Friday 14 June 2024
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Nottinghamshire County Council building could get £1 million refurbishment for hybrid working

Nottinghamshire County Council could partially refurbish Meadow House in Mansfield.

In an initiative set to transform the working environment for over 550 council employees, the refurbishment, which aligns with the council’s commitment to ‘hybrid working and modernised workspaces’, is a strategic step towards enhancing service delivery in the region, it says.

Background and Purpose of the Refurbishment

According to report papers released on the council’s website, Meadow House, serving as the primary council office in Mansfield, has long been overdue for a refurbishment. This building is a key hub for Children’s Services and Adult Social Care and Health, providing essential social care services across Mansfield and Ashfield Districts. NCC says that in addition to its critical operational role, the facility is a pivotal space for meetings with partners and child protection conferences.

The plan for refurbishment emerged from the need to adapt the building to support flexible, hybrid working models and to conduct essential maintenance. The north wing of Meadow House was cleared in August 2022 in preparation for the construction phase.

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Adapting to Post-Pandemic Needs

A significant shift in office utilisation patterns post-pandemic has been observed, with a space usage review in November 2022 indicating only 44% average occupancy of the available desks. This decrease has prompted the decision to refurbish only four wings of the building, which the council sees as a pragmatic approach balancing the need for a modern workspace and fiscal responsibility.

Project Details and Enhancements

The refurbishment project, slated to commence in late January 2024 and conclude by late Spring 2024, encompasses a range of upgrades:

  • Replacement of emergency lighting and AC units in key areas.
  • Rewiring and rearrangement of floor boxes to suit new office layouts.
  • Secure and accessible entrance door upgrades.
  • Basic kitchenette upgrades and flooring replacements.
  • Demountable partitions removal to foster a flexible working environment.
  • Overall redecoration of the refurbished areas.
  • Enhancement of building safety systems, including rewiring, new alarm systems, and fire safety improvements.

The project also aligns with the council’s strategic plan to co-locate District and County Council services in a new facility in central Mansfield, anticipated to be completed by spring 2026.

Financial Implications and Value for Money

The Latest Estimated Cost ( LEC ) for the refurbishment is £968,240.

The funding is secured through the Buildings and Office Rationalisation Programme and the Building Works Capital Maintenance budget. A single-source procurement model was used for the project, ensuring competitive pricing and financial prudence.

Impact on Staff and Services

The council says that this refurbishment is not just a physical transformation but a strategic move towards enhancing the work environment for over 550 staff members. It’s a recognition of the need to retain skilled professionals by providing a conducive and modern workspace, especially considering the challenges in retaining social workers nationally.

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