Shropshire firm selected for Whitchurch Civic Centre improvement work
Shropshire Council has selected county firm Pave Aways Limited to carry out the first phase of work to improve Whitchurch Civic Centre.
The contract for the work was put out to tender in June 2013. Pave Aways, which is based at Knockin, near Oswestry, has been chosen following an evaluation of the bids submitted.
The Civic Centre redevelopment plans include improvements to the façade and landscaping at the front of the building, internal alterations to create a more welcoming foyer, and a significant upgrade of the heating, water, and electrical systems. This new foyer area will accommodate Shropshire Council’s Information Point, Whitchurch Town Council’s reception and the Tourist Information Point, offering a ‘one-stop shop’ to access information in Whitchurch.
The work will begin later this month (September 2013) and aims to be completed before spring 2014. As part of the work, an electricity sub-station currently located within the basement of the building will be moved to a new location, and this will require some limited closures to the High Street. More information will be provided when it is available, and everything possible will be done to minimise any disruption and inconvenience.
The library will be open as usual during the work, with access from St Mary’s Street throughout this time.
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for business growth, and commissioning north, said:
“We are pleased to announce Pave Aways as the chosen contractor, and it is great that a Shropshire firm has emerged as the standout choice against strong competition.
“Work will soon begin on this project to upgrade and enhance the centre, which in turn aims to revitalise the town. These developments are taking place to increase visitors to both the centre and the high street, by improving the area outside the building and making the building a more attractive place to hold functions, clubs and events. We look forward to seeing this work progress.”
Steve Flavell, Senior Contracts Manager, Pave Aways Limited, said:
“Pave Aways are excited to have been appointed as the main contractor for this prestigious project in the centre of Whitchurch, and we once again look forward to working with Shropshire Council and delivering another successful project everyone involved can be proud of.”
Gerald Dakin, local Shropshire councillor for Whitchurch South, said:
“We are delighted that, after a long period of consultation, development and review, this important work is getting underway.”
Councillor John Sinnott, of Whitchurch Town Council, added:
“While the work is taking place the town council will relocate to the nearby Heritage Centre and will be open for business as usual.
“Throughout the work the Market Hall will also be open, including for the weekly Friday markets. We appreciate that the work will cause some inconvenience, but once it is completed, the town and its visitors will be able to really benefit from this investment in improving the facilities.”
Planning permission for the redevelopment work was granted in January 2012. Greenspace Architects, based in Ellesmere, has been appointed as the project designers and managers.
The designs have been agreed following detailed public consultations, which saw the draft designs displayed at the Civic Centre, at a public meeting attended by more than 60 people, and following a series of meetings with key stakeholders, including market traders, regular visitors to the centre, and landscape experts.
The £724,000 project is being funded by Shropshire Council, including funding from the council’s Market Towns Revitalisation Programme; Whitchurch Town Council; and from the Sainsbury’s Unilateral Undertaking funding for public realm improvements.
Shropshire Council and Whitchurch Town Council will continue to work in partnership on future plans for the Civic Centre and the Market Hall.
Whitchurch Civic Centre is owned by Shropshire Council. The town library is provided within a small part of the building, with the rest of the building leased to Whitchurch Town Council, which manages the weekly market and a range of sporting and community functions, as well as providing civic functions.