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Chard Regeneration site ‘A shining example of best practice’

| Your Area West

South Somerset District Council’s Chard Regeneration Scheme contractors, Speller Metcalfe, have received recognition for being committed to being a ‘considerate constructor’.

The Regeneration Scheme site, which will boast a leisure centre with a five lane swimming pool, was highlighted during a visit from the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) as a, “shining example of best practice.”

The site, which is voluntarily registered with the national CCS scheme by main contractor, Speller Metcalfe, is marked across five key areas: site appearance, community, environment, safety and workforce.

Achieving an overall score of 43 out of 50 for their first site visit, the project was marked as ‘excellent’ or ‘exceptional’ in all areas, with the visiting CCS monitor highlighting safety measures implemented to support workers during the coronavirus pandemic as, “particularly worthy of note, as it is clear safety related issues are of paramount importance to Speller Metcalfe.”

As well as COVID-19 measures, the team were also recognised for their commitment to improving mental health in the workforce, which has been a company-wide campaign since 2017 when it was announced that the suicide rate for construction workers in the UK is three times the national average.

“It is fantastic to receive this recognition for our Chard Leisure Centre project team, especially having scored so highly in every category,” said Mark Hudgeon, regional director at Speller Metcalfe.

“Since March we have all had to adapt to new ways of working, and the Chard team led by our Project Manager, Rich Monk - alongside all our Speller Metcalfe sites - have been working tirelessly to ensure we are meeting and where possible exceeding CCS standards, with the health and safety of our workforce and the wider community our top priority.”

Councillor Jason Baker, portfolio holder for Chard Regeneration, said: “We are really proud that the contractors working at the Regeneration site, Speller Metcalfe, have achieved such a highly respectable score and are considered a shining example of best practice. It shows that as an organisation, South Somerset District Council really values how contractors operate and this is highly considered when tendering and procuring contracts.”

The Considerate Constructors Scheme is a not-for-profit, independent organisation founded to raise standards in the construction industry. Construction sites, companies and suppliers voluntarily register with the Scheme and agree to abide by the Code of Considerate Practice, designed to encourage best practice beyond statutory requirements.

The scheme, which once complete will include a five-lane swimming pool, learner pool, café, soft play area and gym, is due to complete towards the end of 2021 and will be self-sustaining heading into the future.

What is Chard Regeneration?

Following extensive research and guided by suggestions previously made by Chard residents, South Somerset District Council has worked with partners to develop an ambitious strategy which will bring significant changes to Chard and the community.

Chard Regeneration focuses on regenerating the Boden Mill site in the centre of the town, and proposed components include a new leisure centre and swimming pool, alongside a blend of housing and commercial developments. In addition to this, the scheme proposes a number of other measures to boost business in the town, support events and revitalise the market.

What other improvements are you making to Chard?

We are still working on the delivery of Phase 2 of the Chard Regeneration site which will see the redevelopment on the Boden Mill. This will comprise of a mix of commercial and housing developments, alongside work to the public realm areas around the site – so the areas you walk and travel through. Redevelopment of the Boden Mill will not commence until the leisure centre work is complete.

Alongside this, £1m was recently awarded from the £95m government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme, which is delivered by Historic England. An additional £1m has also been match-funded by the District Council for the delivery of a Heritage Action Zone delivery project in the town centre of Chard, which will see improvement to historical buildings, public realm areas and an activity of events and engagement taking place.

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