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Spenhill’s Regeneration Scheme in Yardley, Birmingham Wins Industry Award

Cube are continuing to diversify and build on the growth we experienced in 2011. Our core Retail sector is showing healthy expansion and we are developing our expertise in the Commercial, Residential, Hotel and Mixed-Use sectors.

We are delighted to have successfully delivered Cube’s single largest project to date, the award winning Swan Centre regeneration scheme in Yardley, Birmingham, which opened on 22 February 2012.

We continue to focus on delivering results for our clients and this award winning scheme endorses our positive approach. I look forward to building on this success in 2012.

Wayne Mullins, Managing Partner

Cube, led by Partner Steven Johnston, were appointed by Spenhill, the regeneration partner of Tesco, as Project Managers and Employer’s Agents on this multi-phased Mixed Use scheme. The project was one of the most complex undertaken by Cube, incorporating:

  • The regeneration of the Swan Shopping Centre
  • A £5m refurbishment of 122 Local Authority flats situated over 12 storeys above the Centre
  • Construction of an 111,000 sq ft retail store for anchor tenant,Tesco Extra
  • A new highway infrastructure to facilitate the retail refurbishment programme
  • Petrol Filling Station

The earliest phase of the project, the site acquisition, necessitated termination of the 53 leases held by the existing tenants and, where necessary, procuring relocation packages. Cube worked closely with the Centre Managers and lawyers acting on behalf of the various tenants.

Cube, in conjunction with Birmingham City Council, Ashurst, LPA and the Secretary of State, dealt with the requisi te CPO’s and ensured developing planning consents suited revised client requirements.

Integral to the entire scheme was the redevelopment of the A4040 / A45 a major dual carriageway running through the centre of the site. However, opposition from a lone objector meant the CPO was taken all the way up to the Secretary of State. Cube dealt with each stage, negotiating with the framework contractor and successfully pushing forward the highway design.

As part of the highway redevelopment, Steven’s team oversaw the largest gas main diversion in the UK – a good illustration of the scale of the operation. Total build time was just 40 weeks. This part of the scheme has won the West Midlands CIHT Award for Highways Projects up to £5million in value.

The shopping centre itself, together with the refurbishment of the Local Authority dwellings and construction of the anchor unit started in the October of 2010. The build time was set at 64 weeks to enable the opening of the Tesco Extra store anchoring the development by February 2012, before Tesco’s year end. For Steven and his team this meant co-ordinating a variety of disciplines with the Client, Lawyers and Architects, through dealing with environmental considerations such as carbon reduction technologies to managing shell contract works valued at £26m.

The key to delivering such a difficult set of variables on time and budget came down to the strength of team work between Cube, Spenhill, Tesco, Birmingham City Council and the main contractor, Bowmer & Kirkland. We put in place a pro-active team to deliver the scheme, making sure they had all the back-up they needed, but ultimately each person was left to work within and concentrate on their own specific skill sets. Undoubtedly this was an unusually complicated project and we needed to take a number of well-managed risks, but with the proper steer and by allowing people to focus on their own area of expertise, we were able to make sure we delivered.

Steven Johnston – Partner

It was clearly an approach which worked – not only was the Yardley scheme delivered on time and on budget, but on the day of opening Tesco presented Steven Johnston with the Tesco ‘Values’ award for outstanding commitment to the scheme. A fitting testament to the success of the relationship which Steven and Cube established during five years working with Spenhill and Tesco on this flagship project.

Three months on and footfall is good. The retail units within the shopping centre are trading in line with aspirations and Steven is embarking on the final stage of the project, construction of the petrol filling station, scheduled to open in summer 2012.

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