Golden Gates Housing Trust Open New Headquarters in Warrington
Published by Mark Foster for Golden Gates Housing Trust in Housing and also in Communities
Cutting the ribbon
Golden Gates Housing Trust (GGHT) held a celebration event this week to mark the official opening of its new Warrington head office, Bank Park House (BPH). The event took place at the Trust’s new building in Kendrick Street, which looks onto Bank Park. Guests included the Mayor, Board Members, staff, local Councillors and children from the local primary school.
Speeches were made by GGHT Chair Roy Smith, GGHT Chief Executive Peter Mercer and the Mayor of Warrington, Peter Carey, ahead of an official “ribbon cutting” ceremony. Guests at the event also witnessed the Trust placing a time capsule in the floor of the reception of the new building. The capsule contained a number of contents themed around ‘Warrington in 30 years’ and was developed in conjunction with Year 5 and 6 pupils from St Barnabas Primary School. There were also items added on the day from local partners including Warrington Wolves and Warrington Town FC.
Guests were given the chance to have a tour of the new building and were shown its ‘green’ features, such as a green roof forming a roof top garden, roof mounted photovoltaic panels which will generate up to 21,000 KVa of electricity, highly insulated and rendered external walls and a sophisticated heat recovery system which provides the building with hot water. They were also shown how GGHT’s ICT Team has invested in upgrading and installing new technology.
GGHT is the largest Registered Provider of Social Housing in Warrington. The Trust own and manage over 8,600 properties and are committed to improving local communities and resident’s lives. The new office accommodation will help the Trust to achieve these ambitions, while continuing to grow and improve the services that it provides. Prior to completion the Trust’s staff were based at a number of office locations across Warrington. The office’s central location will provide improved access for staff and more importantly for customers.
The completion of the building also marks a key milestone in the wider regeneration of Bank Park, which is currently benefiting from a £1.3 million investment programme led by Warrington Borough Council.
Work on the 24,000 square foot building began in late March 2013. The building has been developed by Birchwood based contractor Globe Construction and was designed by The Fairhursts Design Group. The new building has also helped to generate local employment opportunities and has provided work for local suppliers and sub-contractors.
The open plan design will create an engaging space that will reflect the different type of work activity required across the Trust. The building has been designed to promote an inclusive and collaborative working dynamic, featuring a state of the art IT training suite, Board Room and two community rooms. New technology within the building includes video conferencing and smart boards, which will make meetings more productive and training more effective.
The building is set to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’, recognising the Trust’s commitment to meeting the highest standards for environmental sustainability. As part of the moving in process the Trust has developed a green travel plan for its staff and customers, encouraging those using the building to utilise green modes of travel wherever practicable. This includes promoting the use of public transport, car sharing or cycling to work.
Speaking at the opening, GGHT Chief Executive, Peter Mercer said: “I’m delighted to have been able to open our new head office today. The building will provide great new facilities for our staff and customers and help us to further improve the services we are able to deliver. Feedback from staff and customers so far has been fantastic and is reward for the hard work many of them have put in to help us make the new building a reality.”
GGHT Chair, Roy Smith said: “The Trust is committed to Warrington and its communities. The development of the new building has helped create jobs and put money back into the local economy. It has formed one element of our plans in how we are building a secure future for staff, customers and tenants.”
Bank Park House will be open to the public and customers from 9am on Wednesday 14 May. Opening hours will be Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday between 9am and 2pm. The building is fully accessible to the public and the reception area contains three dedicated internet kiosks for customers to use.