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Premier Inn Co-op – A ‘first’ for Jersey

Jersey’s first Premier Inn and a new Co-op store are a key part of a major multi-million pound redevelopment underway in Charing Cross, St Helier, Jersey.

The scheme includes the new 5,000 square foot Co-operative Locale store, 2000 sq ft of further retail space and the new hotel – all within one building.

Regeneration of the site with this sustainable, future-proofed, mixed-use development involves some £12 million of capital investment in a key town centre location, and is providing employment opportunities during the construction phase, as well as long-term employment through the provision of flexible retail and commercial units and modern, low cost hotel rooms at the heart of St. Helier.

Premier Inn

The scheme is being carried out for the Channel Islands Co-operative Society, with Cameron Construction as main contractors and Axis Mason as architects. It is the largest project that the society has undertaken, and the first to involve a Premier Inn hotel.

Jim Plumley Chief Development Officer for the Channel Islands Co-operative Society, and project manager for the development said: “This is a major development for us and the largest project which we have undertaken so far.”

The four storey building is structured around a concrete frame with stone-clad external elevations incorporating areas of glazing and curtain walling, and a flat roof fitted with solar panels.

External windows, doors and curtain walling for the new building were designed, supplied and installed by Style Windows.

For Style windows, the project demanded balancing the requirements of a high usage retail unit and a popular and well-regarded hotel group, with certain parts of the building forming part of a historically sensitive area of conservation.

To meet these requirements, the project needed to balance contemporary aluminium glazing systems with more traditional timber systems, all of which had to be designed to meet the varied requirements of contemporary vs. traditional aesthetics, solar control, high thermal efficiency, varied acoustic reductions in different areas, and fire resistance to certain areas.

The project also included a number of other challenging features for Style Windows, including the provision of a specialist marine duty metallic powder coated finish; seven automated entrances of varied design, areas of curved on-plan panoramic curtain walling screens; sections of fire-resistant curtain walling, and many areas of complex interface, demanding bespoke and intricately-shaped insulated panel and flashing works. All of these challenging details were successfully resolved by Style Window’s in-house design team.

The construction works also include upgrading of a street which runs alongside the new building. This includes the laying of special paving and the installation of lighting to create a ‘river of light.’

The Locale store is due to open in April, with the 91 room hotel on the upper floors of the building due to open in May 2018. The hotel will also incorporate a breakfast and restaurant area at first floor level, giving a dining destination for hotel residents or the general public.

Jim Plumley said: “The store, located on the ground floor of the building, will include our standard range of frozen and fresh food, as well as ‘Food To Go’ including coffee, a hot dog machine and sandwiches.”

The new Co-op will add to the society’s growing portfolio of convenience stores and has been designed to meet the changing needs of customers.

The biggest challenge of the project has been constructing the building within the small footprint of the site with very limited access. It was therefore necessary to create a site compound across a nearby road and to construct a gantry over the road to allow offloading of materials.

Jim Plumley said: “This has been a challenging scheme to manage due to the location and limited size of the construction site, and dealing with access, deliveries and all the different teams of people involved – from the architects and contractors to Premier Inn.

“However despite all the challenges, the construction team are making good progress on schedule and I am very pleased with the scheme.

“We have employed local companies and subcontractors wherever possible, as well as sourcing local materials.”

Premier Inn

Some 83% of the building works are being undertaken by Jersey registered companies, employing up to 300 people during the construction phase. In addition, The Channel Islands Co-operative Society requires its construction partners to commit to a series of employment and training initiatives during the construction phase.

The Channel Islands Co-operative Society Ltd is a retail business dedicated to the principles of co-operative trade, and is owned by over 120,000 members.

Profit is returned to shareholders in respect to their purchases and all members have an equal vote on company policy at the AMM.

Having a large presence within the Channel Islands, the organisation represents a significant proportion of the community, employing a workforce of over 1,000 Channel Islanders.

Award-winning Premier Inn is the UK’s biggest hotel brand, offering quality accommodation at affordable prices. Premier Inn is consistently rated the UK’s Best Value Hotel Chain by YouGov.

With over 760 hotels in the UK and 68,000 rooms in great locations, Premier Inn aim to have 85,000 rooms by 2020. The chain also have hotels in the Middle East and Germany, with more hotels in the pipeline.

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