield & Brown has had to face including the coordination between trades whilst attempting to maintain momentum on site with a significant number of subcontractors furloughed or ceasing works. Whitfield & Brown has worked closely with the Warrington Borough Council to ensure that they working to SOPs and maintained a continuous flow of communication with the client team.
Robbie Blackhurst, Framework Director at Procure Partnerships Framework commented on the progress of the scheme: “The Bewsey and Dallam Community Hub will have a transformative impact on the communities it serves, from the outset of this project the user has been in mind every step of the way. This is one of the key benefits of having a local contractor such as Whitfield & Brown working on the project. They are serving their own community. They have demonstrated commitment to delivering the social value plan excellently, by maintaining clear communication with every stakeholder and have educating people on the benefits of the community hub and for young people in the community they have given insight into construction and the career opportunities available.”