A case study of co-operation, resilience and teamwork

The Building Consultancy team of Trevor Dawson Commercial Property Consultants is pleased to have project managed extensive internal refurbishment and external repair works to the former Runshaw College building in Chorley. 

The project was completed ahead of the incoming tenant’s deadline date and highlights co-operation, resilience and teamwork shown by all parties involved as Trevor Dawson’s Building Consultancy Director, Ian Whiteside explains.

Runshaw College had vacated the Market Street building in 2017, leaving the owner, Eric Wright Group with over 21,000 sq. ft of space to re-let.  Re-letting was not going to be straightforward given the size of the former hair and beauty teaching facility situated on a retail high street.

World Travel Holdings UK (WTH UK Ltd), a specialist cruise holiday retailer based in Chorley needed to move their expanding head office and call-centre to larger premises before the lease on their existing building expired. 

Despite incentives to move being offered from a neighbouring council, the Eric Wright group in collaboration with Chorley Council were able to attract and retain WTH UK with a new lease for the Market Street premises on condition the Eric Wright Group completed internal refurbishment and external repair works.

Under Trevor Dawson’s supervision, change of use planning consent was obtained, appropriate collateral warranties put in place, works specified and procured resulting in the appointment of a principal contractor. 

Works proceeded well with Chorley Council allowing contractor’s licenced use of an adjacent car park for their site compound which greatly assisted the project.  Furthermore, close liaison between the principal contractor and WTH UK allowed early site access for the tenant’s appointed contractors to start their data, security and IT fit-out works.

However, works came to an immediate halt following the UK government’s national lockdown measures in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.  In strict compliance with safe site operating procedures and with a rare supply of hand sanitiser provided by the Eric Wright Group, the principal contractor was able to restart works.

On completion of the works, WTH UK took immediate occupation of the premises despite the massive impact on their business caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.  Alison Earnshaw, managing director of World Travel Holdings UK remains very much optimistic and is delighted with their new business premises: "Whilst 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for all travel businesses, we are delighted with our new offices and look forward to welcoming all our employees back to a fully-fledged office environment when circumstances allow. 

"The Eric Wright  Group, Trevor Dawson and UDC (Manchester) Ltd have been hugely supportive, professional and flexible throughout the planning and refurbishment works and we have a fantastic new office environment to be proud of."

Taking advantage of the opportunity presented by some of their staff now ‘home working’, WTH UK are now looking to sub-let some of their office space as 3 self-contained office suites ranging from 750 to 1,518 sq. ft.

This project shows what can be achieved if everyone involved shares the same objectives and determination to succeed despite actual or perceived barriers getting in the way, a sentiment shared by the Eric Wright Group as their group portfolio manager, Patrick Naylor comments: “Covid obviously presented us with a number of obstacles to overcome but once we were able to get back on site the team made really good progress on the fit out to meet WTH UK’s occupation date.

"This building is an important asset in our property portfolio and it is great to see it refurbished and providing a superb new space for its new occupants."