Wakemans would like to reassure all our clients, consultant and contracting teams of our continuity of service during this period of uncertainty.

We have taken a number of measures to enable us to continue to provide you with our professional services whilst following Government advice and giving priority to the health of our employees and their families.

Our teams are already well equipped for remote working which has been part of our Company policy of flexible working for some time. This has now been extended to meet the Government advice for home working but regardless of where our staff are located communication by email, text and phone calls will continue to be answered as normal

We wish to work with you to protect the welfare of us all by reducing physical contact with people, eliminating non-essential travel and minimising the need for large scale meetings by utilising a range of media and conferencing systems.

If there are any specific measures that we can consider or implement to assist in the delivery of our service to your business during this challenging time, then please do keep us advised.

If you have any difficulties at all, please do not hesitate to get in touch, but may we again reassure you of our commitment to the ongoing delivery of our service.

 

John Woodhall
Executive Chairman
j.woodhall@wakemans.com
Dean Watson
Managing Director
d.watson@wakemans.com

 

John Woodhall welcomes Budget support for West Midlands businesses.

In his first Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak showed he was willing to splash the cash to support business development and economic growth with a package of measures that will directly benefit the West Midlands.

First things first, however. Whatever Budget plans had been drawn up surely had to be reworked in light of the spread of the Coronavirus. The central focus of the 2020 Budget was an injection of financial support to help businesses withstand the economic consequences, especially since the situation is predicted to get much worse before we can say it’s business as usual.

According to data from the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, 28% of local businesses are already feeling the effects of Covid-19 or soon expect to experience disruption to their supply chains or see new order pipelines dry up as events and trade shows are cancelled. We therefore applaud the Chancellor’s move to instil confidence by providing help for workers, businesses and the NHS.

Transport Investment

Given the Government’s commitment to spending on infrastructure, funding totalling at least £500 million for transport improvements across the West Midlands was a highlight of the 2020 Budget for our region.

For some time now we have argued that better connectivity between Midlands towns and cities is essential to spearhead business and infrastructure development, promote jobs growth and encourage inward investment. Investment of £20 million in the Midlands Rail Hub is key as it will enable it to move to the next stage and prepare an outline business case for a programme of improvements that will deliver more services, faster trains and an enhanced passenger experience. It is therefore gratifying to see that central government is right behind us. The funding is an example of the economic ‘levelling up’ that has been promised and underlines the Government’s commitment to the Midlands Engine and to driving prosperity throughout our region.

We also welcome the £160 million from the Local Growth Fund which is to be handed over to the West Midlands Combined Authority to speed up delivery of the Eastside Metro extension and the first phase of the Sprint bus rapid transit network. There was further good news regarding £700 million spending on strategic road schemes between 2020 and 2025, including key junctions in Coventry, Walsall and at Birmingham Airport and development of the A5 Tamworth to Hinkley route, supporting growth and housing.

Housing Priority

Support for housing in the West Midlands was also high on the Chancellor’s agenda, with the region set to share in a £400 million Brownfield Housing Fund. The need for additional housing cannot be understated, and we are very much in favour of initiatives which aim to protect the green belt by focussing residential development on brownfield sites. In particular, we were pleased to see that the North Warwickshire A5 corridor will receive £79.5 million to deliver 3,880 new homes.

Birmingham has a large number of high-rise residential buildings above 18 m, so a share of the £1 billion Building Safety Fund that the Chancellor has earmarked for non-ACM cladding is both deserved and welcome.

Our region was one of the hardest hit by Storms Ciara and Dennis so we welcome the news that a share of the government’s £5.2 billion funding for a flood and coastal defence infrastructure programme will be coming our way in 2021. The Severn Valley, Tamworth and Solihull will benefit from greater protection for 3,500 properties.

Trade Boost

Building on the Transforming Cities Fund, the West Midlands is one of eight mayoral combined authorities to benefit from five-year funding settlements, a total of £4.2 billion, from 2022-23. The Department for Trade and Industry will also champion West Midlands exporters thanks to the Midlands Engine being allocated a share of a £5 million budget for greater face-to-face support. Meanwhile, a share in a further £2 miilion will help to facilitate trade through overseas-based advisers. Our region will also be able to draw on funding for road maintenance and improvements, including a £54 million pot in 2020/21 made available through the Potholes Fund.

With an eye to trade post-Brexit, and to cement the UK’s position as a global leader in cutting-edge technology, including space, electric vehicles and life sciences, the Chancellor has set aside more than £500 million. This money will be used to promote innovations and benefit the supply chain, so a share in it is particularly important for the West Midlands, where the automotive sector accounts for 18% of manufacturing.

Commonwealth Games Economic Legacy

Birmingham is rightly proud to be hosting the 2020 Commonwealth Games and the wider Midlands region is looking to capitalise on the opportunities it brings our way. It seems the Government is determined we should derive full advantage of the long-term economic benefits of one of the world’s biggest multi-sports events and putting some 21.3 million into a Trade Tourism and Investment Programme will do much to achieve that goal.

Given the need to mitigate the fall out from the Coronavirus, some pressing matters have been delayed, including the new review into the reform of the business rates system, which has been put back to the autumn. Whilst short-term measures such as the business rate holiday for the coming year for retail businesses with a rateable value below £51,000 and business interruption loans are welcome, they are just that – short-term – and by no means represent a solution.

Business Rates Issue

Whilst the Budget made funding for small and medium-sized firms a priority, it is bigger businesses on the high street that are closing down outlets, making staff redundant or shutting up shop altogether because they are struggling to pay their business rate bills. We agree with the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and call on the Chancellor to address this as a matter of urgency once the Coronavirus pandemic is behind us.

Of course, the Government’s commitment to invest in infrastructure improvements to boost business and grow the UK economy does not come without risk, as borrowings will rise to meet its pledges. With this Budget the Government has underlined its determination to live up to its General Election promises. As always, only time will tell whether it proves to be a risk too far.

With its appointment on a second project at one of Wolverhampton’s most prestigious schools, national property and construction consultancy Wakemans is reaping the benefits of its education sector expertise.

Wakemans is acting as quantity surveyor on a new science block at Wolverhampton Girls’ High School. The building has been designed by Seymour Harris Architects (SHA), which was instrumental in the School securing Selective School Expansion Fund (SSEF) funding last year.

Joe Harris at SHA, said: “As Wakemans are a trusted partner and have worked closely with us on the first project for the school, you have really appreciated what we as architects and the school are trying to achieve. We were therefore keen to work together again on this expansion project that will provide dedicated science, dining and community sports facilities in readiness for a growth in pupil numbers over the next five years.”

Wakemans quantity surveyor Gerard Belfield said: “We’re delighted to be teaming up with SHA on this important school expansion project.”

Over the past 40 years Wakemans has worked in partnership with SHA on a wide variety of regional and national projects. Most recently the two companies have collaborated on the £2.4 million Sixth Form hub at Wolverhampton Girls’ High School and a £4.2 million teaching block at Joseph Leckie Academy in Walsall.

 

CGI courtesy of  Seymour Harris Architecture.

Congratulations to St. Modwen on its success in this year’s Brownfield Awards, which saw the remediation of the former Goodyear tyre manufacturing works in Wolverhampton named as Best Urban Regeneration Project.

Wakemans is proud to be a member of the multi-disciplinary team assembled by St. Modwen for this major regeneration initiative and was responsible for Project Management, Quantity Surveying and CDM monitoring.

A focus on flexibility and sustainability, especially in view of the residual contamination and complex ground conditions, was instrumental in St. Modwen winning the accolade. The company’s respect for the site’s heritage and sensible reuse of materials were also applauded.

The judges singled out the phased approach to the regeneration scheme, which will provide 850 new homes, a new 12-acre community park, local centre and extension to Oxley School, as this enabled St. Modwen to maintain control of the works at all times and keep dust, odour and noise to a minimum.

St. Modwen was also commended for its innovative design for the demolition of the former factory, the judges remarking that it was sensitive to the impact on the local community and took care to mitigate the risks.

However, the judges were particularly impressed with St. Modwen’s commitment to engage with residents and invest in the community. They singled out the fact that the company made engagement with the community a top priority, applauding its thinking through of the potential nuisance aspects of the works and implementation of a robust Health and Safety Plan.

Details about the 2019 Brownfield Awards winners are available at: https://events.environment-analyst.com/bb-award-winners-2019/

Register to download the full report: https://environment-analyst.com/dis/bb-awards-guide?ls=tw

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Wakemans is working with Travelodge, the UK’s first budget hotel brand, on a £13 million property in north London to meet growing demand for good quality, low-cost accommodation in the Capital.

Overseeing Travelodge’s interests, Wakemans is acting as tenant’s agent on the new London Manor House Travelodge PLUS, an eight-storey hotel that will provide 143 rooms.

Designed with both business and leisure travellers in mind, this new-build hotel is designed in the company’s ‘budget chic’ hotel format, called Travelodge PLUS.  As well as the brand’s enhanced new look rooms, the hotel features 33 SuperRooms, Travelodge’s premium economy room concept with extra amenities for added comfort. Meanwhile, a fully licensed new-look Bar Café features distinctive zones for those working outside the room, more intimate booths and dining benches for groups and a stylish new statement bar.

Jo Dale, Head of Technical Services for Hotels at Wakemans, said: “Travelodge is resolutely committed to delivering value for money for people who want to overnight close to the City of London. The layout of the site makes this an interesting development because the building is eight storeys, yet from one elevation it appears to have only six floors.”

Tony O’Brien, UK Development Director at Travelodge said: “London is a key growth area for Travelodge and we are delighted to be opening a Travelodge PLUS hotel in the premium location of Manor House, just by the tube station. There is a desperate need within the area for good quality and low-cost accommodation and our new hotel will be a great addition, helping to attract new visitors to the area and to boost the local economy.”

Property and construction consultancy Wakemans are working on a new extension and refurbishment of a manufacturing and distribution centre in Redditch, which is set to boost capacity for Pilkington’s automotive group.

Acting in a development team led by Trebor Developments, Wakemans is appointed as Quantity Surveyor, Employer’s Agent and Principal Designer on the multi-million pound scheme.

Planning consent has been granted for the facility, which involves the design and construction of a major extension to the existing building – let to Pilkington – together with additional car parking, service yard alterations and a gatehouse. The office and warehouse space will also be refurbished, providing a total building of 325,000 sq ft.

Divisional Director Andrew Hancock, who heads the industrial and logistics division at Wakemans, said: “This is an important initiative that will maximise the site’s development potential.  It also poses a series of challenges for the construction team, as the aim is to ensure minimal disruption to Pilkington Automotive’s existing distribution set-up in Redditch, which will operate as usual throughout the works.”

Pilkington Automotive will relocate its manufacturing operations to the new facility from its current base in Kings Norton.  The move not only supports plans for the continued development of its glass products, but will also see the company consolidate its UK operations in Redditch.

Trebor Developments is working in conjunction with M&G Real Estate on the scheme, which is part of Trebor’s 3 million sq. ft. current UK industrial implementation programme.  Contractor A&H Construction is on site and the new facility will be ready for full occupation in summer 2020.

 

Trebor Developments has appointed Wakemans as Quantity Surveyor, Employer’s Agent and Principal Designer on the new national manufacturing and distribution centre it is building in Redditch for Pilkington Automotive.

Congratulations to our client Network Space Developments, whose Tunstall Arrow scheme on the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent scooped the Regeneration Project of the Year accolade at the 2019 Insider West Midlands Property Awards!

We are delighted to be part of the team working on the redevelopment of the former colliery site in conjunction with Stoke-on-Trent City Council. On phase one, an £11million speculative industrial development, we acted as Project Manager, Employer’s Agent and Quantity Surveyor on the main works and Building Surveyor (quality inspection) for specific tenant fit out works.

Tunstall Arrow won the day against stiff competition from high profile Birmingham schemes including Birmingham Wholesale Market, the new HSBC UK corporate HQ, the Old Gym at the University of Birmingham and Port Loop, as well as Ironbridge Power Station.

The 2019 West Midlands Property Awards were held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on November 7 and hosted by Insider. The UK’s most successful regional B2B media company, Insider publishes five regional magazines and hosts around 140 market-leading events in all regions outside London.

As well as landmark projects, the Insider West Midlands Property Awards celebrated architecture practices, commercial developers and housebuilders across the region.

Wakemans has been appointed on a quartet of industrial developments with a combined value of £29 million – including the first speculatively built schemes to come into key local markets for some time.

Wakemans is acting as Employer’s Agent, Quantity Surveyor and Principal Designer on behalf of Trebor Developments. Known for working closely with occupiers to meet their requirements, Trebor also specialises in speculatively built accommodation for immediate occupation and is engaged in a national roll out of development in the mid-box industrial sector.

Currently in the design and planning stage, three of the shell unit developments are located across the South West in Bristol, Avonmouth and Swindon, and one is in Telford, Shropshire.

Andrew Hancock, divisional director at Wakemans, says: “We look forward to supporting Trebor Developments with these important industrial developments, which are part of a pipeline of more than two million square feet of accommodation that the company plans to deliver during the coming 12 months.”

Mark Wright, partner at Trebor Developments, added “We are delighted to be working with Wakemans on this key part of our development pipeline. The Wakemans team has extensive experience in this sector and has brought some great ideas to the table to help us deliver attractive and efficient buildings.”

In Hortonwood, near Telford, Trebor Developments is to build a 70,000 sq. f.t industrial unit. With junctions 4 and 5 of the M54 motorway just three miles away, the estate is centrally situated with easy access to the Midlands motorway network.

In Bristol’s Western Approach Trebor Developments and its long-term strategic partner, US developer and investor Hillwood, have acquired 14.5 acres within the South West’s premier logistics park, Western Approach Distribution Park. Three high quality industrial/ manufacturing/logistics units ranging in size from 34,000 sq. ft. to 135,000 sq. ft. will be built on this site, which benefits from excellent links to the heart of the UK’s motorway network.

Six warehouse/industrial units totalling 150,000 sq. ft. will be built adjacent to existing distribution accommodation on the Portside B1(c)/B2/B8 development site in Avonmouth on a development led by Trebor and funded by Barwood Capital. Portside enjoys good connections to the (A403) main arterial route that links the M5 at Avonmouth to the M48 at Aust.

Two units of size 40,000 sq. ft. and 35,000 sq. ft. and suitable for logistics operations or as industrial accommodation, will be constructed next to existing commercial buildings at Trinity Park in Hillmead, north-west Swindon. A well-established locality for logistics, Trinity Park enjoys excellent links to the M4 and M5. This development is being built under the Trebor/Hillwood strategic partnership.

Wakemans has signed off on the first phase of construction at Tunstall Arrow, a new £11 million speculative industrial development on the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent.

Wakemans acted as Employer’s Agent, Quantity Surveyor and Building Surveyor (quality inspection) on behalf of developer Network Space, which is a new client for the firm.

Dean Watson, Managing Director at Wakemans, said: “Network Space is committed to meeting growing demand from industrial and logistics businesses across the Midlands.

“We’re delighted to be helping the company progress its plans for this prime site, which is one of six that make up the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone and offers key business rates savings to occupiers.”

Specialising in small to medium-sized industrial schemes, Network Space currently has more than 2.5million sq. ft. of new commercial property in the pipeline, valued at in excess of £200 million. It is delivering the Tunstall Arrow scheme in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Make it Stoke and the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone.

The site was acquired in 2013 and construction will be carried out in three stages. Phase 1, Tunstall Arrow South, built by Caddick Construction is now complete and provides a total of 130,000 sq. ft. of B1/B2/B8 space across five units. Ranging in size from 10,208 sq. ft. to 43,500 sq. ft., the high specification detached industrial units incorporate offices and enjoy self-contained loading yards and dedicated parking set within a business park environment. All are fully let to Q-Railing, Boels Rental, DHL Express, Pramac-Generac UK and SG Fleet Group.

Wakemans has completed work on phase one at Tunstall Arrow, an £11 million development of self-contained industrial units on the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent.

Simon Peters, Development Director at Network Space, commented: “Wakemans has contributed greatly to this very successful development on a difficult site. We really appreciate their highly experienced project management and professional services.

“We are delighted to have all five units let, only five months after completion, and have received numerous compliments on the quality of the finished product.”

Phase 2 of the development, Tunstall Arrow North, is an 8-acre plot where Network Space is planning a similar speculative industrial scheme. Units will range in size from 10,000 sq. ft. to 30,000 sq. ft. and construction is expected to get underway later this year.

The third and final phase of the development, Tunstall Arrow West, is a 2-acre plot currently on offer to roadside retail occupiers.

A former colliery, the 28-acre Tunstall Arrow site adjoins the A527 (James Brindley Way) in Tunstall. It is also close to the A500, providing easy access to Junction 16 of the M6 motorway.

Wakemans has completed a £2.4 million SuperRoom roll out programme for Travelodge, one of the UK’s largest budget hotel chains.

The Travelodge SuperRoom is the UK’s first premium economy room concept within the budget hotel sector. It is designed around the ‘premium economy’ concept familiar to airline users. It dials up the comfort factor for business and leisure customers who want the extra choice of a more premium room.

Wakemans acted as project manager on the trial rooms, with responsibility for the procurement of the new amenities as well as fit-out, before overseeing the roll-out of SuperRooms in 48 Travelodge hotels around the UK.

Nigel Himpson, Senior Associate Director at Wakemans, said: “SuperRooms are now available in some of the top locations around the country and offer an extra level of comfort to guests who opt for longer stays as well as those who choose to spend more time in the room.”

A total of 296 SuperRooms have been incorporated into Travelodge’s existing city centre hotels.

Scott Rutherford, Travelodge, Technical Services Director said: “At Travelodge we are all about bringing great value and choice to the budget traveller. More and more business travellers are opting for a budget hotel and last year we generated more sales from business customers than those on holiday. Our new SuperRoom adds an extra choice for customers who are spending more time working in the room, are staying longer or who just value that little bit more comfort. Alongside our recently upgraded classic room, this is another important milestone on our journey to become the favourite hotel for value.”

The stylish SuperRoom has everything that you would expect from Travelodge but with lots of new additional creature comforts. It has been styled in a modern residential décor scheme, creating a home from home feel. It features a new dream-light colour scheme which includes tones of calming blue, warm beige and tranquil taupe, as well as blackout curtains, creating a relaxing atmosphere for a restful night’s sleep.

Wakemans has project-managed a £2.4 million refit for Travelodge, which has seen 296 SuperRooms incorporated across the budget hotel chain’s UK portfolio.

The signature creature comforts in the SuperRoom include:

  • Lavazza ‘A Modo Mio’ fresh capsule coffee machine to kick-start your day.
  • Hansgrohe Raindance 3-jet adjustable shower to leave you fully refreshed.
  • Multiple power and USB charging points at arm’s length throughout.
  • Relaxing ambient LED mood lighting.
  • Comfy armchair to relax in.
  • Larger desk area with a comfortable swivel chair.
  • Luxurious king-size Travelodge Dreamer™ bed.
  • Choice of firm and soft hypo-allergenic pillows.
  • Dressing stand with a powerful hairdryer.
  • In-room iron and ironing board.
  • Powerful hairdryer and full length mirror.
  • Samsung Slimline wall-mounted flat screen TV.
  • Hot chocolate and a KitKat for that extra treat when you need it.