Case Study

Health & Social Care

Mayfield Autism Centre


Wigan Council
Willmott Dixon
September 2016
December 2017
Health & Social Care
Form of Contract
Delivery Type
Design and Build

This project involves the construction of 12 independent units within one 960m2 centre, with staff facilities including office space, two kitchens and an apartment.

The project also includes the development of a sensory room with 3D imagery and a garden area providing a supportive outdoor environment. These additions focus on enhancing the lives of residents by providing calm surroundings which will reduce their stress and anxiety.

• This facility has been designed in line with Wigan Council’s exacting specification and the Autism Design Guide
• We are providing a robust structure which will enhance building longevity as parts of the building may be affected by the behavioural episodes sometimes experienced by those living with autism. For example, 100% of walls on this project will be constructed using wet plaster and blockwork, and all heating systems and electrical panels will be hidden and integrated into the wall structure
• We are developing a ‘Sensory Room’ in line with the client’s specification. This room has features including touch-sensitive walls linked to the air conditioning, interactive games projected onto the floor and wall-projected simulations to mimic situations such as the inside of an ambulance, or snowy weather conditions


Social Value
• We provide opportunities for work experience – for example, a 4-week work placement in brickwork for a locally based, long-term unemployed person. After successfully completing this placement, the local person is currently applying for a full-time apprenticeship with our preferred brickwork contractor
• We have provided a short term labouring opportunity to a local person. On completing this short-term opportunity, this person is now in full-time employment with our scaffolding contractor
• We are delivering local social value by building planters in conjunction with Extra Care residents at the nearby Little Lane scheme, which is also for Wigan Council, through the NWCH
• We have developed an on-site nature reserve, with an insect hotel
• We have worked with the Mayfield Centre Manager to arrange additional Autism Awareness training for our staff
• 90% of our workforce is based within 40 miles from the site


“Overall we were pleased with how Willmott Dixon enabled us to obtain a high quality building design for people living with Autism and tried to help provide the facility we need, whilst remaining within a realistic budget. The design had to reflect our requirements of providing a comfortable place to live but needed to include fixtures and fittings which did not trigger autistic episodes, so several changes were made along the way.” – Mayfield Autism Centre