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Unlocking projects

Getting schemes approved and to site quickly through land deals, development management, and funding solutions

Development programmes increasingly need more innovative use of land and assets, with public and private collaboration key.

Unlocking opportunities and getting projects off the ground has become a bigger challenge than ever. If your scheme is delayed in the development stage, the knock-on effect can be detrimental to a project's success. Our development solutions offering brings the best in construction and development specialisms together, working on schemes from inception through to post-completion, to prevent this from happening.

Early engagement is key to this and by engaging a contractor early, we can help ensure scheme viability, the right design, and cost and programme control.

More and more customers could benefit from alternative funding models to help their schemes come to fruition. Through our in-house economist, Anthony Everitt, we can explore your options and help you to understand the commerciality and viability of your development.

Read the case studies below to find out how we've unlocked projects for our customers, including:

Ensuring viability at Perry Barr Residential Scheme

This phase one regeneration scheme in Perry Barr, Birmingham, comprised of 968 homes, valued at £326m. Lendlease was commissioned as the principal contractor, with Willmott Dixon and two other tier-one contractors appointed across four plots.

At a time when external factors, particularly Brexit, were wreaking havoc on materials and resources, we recognised that using traditional building techniques for our plots, 8 and 9, was too great of a risk. Particularly in a heated Midlands market and with the scale of other works planned in Perry Barr simultaneously.

We put forward the solution of using MMC to Birmingham City Council, which included reworking the scheme to make it viable int he allotted timescales. Taking this approach unlocked the project - allowing us to meet the required project programme despite Covid-19 hitting. In fact, we completed the project six weeks ahead of programme!

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Unlocking funding for affordable homes in Rugby

Biart Place in Rugby will provide 100 new affordable and sustainable homes. The homes will be made up of 60 one and two-bedroom apartments, 20 two, three and four-bedroom houses and 20 maisonettes.

The £22m scheme will be part-funded by grants, which our Development Solutions helped the council to unlock. We helped to obtain a £6.8m grant from Homes England under its Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26 alongside a further £2m from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership via the government’s Getting Building Fund. We've now started on site to deliver the project, with it due to complete in 2026.

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Creating a strategic feasibility business plan for a new Mental Health and Social Care Hub in East Oxford

Our Development Solutions team is currently working with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Oxfordshire County Council to help them create a strategic feasibility business plan for a new Mental Health and Social Care Hub in East Oxford.

The current facilities are no longer fit-for-purpose, so the customer wants to create a new flagship hub that will enable them to host community services for social care and mental health outpatient facilities.

To help turn this vision into a reality, we have helped the customer with a number of areas – from funding to utilising MMC. This has included:

  • Providing a holistic lens to the project – we held workshops to help the customer to consider a wider and far-reaching picture and the bespoke outputs required
  • Delivering a series of One Public Estate workshops over six-months to understand and align the requirements of three public sector bodies: NHS Oxford Health, Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council
  • Advising on the best construction methods for this project – this included us presenting CURA (our pre-designed healthcare hub offering both community and primary care services) as a solution that will provide the customer time and cost certainty
  • Helping to embed sustainability, including identifying materials that will produce less embodied carbon during installation and materials that can be recycled during demolition at the end of the building’s life cycle
  • Conducting a strategic asset review – we identified three parcels of land that are ripe for unlocking and redevelopment. The plan is for the areas to be turned into homes and student accommodation, with the income generated from these funding the creation of the hub
  • Advising on lifecycle costing, social value and the restoration of community focus in the town centre
  • Exploring different funding options, including Strip Income Model, Lease and Lease Back, Public Works Loan Board and NHS Lending

As a result of this work we have undertaken, the new hub will be a highly sustainable and flexible space that meets the requirements of all key stakeholders, with has a strong focus on wellbeing for an improved patient experience.

Remediating and derisking a site for Nottinghamshire Police Custody Suite

Nottinghamshire Police procured the scheme through Scape. We were engaged during the early stages of the scheme and could deliver added value. This meant we were on-hand to help when challenges around their desired location surfaced.

The police had already identified an ideal location, however, they faced a challenge due to the nature of the site. The land housed an old gas works, which meant it was a heavily contaminated, brownfield site.

We helped remediate and derisk the site, allowing the project to go ahead in this location. We were also able to resolve the challenges quickly, so the project's programme wasn't impacted.

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Want do find out more ways we can help to unlock projects? Download our Development Solutions brochure

For more information, contact our local expert

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