Doncaster’s flagship civic offices reach completion
A huge step forward has been made in Doncaster’s £300m Civic and Cultural Quarter (CCQ) with the completion of the new £20m civic offices.
To mark the milestone, lead developer Muse Developments and Wates presented the keys for the striking five-storey building to mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, and chief executive of Doncaster Council, Jo Miller, less than two years after construction on the project commenced.
Delivered at just £1,250 per sq m, the new civic offices will enable the council efficiently to merge many of its town centre services and teams under one roof. The project has included flexible office space for about 1,600 council employees, a state-of-the-art Council Chamber and a convenient one-stop-shop for public services.
Many of the sites being vacated by the council will be redeveloped as the CCQ project progresses and this has helped fund the regeneration masterplan which is seeing significant private sector investment in the town.
Designed by Cartwright Pickard, the highly sustainable building is hoped to achieve the internationally recognised BREEAM Excellent rating. By vacating inefficient and costly-to-maintain buildings. the council will eventually be able to realise annual savings of approximately £650,000.
Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, said: “This is an important day for Doncaster as one of the core developments in the town’s Civic and Cultural Quarter is completed. The Waterdale area has been transformed in the last couple of years and the new civic offices, which anchor the scheme, will continue that impressive transformation. Doncaster has much to look forward to.”
Jo Miller, chief executive of Doncaster Council, said: “Consolidating numerous council offices into one modern, low energy building is cost effective, will help us deliver better services, is crucial to our regeneration plans and moves Doncaster forward as a town and the council as a local authority.
“As a council we are having to make significant budget savings and change how we provide certain services to make best use of our resources. The new offices have a big part to play in this process making us a more effective and efficient organisation. A perfect example will be the new customer service centre where residents can complete their council business in one visit to one location. We are determined to realise the full benefit of this wonderful new building for the council, residents and the town.”
Matt Crompton, joint managing director at Muse Developments, commented: “We are very pleased to mark the completion of the new civic offices, which will enable the Council to make significant cost savings and improve efficiencies. As a fundamental part of the regeneration plans for Waterdale they will also provide a big asset for Doncaster for years to come, bringing more people back into area, helping to generate business interest and acting as a catalyst for further investment.”
David Price, business unit director for Wates Construction, commented: “Our delivery of Doncaster Civic Offices has been a particularly rewarding project for Wates. The vision has always been to create a development that will take pride of place in the Civic and Cultural Quarter and I am proud with what has been achieved – an efficient and striking building for the Council and members of the public to enjoy.”
Throughout the work, Wates has engaged with the local community to create opportunities for local training and employment, including the appointment of a local Administration Apprentice and Commercial Trainee.
The project has also seen Wates work in close partnership with Doncaster Council’s Invest in Doncaster team to arrange a series of 'Meet the Buyer' events. These provided local companies with the opportunity to work on the building, resulting in £1.5m worth of contracts being awarded to local sub-contractors. During the peak construction period one third of the site workforce was from Doncaster and the surrounding borough.
Covering 25% of the town centre in the Waterdale area, the first phase of the CCQ also includes a new performance venue, Sir Nigel Gresley Square, upgraded road networks which help reconnect Waterdale with the town centre and a refurbished 850 space Civic Quarter car park.
Staff will start moving into the building in November after furniture and ICT has been installed. The new customer service centre will open in early 2013.
The project is being part funded by the European Union, as part of the European Regional Development Fund’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.