Bath & North East Somerset Council has selected Willmott Dixon as its delivery partner for a £34 million scheme to regenerate Keynsham town centre.

The company will be responsible for the design development, demolition and construction of new space for shops, new streets and spaces, a one stop shop and library, and replacement, environmentally-friendly Council offices. The work involves demolition of the 1960s Town Hall and library and also of an adjacent reinforced concrete building accommodating retail units and offices. They will then be replaced by new structures providing enhanced and larger facilities.

Demolition work includes removal of asbestos present within the 1960s structures in accordance with the strict safety procedures which apply to handling of the material.

The new buildings include a two storey library and one stop shop for the community and a larger retail and office building. The structure has a reinforced concrete, mostly single storey, plinth providing retail accommodation. This then has three interlinked three storey office blocks above.

These will be built using a special type of cross laminated timber construction which utilises off cuts from the sawmilling industry. These are fabricated into high strength loadbearing timber components without any factory waste and have low embodied carbon. The buildings will be clad with masonry at lower level and lightweight brass and timber at the higher levels.

Sustainability will be a key aspect of the scheme. Energy efficiency will be built-in to the design which is specified to achieve the top ‘A’ rating under the Government’s Energy Performance Certification Scheme.

In addition to the principal buildings, the project also includes public realm and highway work, as well as refurbishment and extension of the existing car park to increase capacity by a further 60 spaces. Willmott Dixon is committed to creating local employment, training and trade opportunities as part of the build programme and the Council will be continuing to work with the community to minimise disruption during the work.

Councillor David Bellott, Cabinet Member for Community Resources, says: “Bath & North East Somerset Council is delighted to have appointed a delivery partner with such considerable experience, and enviable green credentials, to support us in regenerating Keynsham town centre.”

Councillor Cherry Breath, Cabinet member for Sustainable Development, adds: “The Council believes that Keynsham will benefit from new opportunities, jobs and greater prosperity for local people as the town becomes a more attractive proposition for private sector investment.”

The project, which is subject to planning consent, will be undertaken in phases. Willmott Dixon will be working in partnership with the Council’s project team over the next six months to agree the detailed design and construction programme prior to a planned start on site in August 2012.