Transforming Hulme in Manchester
ISG is once again placing itself at the heart of the community in Manchester, UK, with another project in Hulme now taking shape.
Having refurbished Hulme District Office earlier this year and the library and leisure centre in 2018, ISG is now back on site just across the road, transforming an existing outdated and inefficient 1970’s office block into a modern working space for council staff and improving a well-used public car park for customers of Manchester City Council.
The project at Alexandra House on Southcombe Walk, with a contracted value of £10.2m, sees the complete strip out of the old office block creating new working areas, improving the energy efficiency, reducing the carbon footprint of the building and replacing the windows.
The eight floors will boast open plan working spaces, breakout areas and two new lifts, plus a brand-new entrance on Moss Lane East with the project set to complete by December 2020.
At the same time, ISG is also updating the basement car park across the road. Repairs will be made to the two-storey car park, to control the ingress of water, and the lift will be replaced to enable better access and use by council staff and visitors to the leisure centre situated above the car park. Improved lighting and security will also be provided.
The project is the latest procured through the North West Construction Hub’s medium value framework for Manchester City Council, a partnership that has seen ISG deliver projects across various sectors throughout the North West over the last 10 years. ISG was successful in securing a place on the medium value framework for the third time as well as the high value earlier this year.
These improvements aren’t all that ISG is doing to help transform the local area.
ISG is committed to supporting young people from Hulme while working on site, welcoming seven apprentices totalling 140 weeks. Five employment opportunities are also being created for local people who are either looking for work or are in education.
As well as this, the team is delivering up to six events in local primary and secondary schools including site visits, classroom activities, career talks and mock interviews, working closely with Enabling Enterprise to help young people build essential skills, and supporting Manchester City Council’s work and skills team to deliver a local project that improves nature and the environment in Hulme.
Over the project’s 60 weeks construction period the team is working closely with local resident groups to reuse materials from around the site, including planters that have stood on Hulme High Street for many years. They are also linking in with local charities, organisations and a Scout group to share work tips and advice, encouraging people to consider a career in construction. In addition to this, the project team is supporting a local charity, “Working Wardrobe” that provides interview clothes for those looking to secure employment.
The team has also helped design a traffic calming scheme in the area, using their skills and expertise to help inform pivotal changes to a busy thoroughfare that runs behind the project, and secure funding from Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and world-famous cyclist Chris Boardman’s plan for a new city region walking and cycling plan.
Framework director Neil Walker said: “Our work with the North West Construction Hub and Manchester City Council has seen us deliver stand out, award winning projects and we’re delighted to now be on site at Alexandra House transforming the working space of some of Manchester City Council’s staff. By also improving the car park we’re able to have a wider impact in the ongoing regeneration of Hulme High Street.
“Not only that but our commitment to making a real difference to those who live and work in the surrounding area is clear – we’re working with people at every step of the project to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to have a say and that we’re sharing our expertise with people in the area through placements and job opportunities. We’re also supporting Manchester City Council in their work since announcing a climate emergency by continuing to improve the energy efficiency of the council estate and lowering their carbon footprint. All of this helps us leave a lasting legacy long after we’ve completed the project.”
Promise Amadi, Project Manager, Capital Programmes and Procurement, at Manchester City Council added: “For a refurbishment as complex as this, and on a building of its age, with a legacy of structural issues, detailed planning and the valuable expertise of the delivery team was always going to be crucial to the success of the project. The ISG team has demonstrated a high degree of knowledge and professionalism throughout the design stages and continue to work collaboratively with MCC to deliver the scheme within the agreed budget and programme.”