Ellesmere Port Hub gives new opportunities for local businesses
Work is progressing well in Ellesmere Port following the opening of the Bus Interchange in November, with work now moving to the Hub building.
The project is on schedule with piling work completed on site before Christmas. Further work will include drainage work and the final bus stand F will be completed, following cabling installation.
Councillor Carol Gahan, Cabinet Member for Legal and Finance said: “The reports from site are very encouraging, construction has been one of the essential business areas permitted to continue during the COVID restrictions. What this means is there is local work for other businesses and new employment opportunities as the new building progresses.”
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Work Zone team are working closely with Framework Partner, VINCI Construction UK to ensure jobs can be secured locally and the necessary training offered. The first phase of works had a small work force which is due to increase this year.
VINCI Construction UK’s team have attended a talk on careers in construction with a group of job seekers arranged via the Work Zone. Contact has also been made with local schools and colleges for future site visits, talks on careers and opportunities in construction for year 10 and 11 students. There are plans to arrange a number of virtual presentations whilst COVID restriction prevent site visits.
The new hub building, and bus zone are part of the Ellesmere Port Masterplan, a 15-year vision for Ellesmere Port.
The new hub provides the most cost-effective solution to the provision of council and partner services in the town when compared with the alternative of refurbishing Civic Way offices which will be demolished as part of the wider masterplan proposals. This space will then be made available for new housing for families and young professionals to live in the town.
The project is one of the flagship and time critical projects for Cheshire West and Chester Council. The project procurement route has enabled them to continue with the project despite the current pandemic halting so much of normal day to day life.
The North West Construction Hub and Vinci have been ready and willing to start work while adhering to the Covid-19 government guidelines, which has been of the upmost importance.
The procurement process promotes continuous engagement with the project delivery team. Communication and planning lead by the contractor was meticulous. The scheme maintained momentum with remote working, patience and understanding from all parties. Solutions were developed and implemented for safety of site operation, with implementing and adhering to 2m social distancing in the forefront of the action plan. This would not have been possible if the trust and communication had not already been established throughout the tender process.
Work commenced on site in June amidst a national shutdown never seen before in our lifetime. The whole approach to a difficult situation has been inspirational and reinforces that a partnering approach is the only way to operate and delivery successful construction projects.