Civic centre contractor wins praise

VIEW FROM ABOVE: An aerial shot of Waterdale and the new civic offices.
VIEW FROM ABOVE: An aerial shot of Waterdale and the new civic offices.

The contractor behind Doncaster’s new £20m civic offices has been praised for going above and beyond its consideration for the community.

During an inspection from the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), Wates Construction shone in its ongoing delivery of the new 157,500 sq ft five-storey civic offices. The offices are set to become home to Doncaster Council employees and a new one-stop-shop for local residents.

Construction on the project began in November 2010 and it forms part of Doncaster’s new Civic and Cultural Quarter (CCQ), a regeneration scheme commissioned by Doncaster Council and its development partner, Muse Developments.

Assessors praised Wates Construction for its outstanding neighbourhood engagement, which has included the distribution of newsletters, as well as open evenings, held to inform the wider community of the project’s progress.

The site team also scored top marks as a responsible contractor and was commended for its health and safety procedures and environmental protection policy. The CCS reported good practice in both material recycling and the reduction in noise pollution, whilst also recognising Wates’ efforts to minimise traffic obstruction.

Dave Price, business unit director for Wates Construction, Yorkshire, commented: “Wates Construction is delighted that the CCS has recognised our efforts at Doncaster civic offices. It has always been our intention to ensure this project makes a lasting and positive impact on the local area, not just while the site is operational.

“Our priority is of course keeping our staff and the public safe, but this is only the beginning. This project has been key to boosting the local economy, be that through local companies becoming part of our supply chain, or through the creation of training opportunities and employment in Doncaster.” Since construction began last year, Wates has employed two local people, who have become part of the site management team, along with a resident apprentice, currently completing a year-long NVQ in business administration with Doncaster College. The site team also has regular visits from study groups from the college and local schools.

Mayor Peter Davies said: “The new civic offices are a key part of Doncaster’s Civic and Cultural Quarter which promises to deliver real economic benefits for the town and transform the Waterdale area. It is important people are kept informed every step of the way and care is taken to minimise the impact during its construction. I am delighted the good work of Wates has been formally recognised in this way.”

Michael Broadhead, Muse’s project director, added: “Wates have gone above and beyond standard industry requirements, which is a tremendous achievement and special thanks should go to Wates’ project manager Mark Winter and his excellent site team, we look forward to Wates delivering this well-executed and quality office building in extremely challenging times for the construction industry.”

The Considerate Constructors Scheme aims to improve the image of construction, assessing sites against the scheme’s Site Code of Considerate Practice to encourage contractors to go above and beyond standard industry requirements.

The CCQ project is in part supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund. Phase One will include new civic offices, a state of the art performance venue, a new public square and additional public realm, town centre homes, and a refurbished 850- space multi-storey car park. This phase of the scheme is due to be completed by summer 2013.