Construction wins Wellingborough car park brief
Morgan Sindall Construction has been selected to deliver a £4.8 million programme of repairs and improvements to Swansgate multi-storey car park in Wellingborough.
Borough Council of Wellingborough appointed the main contractor through the Scape Regional Construction framework.
The structural repairs will extend the life of the car park and expand the number of available parking spaces by opening the rooftop for parking. Improvements to the lighting and CCTV will help to tackle anti-social behaviour. Four of the parking bays will feature electric charging points to support low-emission vehicles.
By opting to renovate the existing car park, the local authority has saved a significant amount in comparison to commissioning a new build. Construction of a replacement car park was estimated to cost more than double the project fee, while also negatively impacting visitor numbers to the adjacent Swansgate shopping centre and neighbouring retailers during the build process.
Morgan Sindall Construction has split the repairs and improvements into phases to ensure minimal disruption to people using the free car park, which will remain open throughout the 10-month programme. Work is currently underway and on schedule to complete early in 2021.
A major element to the project involves repair of the concrete frame, where the reinforced steel bar has begun to corrode causing the concrete to spall in more than 3,500 places. Traditionally, cutting the concrete open to carry out the work would require a three-person team operating in close proximity.
To ensure the work is not unduly delayed due to social distancing restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the site team is using an innovative technique involving high-pressure water jets, which can be operated individually, to break the concrete. The main contractor devised the solution with its supplier, Cemplas Limited.
The programme of improvement also includes work to refurbish the toilets, upgrade the fire alarm and sprinkler system, and fit more secure doors at the street level entrance points.
Rob Cant, Scape Regional Construction framework director, at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “Physical retail was facing challenging headwinds before coronavirus hit, and restrictions on public transport use brought in as a result of the pandemic have not helped matters.
"The provision of secure and accessible car parking facilities is an essential consideration for local authorities looking to support the high street and safeguard jobs within brick-and-mortar stores.
“We’re very pleased to be working with Borough Council of Wellingborough to deliver an efficient programme of renovations and improvements to Swansgate car park, with minimal disruption to people using it. The work will safeguard the future of this important public amenity and ensure that shoppers who choose to visit the town centre have a safe and modern place to park.”
Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said: “Urban regeneration of the kind that is being driven by Borough Council of Wellingborough will be critical to unlocking a sustainable economic recovery. Morgan Sindall Construction will be upgrading this essential facility for the town’s community and its businesses with the modern, hi-tech innovation. This is a fantastic example of how construction teams have risen to the challenge of operating safely and intelligently during the pandemic.”
Councillor Martin Griffiths, Leader of the Council, says: “This is one of a number of long-term investment projects in our town centre that will be completed before the vesting day of the new North Northamptonshire unitary council, and before the Borough Council of Wellingborough ceases to be, in the spring of next year.
“The car park will be totally transformed and will become a safe clean and pleasant facility for shoppers and visitors to our town.”
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