Wates Construction has revealed how its appointment by LCR to build Buildings One and Four of the £135m Axis Square development in Birmingham will boost the city’s commercial offer while providing sizeable employment and training opportunities for local people.
Axis Square is a high quality city centre development that will transform a 1.68Ha site in Birmingham, providing Grade A office space to significantly improve the high quality space available in the city centre at a time when an increasing number of businesses are looking to relocate to the West Midlands.
The scope of the Axis project means Wates will utilise its existing supply chain but will also look for new sub-contractors to work with. The contractor attended the Find it in Birmingham supply chain event on July 12th in order to speak to suppliers about becoming part of its work at Axis Square.
There will also be sizeable employment and training opportunities for local people, with Wates committed to using the project to provide extensive opportunities for the next generation of construction workers in the Midlands. Wates is to create a minimum of 50 apprenticeships, 14 one-week work experience placements and will hold 200 training courses for local people.
The first stage of Wates’ work will see it deliver the preconstruction services agreement, working with LCR to develop the final design, with work on the first phase expected to start in April 2019. Once on site, Wates will deliver the full construction programme as well as the Cat A fit out.
Turner & Townsend are providing the full range of project delivery services and have, on behalf of LCR, engaged architects Fletcher Priest to lead the design, Ramboll UK for engineering services and Quantem Consulting for cost management. The development has been devised to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating. The designs also aim to exceed market expectations for sustainability, and will provide a high quality, comfortable and daylit office space that will achieve a WiredScore rating of Platinum.
The buildings within the 20,000m² Axis Square site will also feature additional ground floor provision for retail use, while a new landscaped central square will provide a focal point for the development.
The proposals will significantly improve public realm in the areas in and surrounding the site, while preserving the existing mature trees and creating new pedestrian routes and open spaces, vastly improving connectivity between Broad Street and New Street Station.
The site is currently occupied by the Axis building, originally built in the 1970s, and Wates will be working with current tenants to ensure minimum disruption and inconvenience during the build programme.
The appointment marks Wates’ latest project in Birmingham, following its ongoing work at The Bank residential development on Broad Street.
John Carlin, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction Midlands, said:
“This appointment is a real coup for our Midlands staff, and we are very much looking forward to working with LCR and the whole Turner & Townsend team to develop and deliver a commercial scheme of unparalleled quality.
Our work on these two buildings will give us the opportunity to make a huge contribution to employment and training in Birmingham, and we will be working closely with our partners to ensure the benefits of this project are felt far and wide across the region.”
Lucy Robinson, Director of Asset Management, LCR, commented:
“We are delighted to have appointed Wates Construction to this exciting project, which will deliver a vibrant major new office quarter for Birmingham.
The delivery of phase one will kickstart the development of this strategically important city centre site, and once fully operational, Axis Square will be an attractive place to work, eat and shop in the heart of the bustling city.”
Jonathan Hodge, Associate at Fletcher Priest, added:
“Fletcher Priest is looking forward to working with Wates on this landmark project for Birmingham. Axis Square will transform this city centre site, and Wates has a tremendous track record on this type of project.”
Dimitri Hadjidakis, Turner & Townsend Project Director, said:
“We are very pleased to be working with Wates Construction on this significant development. Wates understood the client’s requirements, objectives and aspirations for the project and put forward a highly experienced team to help realise them.”