Glencoyne Square, Southmead, Bristol

Glencoyne Square, Southmead, Bristol and Westworks’ role

Westworks are very pleased and excited to announce that Glencoyne Square, a community led housing and regeneration scheme including 120 homes, health centre and library, was granted planning permission last week.

Westworks provided a key service to Southmead Development Trust (SDT- the community anchor organisation) at a crucial time, enabling the project to progress to this stage. Lessons were learned along the way and best practice developed which will be of benefit to other Westworks members for future projects.

What Westworks did – agile and responsive, meeting our customer’s needs

Anyone who knows about community led housing (CLH) will be aware of the limited funding available for pre-development costs. The Glencoyne scheme is the largest CLH project in the country and of a size that no potential funder i.e. Homes England, Power To Change or Bristol City Council had experience of funding potentially large pre-development costs before, and whilst they all contributed this left a shortfall.

Westworks advised the community group to select and appoint a contractor on a Pre-construction services agreement.

Westworks helped SDT prepare the brief and using Westwork’s Development and Construction Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) a two-stage competitive process was conducted. A crucial ask in the brief included a request for the contractor to fund a proportion of the pre-development costs. On a scheme this big, and based on the list of pre-development works un-funded ,this was likely to be in the region of £200,000 to £350,000 excluding VAT.
The brief also detailed that, subject to independent verification of contract sum and value for money, it was anticipated the future D&B contract would be let to the successful contractor. This has the added advantage, if implemented, to save VAT on the pre-development costs as they could be wrapped up into the D&B contract.

The tender had an excellent response, with 4 contractors submitting expressions of interest and progressing to the second stage, of which 2 were invited to interview. The successful contractor, E.G. Carter, have been fully immersed in the project, working alongside the architect and the community, Nash Partnership and Southmead Development Trust, bringing their wealth of contracting experience and assisting to ensure design could meet stakeholders’ goals and visions
SDT secured an underwriting agreement from BCC to cover E.G. Carter costs in the event of the project failing to gain planning permission.
The Contractor selection process, involving community representatives, was complete by December 2018, and detailed planning was submitted in September 2019. It is anticipated the project will be on-site towards the end of 2020, Covid-19 permitting.

Key learning

Westworks can provide meaningful, delivery focused, bespoke support to small organisations with limited resources of their own.

Westworks DPS’ have the range and quality of suppliers able to see the worth of a project and step up to the plate to deliver. 

By being able to access the wide range of skills and experience of the contractors, consultants and suppliers on the Westworks DPS’, SDT was able to build a robust and informed team to take the project from conception to planning submission, remaining compliant with regulations and accessing the best in class team for a groundbreaking and novel project.

The procurement arrangement alone has saved in the region of £40,000 to £60,000 inc VAT.

The cost to SDT was only due once the appointment had been made and because it is a fixed cost, of £6,000, they could budget for it with certainty, crucial to small organisations with limited or no reserves.

Ultimately huge congratulations to Southmead Development Trust and E.G. Carter along with the rest of the project team.