John Street runs a charity called Free @ Last which is committed to providing opportunities, activities, mentoring and support for children and young people in Nechells, and to further their interests by working with their families, other agencies and relevant professionals. John had started the project with a large builder who went into administration part way through the project. They did not honour the contract and the client was at a loss to find a contractor they could trust, and credit worthy. This is where we came into play.
We started working on this project in August 2017 and finished in December 2017 and this was a big contract to fulfil in this period with a value of £1.35 million. Our work included completing the build of the centre and then fully fitting out the inside. This included everything from flooring to decoration, joinery, lighting, and creating many different areas and rooms for children and young adults to learn & carry out activities within such as a recording studio, classrooms and soft play areas.
There was a lot of work that had been carried out that was sub-standard, incorrect and did not conform to building regulations. The challenge was to correct all of these works whilst trying to keep all costs to a minimum. We had to work with the client to analyse all the costings and prioritise to meet the funding. This was a difficult project to manage from the start as the previous main contractor had not paid several of the sub-contractors, so it proved difficult to get other contractors on board and gain their trust. There were lots of cost cutting exercises done by the previous managers that had not been thought through and had a knock-on effect. In the end all guarantees were supplied, and full building control approval was gained.
We implemented strict project management and regularly monitored all costings with weekly meetings on site with our Quantity Surveyor. We also went out to market with suppliers and contractors in order to get the best rates.
Our client was so pleased with the result and they were so grateful for our hard work and dedication. The charity now has an amazing space to work from which so many people will benefit from. We also carried out additional works due to the savings that we had made which included fitted furniture, kitchen equipment and external works.