Client: Ongo
Value: £2,500,000
Contracts Manager: Simon Taylor
Site Manager: Paul Binnington

The Westcliff neighbourhood has been among the ten percent of most deprived communities in England and ways forward to strengthen community cohesion have been under discussion for many years.  Ongo has worked closely with North Lincolnshire Council on land assembly and funding application support to secure £550k from the Humberside LEP, which added to Ongo’s £1m social investment led to the creation of a wellbeing and enterprise hub for Westcliff as part of a wider neighbourhood regeneration initiative.

Constructed by local contractor, G S Kelsey Ltd, and designed by Framework Architects the 665m2 centre provides a 24 place nursery, post office, a café/bistro, community advice space for Westcliff Community Works together with a range of multipurpose spaces for activities that promote inclusion across the generations within Westcliff.

The Arc is constructed in traditional materials, including recycled materials in the fitting out, is constructed to BREEAM Good Environmental Standards and achieves Secured by Design accreditation. The whole building has been designed to provide a welcoming informal feel accessible to all with that element of curiosity that ultimately leads to breaking down perceived and real barriers to raising aspiration. The Arc draws you in!  The innovative design encourages substantial natural light with a full height social/leisure space at the building’s heart. The hugely popular Ofsted outstanding nursery has a separate secure entrance and protected external all weather play area, with a waiting list for places.

Led by Simon Taylor and Paul Binnington, the construction team worked closely with North Lincolnshire Council Building Control from the pre start phase with support in energy calculations to shape building services to overcome a large number of technical challenges which included variable ground conditions, a myriad of existing services, some in different locations to that indicated on record drawings, in scheme re-planning of the building footprint to mitigate diversions and ensure compliance in a complex multi-use building, designed to encourage public access and use. Through the construction process Ongo and GS Kelsey supported two apprenticeships. The local contractor used a mainly locally based workforce, increasing the contribution to the borough economy.

Reaching out to the Westcliff community, The Arc already has created and protected around 20 jobs and linked to a local growing project where the produce from allotments is then used in food preparation within The Arc.  The scheme is currently attracting over 40 volunteers in addition to the various groups that use the building.  The inclusive nature of The Arc sees a range of youth based support and working with other service providers, provides community signposting, learning, employment, health and financial advice, community safety, counselling, social and leisure activities.  As a testimony to the inclusive social and economic value of The Arc, there has been over 7000 individual visits to the hub since opening last year!