Hartlepool Centre for Independent Living
Hartlepool Borough Council’s Building, Design and Construction team are celebrating after winning a national award for the Hartlepool Centre for Independent Living project. The service team beat tough competition from five other finalists to win the prestigious ‘Value Award’ at the annual Constructing Excellence National Awards 2018.
Commenting on the award win, Tony Hanson, Assistant Director for Environment and Neighbourhood Services at Hartlepool Borough Council said: “We are very proud of this achievement, and feel it has given us recognition for the hard work and effort that our teams put in not just for significant projects such as this, but into service delivery every day.
“It shows the depth of expertise and experience within the Council and the dedication and team ethic of all officers involved, because without that skill and effort the scheme would not have been such a success.
“Competition was tough and it’s always a huge honour to be recognised at a national level. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate every member of the team and wider staff members whose important work contributed to this important award win.”
Situated on the former Lynn Street site overlooking the coast towards Mainsforth Terrace, the £4 million purpose-built Hartlepool Centre for Independent Living dominates the skyline with its magnificent views towards Historic Headland and the ever changing North Sea. The project began back in 2012, when a need was identified for a single building to exist within the local community that would offer a range of services to meet the diverse needs of those with learning and physical disabilities.
The facility opened in 2017 and was developed following several years of public consultation with local people and hosts a number of disability-related organisations, each providing their unique range of services.
The project was commended for reducing the operational cost of five buildings into one, realising savings through reduced utility, staffing, transportation and building maintenance costs whilst increasing income from the use of a functional hall, training rooms, a café and additional services.
Surveys conducted throughout the scheme highlighted that parents and carers felt they had been listened to and that staff have a greater enthusiasm for their work. Not only this, but the service exceeded financial targets for efficiencies by 30%.
The entrance to the building is a large open foyer with a two storey atrium. The first floor offers two training rooms and a meeting room for event and function hire, and the decision to develop office accommodation on the second floor meant officers from health, social care and housing continue to be able to work closely together.
The ground floor of the North Wing houses a large conference hall with a bistro/cafe and a training kitchen for day users of the building as well as accessible toilet facilities. The first floor to the North Wing provides home care office space, small offices and a ground floor access plant room.
The ground floor of the South Wing provides bespoke day service facilities including a sensory/interactive room, a hydro-therapy pool, activities lounge, rebound room, treatment room and accessible toilets. The facilities provide community interest activities and the integration of specialist day users with other users of the building.
The first floor of the wing provides further office spaces for specialist departments providing support for the building, including Learning Disability Social Work and Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Staff, psychology and psychiatry offices and large training spaces.
It was said that these annual awards act as a ‘showcase for excellence in the built environment sector across England and Wales, bringing together nine regional winners in each of the thirteen categories to celebrate the very best of the best.’