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Category Archives: Refurbish & Respond

Investment in new Hartlepool student accommodation complete

Thirteen’s design and delivery team have worked in partnership with Forrest to convert the existing facilities at Titan House, on York Road into specialist accommodation for students attending The Northern School of Art in Hartlepool.

The work has seen the existing one and two-bedroom flats reconfigured to provide 44 open-plan and one bedroom flats with their own private kitchen and bathroom. A new communal room has been created as part of the new design on each floor with a lounge, kitchen and laundry area.

The project itself was not without its challenges, ensuring that the accommodation was ready in time for the new academic term, but these were overcome due to the commitment of the team working together.

Thirteen’s director of asset management and sustainability Paul Jenkins said: “We’ve worked closely with the college, contractors and partner organisations to ensure that the students have modern, secure and safe accommodation.

“While there is a visible difference throughout the building, a lot of essential work has been done that you can’t see, including new fire safety systems, a plant room to boost the water pressure and essential mechanical and electrical work.”

Darroch Baker, divisional director at Forrest said: “The completion of this refurbishment and fire safety work, ready in time for the new academic year, enabled this prominent development to gain a new lease of life and transform into much needed accommodation for students to call home for years to come. This first project with Thirteen is demonstration of a great working partnership.”

Thirteen will continue to manage the accommodation alongside the existing student residences at Crown Halls and Lime Crescent.


Developing Titan House to provide homes for students

Work has started on a major revamp to a landmark building in Hartlepool that will provide essential student accommodation in the area.

Titan House on York Road in the town is undergoing a number of changes as Thirteen works to provide accommodation for students attending Cleveland College of Art and Design’s (CCAD) university campus in Hartlepool.

The work inside the building – which is being carried out by contractor Forrest – will see the facilities reconfigured from the existing one and two-bedroom flats to provide 44 open-plan and one-bedroom flats for CCAD students.

All the flats will have their own private kitchen and bathroom, and students will have access to a dedicated communal room which will give them key socialising space.

Thirteen worked with CCAD to identify appropriate accommodation in Hartlepool to house an expected increase in student numbers from the start of the new academic year in September.

Titan House was identified as a suitable location for student accommodation and agreement was reached between Thirteen and the college to redevelop the building to provide homes for students in time for the 2018/19 academic year, due to the building having a number of vacant properties which meant that it was under-utilised.

Chris Smith, Executive Director of Service Delivery and Development said: “The development work on the building will provide college students with modern, safe and secure accommodation to help them settle in Hartlepool, while also securing the future of Titan House.

“As well as students being able to access quality accommodation right in the town centre, local businesses will also benefit from the increased number of residents in the area, as they may make use of the wide range of services including the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, local cafes, bars and other leisure facilities.”

Titan House is a five minute walk from the CCAD campus on Church Street and the investment work on the building will add to the 81 student bed spaces at Crown Halls and Lime Crescent that Thirteen already manages.

Pat Chapman, Vice Principal from Cleveland College of Art and Design, said: “The College was delighted to work with Thirteen once again, to provide much needed high quality accommodation for our growing numbers of students.

“It is really important to us that we provide secure, attractive places for students to live so that their experience of living in the town matches the pre-eminent specialist creative learning they encounter at the College. As we grow, attracting more students from across the UK this is a good news story for the town.”

 Darroch Baker, Divisional Director at Forrest said: “Commencing this work at Titan House marks our first project with Thirteen. It further supports Forrest’s solid track record in delivering high quality refurbishment and remodelling projects and will give this significant asset a new lease of life and provide quality homes for students.”  The work is due to be completed in time for students to move-in for the new term in September.

Moving forward, Thirteen will manage the accommodation alongside the existing student residences at Crown Halls and Lime Crescent.


Success for Forrest on the ForViva Refurbishment Framework

Forrest has been appointed to the four-year ForViva Group Refurbishment Contractors Framework for the third consecutive time.

The relationship dates back to 2009 when Forrest was first engaged on improvement works. The main contractor has now been successful in both tendered Lots; Internals, External and Environmental Works with a value of up to £2 million and also Block Works of a value of up to £3 million. Refurbishment works will vary from kitchens and bathrooms, fencing and boundary walls to communal and structural works on both high and low rise blocks.

Owning and managing 24,000 homes across the North West, ForViva has valued the Framework at around £25 million with the additional opportunity for other Social Housing Providers in the UK to be able to procure works via this route, potentially increasing this lifetime value.

Darroch Baker, Divisional Director stated “Fostering long-term partnerships is the bedrock of our business and this latest agreement with ForViva is testament to the strength of the relationship between the two organisations which has been established for many years now. With our refurbishment expertise being a core service offering, particularly within the social housing sector, we are delighted to be awarded a place on this Framework”.


North West homeowners offered free double glazing to tackle road noise

Around 600 homeowners in the North West who live near motorways or major A roads could soon get free double glazing to reduce noise levels.

A new Highways England initiative will see the owners of more than 3,000 homes across the country being offered upgrades to windows, bi-folding doors and patio doors in bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms and studies by spring 2020.

Funding for the free noise insulation scheme is part of a £39 million special fund which Highways England is using to reduce noise levels for people living close to motorways and major A roads; it also includes installing noise barriers and low-noise road surfaces.

Ian Holmes, Principal Noise Advisor at Highways England, said: “Motorways are vital for connecting the country and supporting the economy but, at a local level, noise from the vehicles using them can affect people’s health and wellbeing.

“We’re committed to tackling traffic noise across the country and I’d urge anyone who receives a letter from us to get in touch; the scheme is entirely free, from the initial survey to the installation of the new windows and ventilation units.

Highways England has identified locations where new glazing will be the best solution for reducing noise levels, and the owners of some 3,000 eligible properties will be contacted over the next few months to be offered free windows and doors.

Ventilation units will also be fitted which allow air into rooms without windows needing to be opened.

A Cheshire couple, who live less than 80 metres away from a busy motorway, have become the first in England to benefit from the free double glazing scheme.

Fred and June Glass from Frodsham moved into their home around two years ago and were contacted by Highways England contractors due to its location close to the motorway.

The stretch of the M56 near their home is used by over 124,000 vehicles every day, meaning they previously had to put up with constant traffic noise at all times of the day and night. Now, thanks to the scheme, the noise levels in their lounge and bedroom are like a library.

Mr Glass said: “We are delighted to have new double glazed windows and frames installed, free of charge, to help with reducing the noise levels.

“The entire process has been really easy and the communication with Highways England’s contractor, Forrest, and the care taken during the installation was superb.

“We’re really satisfied with the end result and have noticed a huge difference in day-to-day noise levels.”

Highways England has appointed Forrest to carry out the first phase of its free noise insulation initiative.

Darroch Baker, Divisional Director at Forrest, said: “As a contractor with the ability to manage all aspects of this important scheme, including resident communication, property surveying and installation of the proposed improvements, we are thrilled to be appointed by Highways England.

“The project is a great opportunity to contribute to improvements in the health and quality of life of the population most exposed to high traffic noise levels.”

More details on the free noise insulation initiative are available at


Forrest appointed to Durham University’s £150m contractor panel

Forrest has been named as one of the selected partners to deliver a programme of minor repair and new build works for Durham University.

The preferred contractors have been split into two panels, one governing a term service contract for jobs up to £1m and a framework contract for works from £500,000- £4m.

The Bolton based contractor is one of the eight partners to undertake projects with a value of £500k to £4m over the four year framework.


Incorporating energy efficiency into university refurbishment – Building 4 Education Feature

Jon Edgar, bid director at contractor Forrest, outlines what’s driving university refurbishment trends and how energy efficiency can unlock the funding to deliver them.

More and more universities aspire to increase investment in their facilities. Rising fees are creating a more discerning student population, placing a higher value on modern, well-designed teaching facilities and accommodation. Consequently, universities face increasing pressure to make their buildings as appealing as possible.


Forrest appointed to University of Manchester Framework

Forrest has been named as one of the selected contractors to be appointed to The University of Manchester’s £175 million Construction Works Framework.

The Bolton based contractor is one of the four partners to undertake projects with a value of £1m to £4m over the four year framework. The works called off in individual contracts will cover refurbishment and new build schemes for buildings in the University estate, including teaching spaces, public buildings and student accommodation.


Forrest completes redevelopment for the University of Leeds

Contractor Forrest has completed a programme of remodelling and refurbishment works for the University of Leeds.

After winning the project following a competitive tender in May, Forrest has now completed an internal refurbishment of the University’s Liberty Building, which houses the Faculty of Law and Head of School’s office.


Forrest to deliver £7m upgrade at Stockbridge Village

Forrest has been appointed to deliver a £7m upgrade across five tower blocks in Knowsley for Villages Housing Association.


Forrest awarded place on £100m Fusion21 framework

Contractor, Forrest, has secured a place as on public sector consortium, Fusion21’s, £100 million ‘whole house’ framework across four years.

The national planned maintenance framework comprises 11 lots including whole house, windows and doors, kitchens and bathrooms, roofing, heating, electrical, environmental works, external repairs and internal repairs.