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Rochford District Council appoints gbpartnerships for innovative regeneration programme.

The Council has announced the appointment of gbpartnerships as its preferred bidder, in the next stage of its innovative regeneration programme to boost community facilities while reducing future costs.

gbpartnerships has an excellent track record in working as a property partner to the public sector and possesses a well-rounded and experienced team capable of delivering the Council’s vision. The gbp team are supported on this project by a team of regionally based delivery partners, including Kier Construction and Purcell architects who are both based in Essex.

Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Enterprise, Cllr Simon Wootton, said: “I am extremely passionate about this programme, and I am excited to be taking the next step towards working with gbpartnerships on a project which will reduce future costs and pave the way for the regeneration of the Rochford district in the years ahead”.

Paul Ferry, Chairman at gbpartnerships commented:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Rochford District Council on this project, bringing a huge range of benefits for both the Council and the local community. Along with future savings from the ongoing running costs of expensive and ageing buildings, we will also see the creation of new and improved flexible spaces for use by the Council, the local community and also for hire; improved public access to Council services in Rayleigh and also continued support of important local voluntary services.”

Ian Brooks, Business Initiatives Manager for Kier commented: “Kier is pleased to have been appointed Constructor partner on this exciting regeneration programme for Rochford and Raleigh and we look forward to working with gbpartnerships and Rochford District Council to maximise the benefits it will bring for the Council and the local community.”

gbpartnership’s proposals to deliver the Council’s vision for the programme include:

  • the Mill Arts & Events Centre site in Rayleigh redeveloped into a new community facility that would provide community facilities for residents, space for local voluntary sector groups and a space for council use. The site would also provide residential accommodation.

  • the landmark Freight House in Rochford, being refurbished into a flexible space to be used both as a chamber for Council meetings, and as an enhanced hireable community space. The proposed new extension will create more flexible and efficient offices for Council staff and partners.

  • the Civic Suite site in Rayleigh and current council offices in South Street, Rochford will be redeveloped since it is not cost-effective to continue to run these sites, particularly as they are ageing, increasingly costly to maintain and unfit to support modern ways of working for staff or visitors. Accordingly, they would be redeveloped sympathetically for mixed commercial/residential and residential use respectively, retaining and making use of the older and more architecturally pleasing buildings wherever appropriate.

The appointment of a preferred bidder is the latest step in a comprehensive and robust procurement process to implement the Asset Strategy that the Council developed two years ago.

The Council will now work with gbpartnerships to confirm the proposals and finalise a contract to deliver the scheme, which will be subject to a decision of Full Council in the summer. The Council can then share information about the next steps, as part of a wide-ranging public engagement process during which everyone will be informed and have the opportunity to contribute.

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