Bridgwater and Taunton College Student Accommodation
New accommodation for Bridgwater and Taunton students
One of the biggest housing-led regeneration projects in Worcester
Mixed-use scheme including homes and commercial units
Gresham Road saw our residential team deliver a new community in the heart of Worcester, adding new homes, shops and community facilities, alongside a youth centre. The team also refurbished an existing commercial property.
Our regeneration work here saw the following types of homes added:
Delivering this complex scheme meant we decanted and re-housed many residential and commercial tenants during construction work; a challenge that saw our team of community officers providing a pro-active service to ensure it was planned to the last detail to minimize inconvenience. Key to this was early engagement and working closely with residents and retailers to ensure we understood their concerns and met their particular needs.
Another challenge was that this multi-phase regeneration covered several sites within one housing estate, requiring several phased handovers to meet deliver dates. Our sequence also include a new church and opening several retail units.
Our role included more than creating 61 affordable homes over seven different sites; we also carried out the sensitive demolition of an existing church during the last phase of work and built its replacement.
During the project, our team worked closely with the commercial tenants so that their temporary relocation did not affect operations while we built new property for their businesses, and this included providing temporary accommodation for the Post Office and Chinese takeaway before they moved into new premises under an apartment block.
This was all done while making sure we did not disrupt the existing community, especially the community centre and retail units that remained open during the project, ensuring it remained 'business as usual' for these important local resources.
We had great resident involvement in the design and specification of their homes through initiatives like ‘Building for Real’ open days, tenants’ choice forums and local celebrations for phase completion. This helped contribute to the project's overall success.
One aspect of our 'hands-on' stakeholder management was the absence of criminal activity on all construction sites as people appreciated the new scheme's value to their community.
Saving time and money to give our clients added value is always a key priority. On Gresham Road, we reviewed the proposed phasing and modified this to reduce the time required by 8 per cent. This also enabled the retail units to remain in-situ for longer to reduce disruption.
We further utilized expertise from other parts of Willmott Dixon to provide the non-residential designs and advise on best practice in the design and development of the community church.
As part of our 'local pound' mantra that the regional economy prospers, we achieved a local spend of 83% on companies based within 30 miles of the site.