Calderdale Council –
A refurbishment project using the Construction Management approach
Commercial space opening
Northgate House is a 1970’s building that until recently housed Calderdale Council offices and the Central Library. These two tenants moved out to newly refurbished offices and a new Library next to the Piece Hall, leaving a building that looked tired and in need of a new lease of life. As Halifax is undergoing a programme of positive change as part of Calderdale Council’s ‘Next Chapter’, Northgate House presented a fabulous opportunity to become part of this rejuvenation, through its transformation into a new sixth form college (in partnership with Trinity Multi-Academy Trust and Rastrick High School), and 40,000 sqft commercial office development. Calderdale Council were looking for a construction partner who could help them achieve their goals of hitting budget, aesthetics and time frame, something that is not often achieved in the construction industry.
blacc recommended a more innovative approach, using construction management, and thus putting the client at the heart of the project. As with all projects, the budget has had to be carefully monitored and a hands-on approach to managing design expectations and affordability is essential. One of the great benefits of construction management is the transparency on everything, enabling the client to have clarity on all aspects of spend, programme and outcome.
£3 million of funding for the project is through the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to accelerate growth and create jobs.
The impressive new college opened in 2020, with 40,000 square foot of offices and retail spaces opening in Spring 2021. More importantly, the use of construction management has demonstrated how a bond of trust can be developed between a client, their management team and the supply chain. Putting the client and the expertise from the marketplace at the centre of a project, and ensuring that the interests of a successful project are put first and not a range of competing parties issuing claims, revisions and extras, has led to a rewarding and successful project.
The sixth form college will attract hundreds of local students who are at an important stage of their secondary education, and who will be made to feel special and valued, having a new college in the centre of a buzzing town. The town centre is undergoing its own transformation and together with the new office and retail units, Northgate House will be part of a revitalised town centre, attracting businesses, tenants and shoppers who wish to be in the middle of a thriving civic and commercial environment.