- News Aew to relocate to Trinity Manchester
- Projects Aew Supports Bury’s Levelling Up Fund Bid
- People We’re Supporting UCLan’s Degree Apprenticeship
- Projects Building a Safer Future in Salford
- XQ7, Salford (1-Tower, 12-storeys)
- Advent One, Manchester (1-Tower, 6-storeys)
- Advent 2 and 3, Manchester (2-Towers, 6-storeys)
- Century Buildings, Manchester (1 Tower, 7-12 storeys)
- Projects Planning Submitted for Stockport’s former BHS
- Projects Glass Futures Secures Planning Approval
- Awards We’ve been Shortlisted for ‘Architects Practice of the Year’
- News Mental Health Awareness Month
- Regular Wellbeing tips
- Weekly photography competition focusing on themes such as “joy” and “adventure”
- Wellbeing walks around the city for those in the office
- Awards South Gate named ’Affordable Housing Scheme of the Year’
- News Raven Locks, Salford Completes
- Projects Green Light for Rochdale Riverside Phase 2
- News Onesie Wednesday 2021
- Projects Planning Success for Pioneer Place, Burnley
- News What we’ve Learnt from 1-year of Lockdown
- When we asked staff what the biggest benefits of working from home were, key themes included:
- Not having to commute – saving money and time
- Spending more time with families
- Increased productivity and less interruptions
- Increased physical health and improved diet
- Improved work/life balance
- However, working from home wasn’t without its challenges, common issues were:
- Balancing and separating work with home life
- Missing the opportunity to collaborate in person with the team, clients and consultants
- The absence of everyday/on the spot mentoring
- Missing functional items such as printers and scanners
- Despite many welcoming the benefits of home working, our team still have an appetite to attend the office. But not all week. 77% stated they’d like to work in the office part time if our office was open today.
- The same is true of a non-covid world. The desire going forward is for a mix of office-based and home working. 79% of our team stated they’d like to work from home either 2 or 3 days a week.
- When we asked the team what they missed most working from home, the “people”, “camaraderie” and “atmosphere” were universally mentioned.
- People Director Colin Savage Becomes a Fellow of the CIAT
- People We've Made a Hat-trick of Promotions
- Projects Trafford Hotel Proposals Approved
- News International Women's Day
- Maddie Woodhead, Architectural Assistant (Aew) – “Maddie challenged herself to run 50 miles in February to raise £100 for Mind as part of their ‘Move for Mind’ campaign – and ended up raising £635!”
- Oi San, Architect (Aew) - “Oi San has been a huge inspiration to me personally. Her charitable work and work on dementia care is what inspired me to base my thesis project and research on designing for dementia”.
- Danielle Purves, Associate Director (Aew) - “Danielle has been with Aew for 16 years, during which time she has shown real commitment and dedication to the company... Danielle has also made a massive contribution to the culture of the practice, supporting the next generation by mentoring, nurturing and developing countless young people over the years.
“Her energy, enthusiasm and positivity extends to the charity and fundraising work that she actively promotes and undertakes, particularly with regards to Ronald McDonald House Charities. This includes (but is not limited to) - walking up Snowden, making and selling Christmas Cards, wear-a-onesie Wednesday, football shirt Friday, sponsored walks and runs, volunteering time at the house to paint, clean and garden. She is always one of the first people to get involved!”
- Shivani Gunawardana – This is “My best friend who got me into architecture and has also recently appeared in the Architect’s Journal for leading the design of the Memorial for the MEN attack”
- Lucia Cano (The Merida Factory Youth Movement) – “An architect who inspired me whilst working on my thesis project at university ‘Designing with Young People.”
- Eva Jiricna – “Someone who has inspired me since my first year of university when we were given a mini project to design a staircase. She is very well known for pioneering structural glass staircases during the late 80s / early 90s as well as interiors. I think her work generally has a real elegance and precision to it.”
- Projects Revised Proposals for Pioneer Place, Burnley
- News We’re Celebrating LGBT+ History Month
- Allies Toolbox Talk (Thursday 18th February) – Full details here.
- LGBTQ+ History & Me (Wednesday 24th February) – Full details here.
- Projects Plans Submitted for Glass Futures
- People Red January – a happy, healthy start to 2021
- Projects Panatonni Park Bolton Starts on Site
- Awards We’re one of the ‘Best Places to Work in Property'
- Projects Fitzwarren Court, Salford Completes
- Projects Future High Streets Fund Success for Stockport
- Projects Planning Submitted for Rochdale Riverside Phase 2
- People Together we've improved in 2020
- UK Green Building Council (UKGBC)
- Architects Declare
- Low Carbon Network (The Growth Company’s Green Growth service)
- Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum
- Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter
- RIBA Inclusion Charter
- People We've committed to the RIBA Inclusion Charter
- Acknowledge the urgent need for inclusion in the architecture profession and wider construction industry
- Commit to setting inclusion targets and an EDI action plan
- Commit to developing our workplace culture, talent pipeline and ways of working to support inclusion
- Commit to publicly reporting on progress of our EDI plan – recognising transparency and accountability are vital to drive cultural change
- Commit to embedding inclusive design in all our projects, and contributing to the development of inclusive environments
- News Together we've raised over £6400 for charity in 2020
- Christmas Card Sales, Xmas Jumper Day and Masterchef (Ronald McDonald House Charities) - £715
- Black Tie & Slippers Event Tickets & Donation (Ronald McDonald House Charities) - £1695
- Virtual Manchester Marathon (Steve Burne Charitable Trust) - £1165
- Wear it Pink (Breast Cancer Now) - £780
- Football Shirt Friday (Cancer Research UK) - £510
- 5 Million Steps Challenge (Ronald McDonald House Charities) - £1575
- People We completed the virtual Manchester Marathon
- News Becoming part of the Low Carbon Network
- People We supported Football Shirt Friday 2020
- News Helping our clients build a safer future
- People We bolster team with senior appointments
- People Steve Burne Charitable Award 2020
- significant contribution to Aew's Social Value committee including helping to drive our health & wellbeing initiatives and promoting the diversity agenda
- amazing charitable fundraising, including his latest Three Peak Challenge which helped raise £878 for McMillan Cancer Support.
- Work as a Committee Member of CIAT, supporting young professionals in the industry, including organising networking events and encouraging CIAT membership progression.
- News We joined Place NW's Industrial & Logistics Conference
- How have the Brexit timeline and Covid pandemic affected the regional logistics market this year?
- Why have several major schemes been called in, and what could help change that?
- Is automation and digital transformation changing industrial development?
- As their high street presence is reduced, retailers are looking to logistics to reinforce their brand values, and this is also supporting the region’s low-carbon agenda
- Quality industrial supply is at a historically low level, with an estimated nine months of grade A stock available in the North West
- There is growing momentum to push for green space and amenities at ‘big box’ locations, which might help schemes to achieve planning consent
- People Together we supported “Wear it Pink” 2020
- People We Invest in Wellbeing
- People Part III RIBA Exam Success!
- News Join us at the Industrial + Logistics conference
- News In conversation with Place North West
- News Virtual Manchester Marathon 2020
- News Rainford and Savage complete MBO
- News Annual Client Survey... the results are in!
- How would you rate our contactability and attitude? – Exceptional (+70 NPS)
- How would you rate our knowledge and skills? Exceptional (+80 NPS)
- How would you rate our design quality? – Exceptional (+70 NPS)
- How would you rate the quality of our technical information? – Excellent (+53 NPS)
- How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend, colleague or industry peer? - Exceptional (+83 NPS)
- Combined overall Net Promoter Score – Exceptional (+71 NPS)
- News We are committed to addressing the climate and biodiversity emergency
- Raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for action amongst our clients and supply chains.
- Advocate for faster change in our industry towards regenerative design practices and a higher Governmental funding priority to support this.
- Establish climate and biodiversity mitigation principles as the key measure of our industry’s success: demonstrated through awards, prizes and listings.
- Share knowledge and research to that end on an open source basis.
- Evaluate all new projects against the aspiration to contribute positively to mitigating climate breakdown, and encourage our clients to adopt this approach.
- Upgrade existing buildings for extended use as a more carbon efficient alternative to demolition and new build whenever there is a viable choice.
- Include life cycle costing, whole life carbon modelling and post occupancy evaluation as part of our basic scope of work, to reduce both embodied and operational resource use.
- Adopt more regenerative design principles in our studios, with the aim of designing architecture and urbanism that goes beyond the standard of net zero carbon in use.
- Collaborate with engineers, contractors and clients to further reduce construction waste.
- Accelerate the shift to low embodied carbon materials in all our work.
- Minimise wasteful use of resources in architecture and urban planning, both in quantum and in detail.
- Projects £17m Market Walk saved Chorley from ‘stagnation’
- What is the role of visionary local authorities in creating vibrant and sustainable town centres?
- How did you find the development process, including dealing with the AEW team?
- How has the scheme been received by Chorley residents, and is there anything you would do differently?
- Has the combination of retail and leisure interventions been a catalyst for wider regeneration and increased footfall in Chorley, for example in the evenings?
- How important is well designed public realm for the overall scheme and how people use it?
- Chorley is a renowned market town. How does the development support the traditional weekly markets that have been held there for over 500 years?
- We are in a challenging period for retail. How has Covid-19 and the economic slowdown impacted Chorley town centre?
- What’s next for Chorley?
- What would be your top three pieces of advice to other town centres going through similar changes?
- Projects Wilmslow Business Park received unanimous planning approval
- News Insider Transforming Stockport for the Future
- How is the town’s commercial and residential property offer evolving?
- What next for the town centre in a post-Covid, post-retail world?
- What infrastructure and public sector investment is needed to drive growth?
- What can other towns on a similar regeneration journey learn from Stockport?
- Covid has disrupted and reconfigured how we all live and work – what could the ramifications be for places like Stockport?
- Caroline Simpson – Corporate Director for Place, Stockport Council
- Chris Lloyd – Investment Director, Glenbrook
- Phil Hepworth – Director, AEW Architects
- Tom Winney – Business Development Director, WFEL
- News Efficiency North: Procure framework success
- News Insider Online Forum - Building on Success: Transforming Stockport for the Future
- How is the town’s commercial and residential property offer evolving?
- What next for the town centre in a post-Covid, post-retail world?
- What infrastructure and public sector investment is needed to drive growth?
- What can other towns on a similar regeneration journey learn from Stockport?
- Covid has disrupted and reconfigured how we all live and work – what could the ramifications be for places like Stockport?
- Projects Government funding secured for STOK and Pioneer Place
- Projects An office space that's part of the game-changing transformation of Stockport
- News Architects' Mental Wellbeing Forum
- Projects StockRoom will bring a learning and knowledge hub to Stockport
- News Working with clients to create sustainable solutions
- People 5 million step challenge for Ronald McDonald House Manchester
- Projects Planning approved for Sale West
- News Innovation Chain North Framework success
- People Tom Fantom passes his final RIBA examination
- People Wellbeing Month 2020
- People 5 million steps for Ronald McDonald House Manchester
- News Collaborative on-line design supports ongoing construction for sites
- News COVID-19: Risk Assessment
- Projects Merseyway Shopping Centre Regeneration
- News Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter - Supporting our Greatest Asset
- Projects Ronald McDonald House Oxford Completes
- News Business Continuity Update: COVID-19
- dedicated laptops
- secure VPN connections to our servers
- Microsoft Teams accounts
- access to specialist office resources via virtual desktops
- Projects Game Changing Office for Stockport
- News Green Building Council
- Awards RICS Awards shortlisting for The Trilogy
- Projects Sweet Swizzels Signing for Ma6nitude
- Projects Continuing Partnership with Leading Logistics Specialist
- News Our Commitment to the Next Generation
- Projects Summer start for regeneration of Sale West Estate
- People A Happy and Healthy January
- News Legislation set to digitise high-rise housing
- the roles and responsibilities of those procuring, designing, constructing and maintaining buildings are unclear
- building regulations are ambiguous
- competence in the industry is patchy
- product testing, labelling and marketing are insufficient
- residents’ voices are not heard.
- assessing what information is available for existing HRRB stock
- adapting business systems and processes to hold and maintain digital asset information.
- News Designing sustainable and inclusive neighbourhoods through Frameworks
- Clarion DPS Framework
- Fusion 21
- Homes England
- JV North
- L&Q Framework
- MSV Framework
- Awards Insider NW Resi Awards 2020
- Projects Pioneer Place Burnley gets the Green Light
- Projects 2019 with our longest standing client
- the conclusion of our work on the ’Experience of the Future’ programme which saw all McDonald’s stores in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland being updated to a new kitchen platform
- 74 commissions in the Republic of Ireland, including the opening of 3 new motorway services sites in partnership with Circle K
- the redesign of all existing McDonald’s ASDA sites, including 9 new in-store restaurants
- the delivery of 4 flagship high street stores including the reimage of 2 stores on Oxford Street, London and 2 new stores in London Bridge and Bond Street, Leeds
- the conversion of a former MJ’s American-style diner into a new 230no cover 2-storey drive-thru restaurant with family focus in Formby
- a further 11 new build store openings for McDonald’s across the UK
- the use of 3D REVIT software to visualise new development to support planning applications in sensitive locations
- the continued expert support and input on strategic documentation such as The McDonald’s Contractors Manual
- People Our Christmas Giving
- People In The Box Manchester
- Comb / Hairbrush
- Gloves / Scarf
- Hand Sanitiser
- Hand Warmers
- Hypo-allergenic Soap
- Roll on deodorant
- Thermal underwear/vest
- Tooth brush / tooth paste
- Wet Wipes
- Wind Up Torch
- Awards Shortlisted for Insider Residential Property Awards 2020
- Projects The Trilogy - Best Places To Live
- Projects Elderly Living Feature
- Projects Continuing our work with HIMOR
- People Supporting Breast Cancer Now
- Awards Steve Burne Apprenticeship Award
- People Macmillan Coffee Morning
- Projects Town Centre Regeneration for Burnley
- People Steve Burne Charitable Award
- News Future proofing residential development round table
- Projects Scholar’s Fields, Wythenshawe Phase 1
- People AEW toasts record year with Director promotions
- News Future of Retail Conference 2019
- People We have strengthened our BIM team
- News Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Annual Property and Construction Dinner & Awards 2019
- Projects Planning secured for 19 Industrial units
- Projects Birchwood Park - 20 Year Relationship Continues
- Projects Chorley Market Walk Tops Out
- Projects Dementia care in South Street, Openshaw
- People Sports Day Extravaganza
- Projects Gatley Road, Sale on site progress
- News Phil Hepworth on Current Office Design Trends
- People Wellbeing Month
- People Liz Durcan is on this year's Mix Interiors 30 under 30 list
- People The Cumbrian Challenge for Walking With The Wounded
- Projects Town Centre Regeneration - Stockport
- Awards Radius Campus wins RICS NW Awards 2019
- Projects We complete two new drive thru McDonald's
- People Dan and Florence pass their RIBA Part III examinations
- People The Cumbrian Challenge 2019 for Walking With The Wounded
- Awards We have been named one of Property Week's Best Places to Work in Property 2019
- Projects Planning approved for Church Wharf, Bolton
- People Our commitment to supporting charities
- National Autistic Society
- Dirty Reiver Bike Ride
- Blood Donations
- Food Bank Collections
- Up and Coming: Cumbrian Challenge for Walking with the Wounded
- News We look to the next phase… in conversation with Place North West
- Projects Ellesmere Street Practical Completion
- News Social Inclusion Round Table: Colin Savage
- People Our team take part in RIBA Student Mentoring Programme
- Projects Birchwood Park set to start on site next month
- News Guest lecture in BIM
- Projects Plans in for £150m Church Wharf
- News Future of Retail with Place North West
- People Job Vacancy : Architectural Technician
- Projects Liverpool Shopping Park - Second Phase - Approved
- Awards Radius in the running for Regional Awards
- News McDonald's Iconic London Bridge Restaurant Opens
- News Employer Cafe - Meeting the Next Generation
- Projects Church Wharf Showcase
- News Knowsley Business Park
- Projects RMHC Oxford - On Site
- News Success on Homes England Framework
- Projects Radius Campus, Crewe
- Projects Church Wharf, Bolton
- People Supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities
- People Bilal Ravat becomes a Chartered Architectural Technologist
- Projects WW1 Chorley Pals Memorial
- Projects Future Carrington Ground Breaking Ceremony
- Projects Regenerating vertical communities
- Original exposed concrete structure / windows and doors with no insulation and thermal bridging
- Out dated heating systems
- Fuel poverty
- Kitchens / bathrooms in need of replacement
- Fire prevention, detection and warning
- Undefined entrance areas
- Out dated communal areas
- Lack of shared space
- Designing a contemporary look to the facades using high performance external wall insulation without the need for cladding components
- Designing new window and door fenestration
- Contributing to innovative and sustainable heating via ground source heat pumps to provide low energy bills and eradicate fuel poverty. Using our 3D modelling we were able to determine efficient routes for the ducting
- Designing solutions to improve fire prevention throughout the buildings
- Designing contemporary and secure entrance pods
- Using our in-house interior design team, we have redesigned the internal environment of the communal areas
- Designed extensions to the ground floors to provide new community hubs for multi-use needs
- Included the wider community within the design to provide a coherent refurbishment to the houses in the neighbourhood
- Redesigned / upgraded external spaces and car parking
- Coordination of the design by consultants including fire engineers, geotechnical engineers, mechanical and electrical engineers and local authority building control
- People Canada Street clean up
- Projects Wythenshawe starting on site
- Projects McDonald's Oxford Street re-opening
- People AEW Onesie Wednesday 2018
- People Steve's Superhero Walk
- People Colin Savage joins board of directors
- Projects Five tips for designing better mass housing
- Awards Ronald McDonald House, Evelina wins London Construction Award 2017
- News Royal Visit for Ronald McDonald House, Evelina
- Awards Moneypenny highly commended for RICS Award 2017
- People Emma Rayner becomes chartered Architect
- News We expand our housing expertise
- Awards Bransholme water pumping station wins RICS Award 2017
- People Beth Roebuck becomes chartered Architect
- Awards Moneypenny wins BCO Award 2017
- News RIBA student mentoring programme
- Awards Moneypenny highly commended at Mixology Awards 2016
Aew to relocate to Trinity Manchester
We are delighted to announce that we are soon to relocate to Trinity Manchester. Our team are taking the 5,588 sqft seventh floor of the John Dalton Street building, which was recently renovated by Helical.
The relocation has come at the right time, enabling us to consider our ongoing office requirement in response to the change in the ways of working brought about by Covid-19. We have fully embraced hybrid home / office working, seeing this as not just a temporary fix, but a long-term shift to offer a better work / life balance for our team - demonstrating our core values by putting wellbeing first.
“We wanted to provide the highest possible quality environment to encourage our team back to the office.” Says Andrew Rainford, managing director “We conducted a survey to find out what our people wanted from an office and Trinity ticked all the boxes - striking the right balance of space, cost and quality.”
We have worked hard with our team to understand what the future work environment looks like and to identify the key functions of our office, which have informed our interior strategy. Our response has been to reduce our office size and instead focus on designing a flexible, collaborative space which champions our “Together we” culture. We have invested significantly in technology-enabled workplace infrastructure, that supports individual and collaborative work now and into the future for both our team and our clients across the office and remote locations.
Trinity provides fantastic panoramic views across the Manchester skyline with 3 private external balconies which will provide a balanced sanctuary away from our busy city centre location. Additional amenities include bike stores, showers, and an in-house coffee shop.
The fit-out will be an opportunity for us to showcase our in-house interior design expertise to our clients, leading by example through reimaging the office environment for the post-pandemic workplace.
Danielle Purves, associate director and interior design lead said “Developing the right strategy and best approach to our move has allowed us to take a hybrid step change to our new office environment. For the interior aesthetic we set about forming a palette that seamlessly complimented the natural and open penthouse space. We layered into our designs a consideration for sustainable design, embedding our core principles into the spaces. We have incorporated natural, warm materials to create an interior that represents us as a practice. All specifications considered longevity and varied functionality to best suit our agile workstyles and provide flexibility in everyday use.”
Richard Dinsdale, director at Edwards & Co said “We are delighted that AEW Architects have chosen to relocate their business to Trinity, which further enhances the strength and diversity of the building’s tenant profile. With their creative influence, we expect their new penthouse office to sit amongst some of the most special working environments within the city.”
Our innovative fit-out is being delivered by TMT Commercial Contractors Limited, with work scheduled to complete in late August and we are aiming to move in September 2021.
We look forward to welcoming you to Trinity soon.
Aew Supports Bury’s Levelling Up Fund Bid
A £40m Levelling Up Fund bid, aimed at creating a new civic hub in Radcliffe and upgrading Bury Market, has been lodged by Bury council.
Working closely with the Council and CBRE, we have supported the development of proposals for the new civic hub which is located in the heart of Radcliffe on the south block of the existing 1960s town centre precinct.
Our plans propose a new purpose-built, high-quality development including wet and dry leisure, library, and learning facilities, as well as office accommodation for council and NHS services. The hub will also offer retail units, food and beverage outlets and community events space.
The refurbishment of the Radcliffe market basement, the adjacent market chambers building, the realignment of the public plaza and access to the river via a new balcony also form part of the bid and are key components of the scheme.
The chambers will provide a mix of retail, food and beverage and co-working space with views over the river. The market basement will provide much needed events space for the Market, unlocking the potential for the already highly successful market to expand its offer and cater for events it currently struggles to accommodate. The public realm will be redesigned to allow for external events and spill out for the proposals. New food and beverage space opposite the market will front a widened public realm activating this currently functional link.
“We are hugely excited and privileged to have been involved in this ambitious scheme. It is yet another example of a local authority taking control of the destiny of its towns to halt the decline of the high street with a game changing, innovative public facing building.
“The proposal seeks to kickstart the ambitious SRF masterplan by providing a new purpose built, 360-degree development and refurbishing underutilised existing building stock both seeking to compliment and build on the success of the rejuvenated Radcliffe Market. A reimagined library offering, enhanced public services, flexible community space and fully accessible state of the art leisure facilities alongside coworking and event space will help drive ‘whole day’ footfall into the area benefiting other local businesses and breathing life into the town.
“The building form, design and materiality seek to bring a bespoke modern focal point to the centre which is context driven to create a street scene which is distinctively Radcliffe.” -Phil Hepworth, Director
The £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund was announced at the Budget in March and councils can submit one bid of up to £20m for each Parliamentary constituency it has.
“Response, recovery and regeneration are the overriding priorities for the council,” said Cllr Eamonn O’Brien, leader of Bury Council…With these bids we are stepping up our ambitions to create the largest regeneration in a generation for the people of our borough.”
The council is expected to learn the outcome of its bids this autumn, and if successful, the funding would cover almost two thirds of the costs of both projects.
We’re Supporting UCLan’s Degree Apprenticeship
We’re proud to be supporting The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) recently launched degree apprenticeship in Architectural Technology following calls from industry.
The University has introduced the degree apprenticeship route on the back of feedback from several regional businesses who want to develop their employees’ skills through study alongside on-the-job training.
Two of our team, Trainee Architectural Technicians Johan and Louis, will participate in the inaugural course. Both joined Aew through a partnership with the ‘Design Engineer Construct!’ (DEC) Learning Programme and it’s therefore fantastic to see both wanting to progress their architectural studies whilst continuing to work with us.
Commercial director of AEW Architects Colin Savage said: “A key priority in our current business plan is to ensure we continue to invest in our people and provide the appropriate support, training and opportunities for our future generations.
“It’s therefore great to be involved in this pioneering new course which provides an alternative route to becoming an Architectural Technologist. We look forward to supporting our degree apprentices to complete their studies.”
Building a Safer Future in Salford
In May, we were delighted to see the completion of recladding works at two towers in Salford for which we’ve provided architectural services – Canon Hussey Court and Arthur Millwood Court – for contractor Casey and landlord Salix Homes.
Works at the two, 15 storey towers involved a complex programme, carried out under Covid restrictions, and included the removal and replacement of the existing cladding system, the installation of sprinklers and the refurbishment of communal areas.
The completion of the two towers is the culmination of Salix Homes’ cladding remediation programme. The Landlord were commended for their work by Dame Judith Hackitt, Chair of the Industry Safety Steering Group (ISSG) and lead for the Government’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety following the Grenfell Tower Tragedy.
In a letter to Salix Homes, she said “As a social housing provider, it was clear to the ISSG that you have made a concerted commitment to address building safety. It was evident to us that there is a sense of genuine responsibility to put things right, supported by Salix Homes’ participation in the Early Adopter programme.”
This is the latest in a programme of recladding projects Aew are providing architectural services for. This has included the refurbishment of Albion Towers and Fitzwarren Court, also for Casey and Salix Homes, and a strong future pipeline of 16 towers. Notably, we have recently secured planning for the following:
For further details on how our team can help you meet your commitments to Building a Safer Future, read our summary here.
Planning Submitted for Stockport’s former BHS
Following extensive work with Stockport MBC and advisors CBRE, we are delighted to see planning submitted for the redevelopment of the former BHS store in Merseyway, Stockport to improve the elevational appearance and create four retail units.
Planning permission is sought for elevational changes to deliver modern shop fronts at 22-34 Merseyway, and the removal of a canopy at 18-20 Merseyway. Our plans will also see the former department store divided into four smaller retail units to help bring the space back into use.
Externally, we propose the removal and replacement of the existing façade panels and glazing and the installation of a new double-height feature frame, cladding system and wall glazing in line with the wider Merseyway re-fronting strategy. This new frontage will wrap around the building to the Deanery Way elevation.
The remainder of the Deanery Way elevation is to be repaired and cleaned, including a set of 1970s concrete relief murals commissioned by BHS. At the Prince’s Street elevation, access is to be reconfigured to correspond with the internal alterations.
Stockport’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration Cllr David Meller described the BHS scheme as an “important strategic project” for the town and is the latest in several commissions we have with the Council and CBRE.
Since 2019, we have been working closely together to develop a vision for the town centre’s regeneration with a focus on the Merseyway. The aim is to transform the prominent town centre location with new shopfronts, improved public realm and community facilities. To date our work has included achieving planning consent for the redevelopment of Adlington Walk and the former Next and M&S units as well as helping secure £14.5 million from the Future High Streets Fund.
We look forward to seeing the scheme and the wider vision progress.
Glass Futures Secures Planning Approval
Our Glass Futures project took another major step forward this week, with planning permission granted for the 160,000 sqft research and innovation facility. We worked closely with client Network Space and end user Glass Futures to prepare the proposals and are delighted to have secured consent.
The £54m development will revive a 6.6 acre site, once home to United Glass, and will accommodate furnaces, a container glass production line alongside office, training and laboratory space. It will also allow for the future installation of a float glass production line. The facility will be used to deliver industry- and government-backed Research & Development projects focused on decarbonising glass production and will also provide a platform for the industry to test and trial their own commercial ideas.
The project team comprises an innovative partnership between Network Space, Glass Futures, the global glass supply chain, St Helens MBC, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and UKRI (UK Research and Innovation).
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Glass Futures has the potential to put our region at the forefront of the Green Industrial Revolution and make us a global leader in new technology.
“When complete, this project will help take St Helens proud history in glass making and bring it into the 21st century, creating lots of local jobs and drastically cutting carbon emissions.”
Bowmer + Kirkland has been appointed to build the facility following an open procurement process through the North West Construction Hub. Work is expected to begin on site this summer with completion targeted for December 2022 and the facility to become operational in 2023.
We’ve been Shortlisted for ‘Architects Practice of the Year’
We’re delighted to announce that Aew Architects has been shortlisted for ‘Architects Practice of the Year’ in the Insider North West Property Awards.
The aim of the awards is to highlight “the best deals and developments of the past year – and salute the resilience, tenacity and drive of the people who are making them happen.”
This is the second time we have been shortlisted in this category and we are delighted to see the team recognised in this way following a highly successful 18 months. Despite 2020’s challenges, we have continued to work on a diverse range of projects across the North West and beyond for both new and long-standing clients and remain on track to achieve a 5% increase in turnover for this financial year.
Furthermore, we have continued to deliver a positive impact on the environment, the community, our clients and our employees. Recent highlights include our commitment to becoming a net zero carbon business by 2025, achieving Investors in People ‘We Invest in Wellbeing’ silver and being named one of Property Week’s ‘Best places to Work in Property’ for the third consecutive year.
For a full list of the finalists in all 15 categories, please visit Insider.
We look forward to attending the Awards Night on Thursday 1st July and wish everyone good luck!
Mental Health Awareness Month
This year we’ve decided to super-size Mental Health Awareness Week, with a full month of activities and support for our team.
As members of the Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum (AMWF) and having recently gained Investors in people ‘We Invest in Wellbeing’ Silver, we believe safeguarding our team’s mental health is critical. This is why we have committed to a month of activities spearheaded by our Social Value Committee; these include:
Furthermore, aware of the benefits of exercise on mental health, we have also launched our latest fundraising event for the Steve Burne Charitable Trust. The ‘Aew Walk, Run, Cycle & Swim’ is aiming to get our team to travel the equivalent distance that it would take to walk between each of the Ronald McDonald Houses we have delivered across the UK – 1,100 miles.
For full details on the event and to sponsor our team, please visit our Just Giving page here.
South Gate named ’Affordable Housing Scheme of the Year’
We’re delighted to share the news that the Aew designed South Gate, delivered by Contractor Casey for client One Manchester, has won ‘Affordable Housing Scheme of the Year’ at the Northern Housing Awards.
The aim of the awards is “to promote and celebrate innovative affordable housing providers, projects and services in the North that are helping to create great communities where people love to live.” we’re therefore delighted to see the scheme recognised in this way.
Our role on the South Street sites saw us design 8 new homes for affordable rent on one infill site and 27 homes on another in Openshaw, Manchester. The latter site comprised 12 shared ownership family houses and 15 contemporary bungalows.
With the end users of the bungalows to be those with dementia, these were designed using Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) principles. The homes sit around a secure shared courtyard and garden enabling residents to live independently whilst using the external space for recreation. Each bungalow features large, glazed windows to flood the living spaces with daylight and provide a strong visual connection with the raised beds, sensory planting and summer house in the garden. A varied colour palette aids memory and way finding.
The judges said South Street is “a wonderful, integrated generational scheme that really embeds the needs of residents from design through to delivery and management.”
Congratulations to all the winners!
Raven Locks, Salford Completes
We are delighted to announce that our 173,000 sqft industrial scheme for Network Space “Raven Locks” has reached practical completion. The industrial scheme occupies a 14-acre site in Little Hulton, Salford.
Raven Locks comprises six warehouse units – three detached and self-contained ranging from 29,500 sqft to 61,000 sqft, aswell as a terrace of three further units ranging from 11,000 sqft to 19,000 sqft. Despite only recently completing, 100,000 sqft of the speculative development is already under offer.
Using our wealth of industrial knowledge and working in close liaison with the client and letting agents, we successfully maximised the development potential of the site whilst carefully considering the setting of the buildings. We also ensured the adaptability of the units and external areas to accommodate developing technologies to improve the development's letting potential.
The company’s development director Joe Burnett said: “We have seen a great level of interest in the scheme, which is testament to its quality and desirable last-mile location, as well as the depth in the market for this type of industrial space.
“By bringing this longstanding brownfield site back into use, it will bring a positive socioeconomic impact to the region by creating timely job opportunities for the local workforce that has been hit by the pandemic.”
This is the latest in a number of projects with Network Space, with other ongoing projects including the landmark Glass Futures facility in St Helens.
Green Light for Rochdale Riverside Phase 2
Rochdale Riverside Phase 2 took a major step forward this week with Rochdale Council approving plans for the mixed-use development. We have worked closely with clients Gener8 Developments and Kajima to develop the scheme, which forms part of the wider £400m town centre revamp, in collaboration with Rochdale Development Agency and Rochdale Council.
We have designed the 43,000sqft landmark office building which sits within the wider £50m mixed use scheme, along with 242 homes and a 147-bedroom Hampton by Hilton hotel.
The five-storey office building optimises the extremely constrained site, with high-quality office space wrapped around an efficient central core, maximising natural daylighting and passive ventilation. Futureproofing was a key driver, with flexible BCO compliant floorplates designed to suit open plan office, sub-division into smaller workspaces or future conversion into residential apartments.
The contemporary building form and elevations are carefully composed in response to the Town Head Conservation Area, adjacent listed buildings and the wider Rochdale town centre masterplan.
Mike Smith, founding partner at Genr8 Developments said “This is another significant step forward in the wider regeneration of Rochdale. This scheme will deliver high-quality hospitality, living and working space in a sustainable, thriving, and eclectic neighbourhood. Having a major brand such as Hilton as part of the development at this stage is extremely exciting.”
Contractor Willmott Dixon is on site preparing the site for the main phase of construction.
Onesie Wednesday 2021
In recognition of World Autism Awareness Week, we spent the 31st March hosting our annual “Onesie Wednesday” in aid of the National Autistic Society.
We believe our activities should have a positive effect on the environment, the community, our clients, business partners and employees and welcomed the opportunity to support this cause once again.
Despite working from home, we still managed to “get together” to hold a sweepstake and raffle and play some virtual bingo, all whilst wearing our favourite onesies! Most importantly, together our team raised £270 which was matched by Aew, bringing our total donation to £540.
Well done to the whole team for their fundraising and to the Social Value Committee for organising!
Planning Success for Pioneer Place, Burnley
Following close collaboration with client Maple Grove Developments and Burnley Council, we are pleased to announce that our revised proposals for Pioneer Place, Burnley have been granted planning consent by the Council.
The project is being delivered in a public-private partnership between Maple Grove Developments and the Council. It is expected to generate 120 news jobs, 180 construction jobs and £1.35m in gross value add to the local economy by providing a fresh day- and night-time leisure destination for the town and a quality food and beverage offer.
We originally secured planning approval for the site in 2020 but, due to changes brought about by Covid-19, have worked closely with the project partners to revise our proposals to provide a flexible new leisure development which responds to current market demand. Our new proposals retain a seven-screen cinema at the heart of the development with five new food and beverage units centred around a new public realm and a refurbished Curzon Street car park.
Nik Puttnam, senior development manager at Maple Grove Developments, said: "The importance of a vibrant town centre can’t be underestimated as we emerge from the Covid pandemic. With planning now secured we are looking to appoint Eric Wright Construction over the next couple of months and start on site this summer and Pioneer Place opening in spring 2023.
"We have interest in the restaurant units from regional and national operators and from independents, which are attracted to having a presence in this growing University town."
We look forward to seeing the scheme progress in the coming months.
What we’ve Learnt from 1-year of Lockdown
On the 23rd March 2020, Boris Johnson announced a UK-wide lockdown to help curb the spread of covid-19. Whilst we had been preparing for that moment for a few weeks - buying a few extra laptops, stress testing the VPN, and rolling out Microsoft Teams training - it was still unbelievable that we opened 65 satellite offices overnight.
We quickly and successfully transitioned to home working but 1-year on we’re now looking back to see what we’ve learnt and how that can drive improvement going forward. We recently undertook a survey with our team to understand the highs and lows of home working and what the future working week and office environment may look like. We share our findings below:
Our team are well equipped to work from home and have been doing so effectively and efficiently over the last 12 months. But virtual meetings cannot replace human interaction and we are keen to get back into the office, at least part-time, to experience the “buzz” of the workplace once more.
As we look to the next chapter of Aew and our planned office relocation we will look to incorporate much of what we’ve learnt. We will maintain benefits such as flexitime to support a positive work/life balance and will also aim to bring many of the aspects of working from home into the office environment. This may include offering a choice of work settings to allow for collaborative group or quiet individual working, providing sound-proof booths for video calls or external amenity space for staff to take time out.
We look forward to our phased return to the office in the coming weeks.
Director Colin Savage Becomes a Fellow of the CIAT
We are delighted to share the news that AEW Director Colin Savage has become a Fellow Member of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT).
Colin originally became an Associate member in 1998 and a Chartered Architectural Technologist in 2004. Throughout this time, he has been embedded in the work of the Institute and has been awarded Fellow Membership in recognition of his significant contribution to, and excellence in, Architectural Technology. Colin is one of the first 60 Fellows to be named in this inaugural scheme.
Colin said of his Fellow Membership - “I am extremely honoured to be amongst the first members to be awarded the FCIAT designation. Continual personal and professional development is essential regardless of longevity in the industry and CIAT provide the governance and support to achieve this.
“My role at Aew allows me to work with a talented team of over 20 technologists who are at the forefront of delivering architectural technology. We work collaboratively, using the varied experiences of trainees through to chartered members, to support the profession. A high priority in our current business plan is to ensure we continue to invest in our people and provide the appropriate support, training and opportunities for our future generations.
“I look forward to using my Fellow Membership to continue to support and represent CIAT, its members and affiliates in the future.”
James Banks, CIAT Membership Director – “We appreciate and value the commitment and dedication to the profession and discipline of Architectural Technology demonstrated by Colin and Aew. Fellow Membership is an accolade of distinction and eminence which demonstrates the significant contribution to and excellence in Architectural Technology by Colin and Aew. We look forward to harnessing and evolving our longstanding professional and business to business relationship.”
We are proud to be a CIAT Chartered Practice. We currently have 10 CIAT members within our team with a number of others working towards Chartered Architectural Technologist, MCIAT status with the full support of the practice.
To see further details on the benefits of joining and qualifying with CIAT visit their website.
We've Made a Hat-trick of Promotions
We've reinforced our Management Team, promoting three long-standing members of staff to new roles. Associate Dan O’Hara has been promoted to Associate Director whilst Architect Emma Thackstone and Architectural Technician Liam Barnett have become Associates.
Dan joined Aew as a Part I Architectural Assistant in 2010. He qualified as an Architect in 2015 and was promoted to an Associate in 2018. Dan works within Aew’s Industrial Team which has seen significant growth in the last 12 months and his promotion will see him take a broader role in managing projects for key clients such as Tritax Symmetry, Panattoni, Firethorn Trust and Quorum.
Emma also joined Aew as a Part I Architectural Assistant in 2010. Since qualifying as an architect in 2016, she has led the design and delivery of a number of very significant projects. This includes the recently completed, 62-bedroom Ronald McDonald House at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and the detailed design for PLP’s 832,000 sqft logistics centre at Knowsley.
Liam joined Aew in 2013, and since then has progressed from a Junior Technician to leading the new-build workstream for longstanding client McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd. Liam is a driving force for continuous improvement within our retail sector team and previously led the tenant liaison work for Derwent on Liverpool Shopping Park.
Andy Rainford, Managing Director has said of the promotions - “As we continue to progress and grow, we are always looking forward and are confident in making the appropriate changes to strengthen our management team at the right time. I’m therefore delighted to be able to announce the promotion of three longstanding, high performing members of the team.
“Both Dan and Emma originally undertook work experience placements with the practice before joining as Architectural Assistants and Liam joined us fresh from University - all three are fantastic examples of our culture of people development and progression from within.”
These promotions follow a strong period of growth for the practice, following the completion of an MBO by Andrew Rainford and Colin Savage in September 2020.
Trafford Hotel Proposals Approved
We are delighted to announce that our revised proposals for a 147-bedroom hotel, on a constrained site in Stretford, for client Create Developments have been approved.
This successful planning approval from Trafford Council follows an extensive amount of work with the client and the wider community to revise our proposals having had a previous 9-storey, 197-bedroom scheme refused.
We have been receptive to the Council’s feedback and our client’s brief and our new proposals comprise a 7-storey hotel building which carefully responds to the scale and character of its context. The facades are highly articulated with careful attention to detail including recesses, reveals and a change in materiality to provide visual interest and an increased sense of depth.
At ground floor we have proposed a warm and inviting public area, giving guests views across the depth of the building whilst creating an active and animated street frontage. The upper floors of the hotel will largely consist of contemporary guest bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, along with a spacious fitness centre at first floor.
Cllr Dave Acton said the project, was “much improved” and praised Create Developments for engaging with local residents to address problems with the previous proposals. The scheme was unanimously approved.
We look forward to seeing the scheme progress.
International Women's Day
Today we’re celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD). In honour of the event we asked our team to share suggestions of the women in the industry who’ve inspired them and why. We received a range of nominations and were delighted to see some of our own team identified as inspirations too, we share some below:
We also honoured the day by sending out a list of events in the coming weeks focusing on issues around gender equality in the construction industry which we hope will support our team’s understanding of the issues.
Supporting IWD and gender equality is a core focus of our Social Value Strategy and, more specifically, our pledge to promote equality and inclusion. Our commitment builds on last year, which saw us join the RIBA Inclusion Charter, and is our second event focusing on equality and diversity having supported LGBT+ History Month throughout February.
Revised Proposals for Pioneer Place, Burnley
Following close collaboration with client Maple Grove Developments and Burnley Council, we are delighted that our revised proposals for Pioneer Place, Burnley have been submitted for planning.
We originally secured planning approval for the site in January 2020 but, due to changes brought about by Covid-19, have worked closely with the project partners to revise our proposals to provide a flexible new leisure development which responds to current market demand. Our new proposals retain a seven-screen cinema at the heart of the development with five new food and beverage units and associated customer parking, landscaping and public realm.
The project is being delivered in a public-private partnership between Maple Grove Developments and the Council. It is expected to generate £1.35m in gross value add to the local economy, by providing a fresh day- and night-time leisure destination for the town and a quality food and beverage offer.
Nik Puttnam, senior development manager at Maple Grove Developments, said: “Over the past year, working in partnership with Burnley Council, we have reviewed the development mix to ensure the scheme kickstarts the regeneration of the town centre post-Covid...”
Council leader Councillor Mark Townsend said: “…Having a multiscreen cinema in the town centre, along with new restaurants, will help draw in more visitors which will give a wider boost to other nearby shops and businesses. It fits in well with our ambitions to see Burnley become a university town with the expansion of UCLan and Burnley College.”
Subject to securing planning consent, Maple Grove Developments aim to start works on site in late summer and open the scheme in spring 2023.
We’re Celebrating LGBT+ History Month
We’re excited to be celebrating ‘LGBT+ History Month’ this February. Throughout the month, our dedicated Social Value Committee have been encouraging our team to engage with the event with a particular focus on the construction industry. To this end we have been closely following the work of Building Equality.
Building Equality is an alliance of construction professionals and organisations who are passionate about working together to drive LGBT+ inclusion in construction. Their “vision is to have an industry that is wholly welcoming, inclusive and supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender + other related communities.”
To date, our team have joined Building Equality’s Executive Panel to hear their 2020 Review, and are encouraging our team to join the following future events:
Supporting this month-long celebration is a core focus of our Social Value Strategy and, more specifically, our pledge to promote equality and inclusion. Our commitment builds on last year, which saw us join the RIBA Inclusion Charter, and we hope will be the first of many events focusing on equality and diversity throughout 2021.
Plans Submitted for Glass Futures
Our Glass Futures project reached another major milestone last week with planning submitted for the 160,000 sqft research and innovation facility. We worked closely with client Network Space and end user Glass Futures to prepare the proposals.
The £54m development will revive a 14-acre site, once home to United Glass, and will accommodate furnaces, a container glass production and testing facility alongside office, training and laboratory space. It will also allow for the installation of a float glass production line. A primary aim of the facility will be to accelerate the de-carbonisation of the glass industry.
Catherine Chilvers, development director at Network Space, said: “As landowner and developer, we have worked in partnership with St Helens Council and Glass Futures to establish an effective public-private sector delivery model.
“The submitted planning proposals will regenerate the former United Glassworks site and enable industry-led research activity and training opportunities, as well as acting as a catalyst for further economic growth within St Helens.”
In further good news for the project, Bowmer + Kirkland has been appointed as Stage 1 contractor following an open procurement process through the North West Construction Hub.
Red January – a happy, healthy start to 2021
We started 2021 as we mean to go on by taking part in “Red January”. We challenged our team to exercise every day to help ensure a happy and healthy start to the new year.
To make things interesting, over the course of the month, we aimed to run, walk and hike the equivalent distance of Land’s End to John O’Groats – 603 miles. With the health and wellbeing of our team more important than ever, this was a great way to enable everyone to come together (virtually) and stay active during the nationwide lockdown.
Why not join us next year and “get active every day, to beat the blues away”? Full details on Red January are available here.
Panatonni Park Bolton Starts on Site
Work has commenced at our Great Bank Road scheme for Panatonni, with Main Contractor TSL Projects now on site at the 21-acre plot at Wingates Industrial Estate. Upon completion, the new development will be known as Panatonni Park Bolton.
Panatonni is the largest developer of logistics facilities in Europe and we are proud to have achieved this key milestone on our first project together.
The overall development comprises a 77,756 sqft unit, which has been pre-let to delivery company Hermes UK, and a speculative 280,525 sqft unit. An outline application for a residual plot capable of accommodating a further 50,000 sqft of industrial space has also been submitted.
Dan Burn, Panattoni’s development director, said: “We are pleased to be working with Hermes on its new flagship depot in the region, as well as bringing forward such an exciting new speculative opportunity – the only development of its size and scale currently under construction in Greater Manchester…”
Our proposals are in line with Panattoni’s highly developed design principles. The buildings complement and enhance the existing industrial estate’s offering and have been designed to appeal to a wide range of potential tenants. The buildings are targeting a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating and will incorporate a range of sustainable features.
Both units are scheduled to be completed by June 2021 and we look forward to seeing the scheme progress.
We’re one of the ‘Best Places to Work in Property'
We are delighted to have been named one of Property Week’s ‘Best Places to Work in Property 2020’. We have been recognised on the prestigious list for the third year running and are thrilled to have achieved a top 5 place in the UK.
‘Best Places to Work in Property’ is collated by Best Companies Group (BCG) on behalf of Property Week to determine the best employers in the national property industry. This year, we are one of only 28 companies who made the grade after detailed employer and employee surveys, which evaluate the business performance across eight key metrics: overall engagement; leadership and planning; culture and communication; role satisfaction; work environment; relationship with supervisor; training and development; and pay and benefits.
“We’re proud to have been recognised on the list again this year and to have made the top 5 for the first time. We are frequently told that working for Aew feels like you are part of a family. Our culture is built on our values and our people are at the heart of our business - we believe this award is testament to the success of this approach.” – Jane Pullen, HR & Finance Manager.
See the full list of winners here.
Fitzwarren Court, Salford Completes
We’re delighted to announce that the sustainable refurbishment of the 23-storey Fitzwarren Court, Pendleton with client Casey for landlord Salix Homes has completed.
At one time, the Fitzwarren Court community were to be rehoused due to the planned regeneration of the area but were given a reprieve when funding was secured to modernise the blocks instead.
The exterior has been completely rendered and a sprinkler and fire alarm system installed. The building’s former façade has been replaced with a grey, green and orange render, as chosen by residents, while new kitchens, bathrooms, doors and windows have been fitted to all 135 apartments. Communal areas, the lobby and the grounds have also been transformed. We also created an additional ground floor apartment from an unused retail unit to provide accessible accommodation.
In collaboration with specialist fire engineers and the local authority, we led the re-design of the facade to provide a new high performing fabric. New heating to the apartments is provided by innovative ground source heat pump technology which we designed to route through the existing structure using our 3D capabilities.
“We’re delighted to have completed this project which has seen us deliver a highly sustainable refurbishment using innovative geothermal heating via ground source heat pumps and high levels of insulation. The aim was to help improve thermal efficiency, reduce energy costs and help tackle fuel poverty.’’ – David James, Associate
Fitzwarren Court is the second high-rise project we have completed with Casey, having previously undertaken the refurbishment of the 16-storey Albion Towers which completed in 2020.
We have a strong pipeline of similar work as an increasing number of clients look to meet their safety obligations following the recommendations from the recent Building a Safer Future Report.
Future High Streets Fund Success for Stockport
Following the latest Future High Streets Fund announcement, we were pleased to see that £14.5m has been given to support the regeneration of Stockport town centre.
We have worked closely with Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council and CBRE to prepare proposals in support of the FHSF bid and are delighted to see this milestone reached. The funding will be used to deliver ‘StockRoom’ as well as help realise the repurposing of the former M&S and BHS stores.
StockRoom will bring a learning and knowledge hub to the town centre - a future-focused community and public facing services hub - which can be used by the whole community. It will celebrate the culture and creativity of the town, providing a space that encourages people to tell their story and where residents can spend leisure time, learn and celebrate their heritage.
The Future High Streets Fund is a Government initiative intended to support the delivery of regeneration plans drawn up by councils for projects such as improvements to transport infrastructure, new homes and the transformation of underused spaces.
We look forward to seeing the projects progress in the coming year.
Planning Submitted for Rochdale Riverside Phase 2
In late December 2020, we were delighted to see developer and client Gener8 Developments submit plans for Rochdale Riverside Phase 2. Genr8 are delivering the project, which forms part of the wider £400m town centre revamp, in collaboration with Rochdale Development Agency and Rochdale Council.
We have designed the 43,000sqft landmark office building which sits within the wider £50m mixed use scheme, along with 240 homes and a 147-bedroom hotel.
The five-storey office building optimises the extremely constrained site, with high-quality office space wrapped around an efficient central core, maximising natural daylighting and passive ventilation. Futureproofing was a key driver, with flexible BCO compliant floorplates designed to suit open plan office, sub-division into smaller workspaces or future conversion into residential apartments.
The contemporary building form and elevations are carefully composed in response to the Town Head Conservation Area, adjacent listed buildings and the wider Rochdale town centre masterplan.
Mike Smith, partner at Genr8 Developments, said: “This is a significant step-forward in the delivery of the scheme which will support the council’s ambitions for housing within the town and also provide a step change in terms of hospitality provision with the delivery of the new hotel.”
Rochdale Council leader Allen Brett said: “Creating high quality new homes and redeveloping eyesore brownfield sites is a key focus for us as we continue with our ongoing regeneration programme.
“The incredible financial challenges the pandemic has presented us has made this continued economic growth even more important.”
Contractor Wilmott Dixon is on site carrying out remediation work ready for construction to begin next year, subject to planning approval.
Together we've improved in 2020
As a practice we are committed to continuous improvement. Throughout 2020, we have joined a series of industry-leading organisations and campaigns to help drive improvement in the way we work, our approach to sustainability and employment.
As a practice we believe that all our activities should have a positive effect on the environment. We are committed to good design that maximises social benefits for the communities in which our projects are based and aim to create sustainable solutions from the outset. To further our understanding on the topic we have joined:
Elsewhere this year, and with the health, wellbeing and inclusion of our team more important than ever, we have committed to a series of best practice forums and charters, including:
Furthermore, in October we achieved Silver in the “Investors in People, We invest in Wellbeing” accreditation. We were delighted with the results with the assessors noting “the biggest area of strength is in Aew’s social wellbeing with positive relationships fostered throughout the business. Aew has an excellent and embedded approach to generating a culture of social wellbeing within the company.”
We look forward to learning more, sharing our knowledge and driving improvement in the built environment for the benefit of our clients and partners through these forums in 2021.
We've committed to the RIBA Inclusion Charter
As part of commitment to driving Social Value, we’re delighted to announce that we have recently joined the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) Inclusion Charter campaign.
As a practice we believe that our activities should have a positive effect on the community, our clients, business partners and employees. By joining this Charter we hope to break down barriers and make architecture more inclusive, we:
We have a key part to play in dismantling the discriminatory barriers that are preventing talented people from studying, practising and appreciating architecture and look forward to working with the RIBA and our fellow members to achieve this.
For further details on the Inclusion Charter campaign, visit the RIBA’s website.
Together we've raised over £6400 for charity in 2020
Throughout 2020 we have continued to provide support to a range of charities and are delighted to announce that together we have raised over £6400 for various causes over the last 12 months.
This fundraising has been made possible by our Social Value Committee, who plan regular volunteer and fund-raising activities, and our team who’ve donated their time, money and support. The activities have also focused on helping keep our team connected and healthy during lockdown, with various virtual group events and individual exercise-based challenges organised.
Highlights have included:
“Our team has done a fantastic fundraising job once again this year and a big thanks to everyone who took part, our family and friends and all our clients and business partners for their support. We hope in 2021 we can get back to not only providing financial help but donating our time for local causes too.” – Andy Rainford, Managing Director
To end the year, we’re fundraising one last time to purchase care packages for Manchester-based charity Lifeshare who help homeless and vulnerable people across Greater Manchester. See their website for details on how you can support them too this winter.
We completed the virtual Manchester Marathon
We did it! Our intrepid bunch of runners have completed their virtual Manchester Marathons for the first “In Your Own Time” event.
The team of 16 have each completed 26.2 miles of running, walking and jogging throughout October. Together they have covered over 419 miles and, in the process, raised over £1000 for the Steve Burne Charitable Trust, in memory of our friend and colleague Steve.
Each runner chose how they wanted to complete the distance – daily walks, weekly runs or big hikes – with everybody clocking up their miles in time for the 31st October deadline. This was a great way to get our team together (virtually) whilst promoting health and wellbeing.
The Steve Burne Charitable Trust supports charities such as Ronald McDonald House which offers accommodation for families who need to stay near hospitals while their children are being treated and the Christie Hospital, one of Europe’s leading cancer facilities.
We appreciate it’s a difficult time for many, but for those who would like to donate, your contributions are very much appreciated.
To donate, please click here - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/aew-architects1
Becoming part of the Low Carbon Network
We are extremely pleased to be part of the low carbon network, delivered by the Business Growth Hub’s Green Growth Service.
Their low carbon Network is mapping the products and services delivered by the local low carbon sector and helping to connect members with new business opportunities. The key aim of the Network is to enable companies to be better connected to new business opportunities and be better informed about what is happening in their sector.
To find out more about the low carbon network, click here.
We supported Football Shirt Friday 2020
We spent Friday 20th November supporting “Football Shirt Friday” in aid of the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK.
We believe our activities should have a positive effect on the environment, the community, our clients and business partners and our employees and welcomed the opportunity to support this cause once again by donning our favourite strip.
We held a football themed sweepstake and quiz, had a half-time virtual “pint” and wore our favourite football shirts (some more niche than others). Most importantly, together we have raised £250 which Aew have doubled to take our total donation to £500 – well done to the whole team!
Why not join in next year? Full details available here.
Helping our clients build a safer future
The draft Building Safety Bill
The draft Building Safety Bill is the Government’s legislative response to the tragic Grenfell Tower fire. Published in July 2020, the Bill represents a wholesale reform of the regulatory system for building control and safety in England. The Bill is founded on the recommendations of the ‘Building a Safer Future Report’, by Dame Judith Hackitt.
Once finalised, it is expected the Bill will place new requirements on designers, owners, developers, contractors and landlords with a focus on “higher risk buildings”. We expect these to initially include accommodation buildings over 18m in height, with other buildings such as low-rise housing, shared accommodation, care homes and hotels to follow.
To help you understand the potential impact of the Bill on your business, we have outlined the key issues in a summary document available to download - here.
How can we help you?
Progressive organisations are putting plans in place right now, to meet the upcoming reform head on.
Based on our extensive experience across the accommodation and care sectors, we are well placed to help you meet these new obligations in the most effective and efficient way possible. We have an experienced architectural team specialising in BIM and information management and are currently supporting clients across the North to develop their internal processes and systems to meet legislative requirements.
To find out more and discover how we can help you on your journey to a safer future, get in touch.
We bolster team with senior appointments
We are delighted to announce we have strengthened both our architectural and central support teams with the recent appointment of Associate, Ben Robinson and Marketing Manager Jenny Bosworth. The senior appointments form a key part of our growth strategy following the recent management buyout.
Ben Robinson joins from PRP, where he gained extensive experience designing and delivering projects within the residential and community sectors. Ben has designed and delivered a number of notable schemes including, Willow Barns in Stoke-On-Trent; a RIBA Regional Award and Housing Design Award winning scheme and Limelight in Old Trafford; one of the first integrated hubs in the UK, which provides extra-care living with a primary care facility and a range of intergenerational council and social enterprise services for the wider community.
Jenny Bosworth joins from 5plus architects where she spent 3 and a half years leading marketing and business development on behalf of the practice. She also oversaw a number of successful bids including the landmark Salford Crescent and University Masterplan as well as gaining places on a range of frameworks for clients such as the BBC and the University of Leeds. Prior to this, Jenny worked for both Barratt Developments and Lovell working on a range of accommodation and regeneration bids.
“We’re delighted to have both Ben and Jenny join us at what is an exciting time for the company. With the ongoing evolution of the practice, we will be focusing on building on our current strengths and deepening our service and sector offering. These appointments will help us to develop our accommodation, later living and care portfolio through targeted bidding and successful design and delivery, as well as reinforcing our marketing presence.” – Andy Rainford, Managing Director
These appointments follow the recent recruitment of two Architectural Technicians Brandon Bardsley and Martyn Mounter and the return of three Part II Architectural Assistants - Kate Silvester, Emily Fettes and Matt Charnley. All three return following successful placements as Part I Architectural Assistants with the practice and having achieved Distinctions in their Masters.
“We believe their success and decision to return to Aew is testament to the quality of our graduate development programme which provides coaching, mentoring and continued learning as part of our Student Pledge. We look forward to supporting the achievement of their professional chartership status.” – Colin Savage, Director
Steve Burne Charitable Award 2020
We believe our activities should have a positive effect on the environment, the community, our clients and business partners and our employees.
Our annual award to recognise an outstanding personal contribution to good causes, is named ‘The Steve Burne Charitable Award’ to his honour Steve’s legacy. Steve, who sadly died two years ago, was not only at the heart of our Aew family, but tirelessly completed fundraising and charitable activities for Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Steve Burne Charitable Trust.
We asked our team to nominate and vote for a colleague who they thought should be recognised for giving back and helping others, and responses poured in.
At our End of Year Presentation, this year’s Steve Burne Charitable Award was virtually presented to Rob Foster, for his:
Well done Rob, a thoroughly deserved winner and a real inspiration to us all!
We joined Place NW's Industrial & Logistics Conference
On Friday 16th October, Director Alan Lamb joined the Panel for Place North West’s Industrial and Logistics Conference. The event, which was jointly sponsored by AEW, Harworth and Turley sought to examine the biggest issues around industrial property: what is being developed and where, and what can we expect to see in the future.
Alan contributed to the second panel discussion where issues such as multimodal development, the green agenda and placemaking were raised.
“There need to be sensible conversations around Green Belt release, and taking a strategic approach to masterplanning and layouts, using whole sites. People can’t work from home in these jobs, they need to be given amenities, the better operators have been doing this for a while and it helps staff retention.
“Within buildings themselves, design changes post-Covid include larger staff amenity areas that five years ago would have been seen as a luxury. The importance of having flexibility and distinctiveness has been accelerated.
“We’re moving to a more mature view of making a building work long term, for it to be recyclable over time. In a buoyant market, with a lot of investment money, if we can’t do it now then when can we?”– Alan Lamb, Director
Industrial remains a key sector for our practice, working with private developers, local authorities and occupiers. Whatever the requirements, we use our wealth of architectural and masterplanning expertise to ensure we support and guide our clients in this fast-paced sector with support from our inhouse BIM and planning consultancy teams as required.
Together we supported “Wear it Pink” 2020
We spent Friday 23rd October raising money and awareness for Breast Cancer Now on their “Wear it Pink” day.
We believe that our activities should have a positive effect on the environment, the community, our clients and business partners and our employees and welcomed the opportunity to support Breast Cancer Now again this year.
We wore pink, took part in a sweepstake, a quiz and played virtual Bingo and are extremely proud to have raised over £700 for this amazing charity!
Why not join in next year? Full details available here.
We Invest in Wellbeing
We are extremely proud to have received the silver level for the ‘Investors in People, We invest in Wellbeing’ accreditation.
We actively and positively promote wellbeing within the office as noticed by Investors in People - “the biggest area of strength is in Aew’s social wellbeing with positive relationships fostered throughout the business. Aew has an excellent and embedded approach to generating a culture of social wellbeing within the company.”
Fostering employee wellbeing is great for our people and also the business. Promoting wellbeing can help prevent stress and create positive working environments where individuals and organisations can thrive. Good health and wellbeing can be a core enabler of employee engagement and organisational performance.
We are committed to constantly improve and provide the best for our staff – read about our social value below.
Part III RIBA Exam Success!
A huge congratulations to Rebekah for passing her final RIBA examination and on-line interview, we couldn’t be prouder!
Rebekah is a fantastic example of our student development and mentoring program. She first joined us for a summer placement in 2014, completing her Part I year placement with us in 2015/6, before gaining a distinction in her Master’s Degree from Manchester School of Architecture, then finally re-joining us in 2018 as a Part II Assistant.
During this time, Rebekah has worked on a wide range of projects across all our key sectors and followed our Part I and Part II pledges, which provide a clear program of coaching, mentoring and continued learning to support the achievement of professional chartership status.
“We are extremely proud of Rebekah for passing her RIBA exam during these difficult times as we all work remotely from home. She’s a very talented individual is a great asset to Aew. We look forward to continuing to support her throughout her career” Phil Hepworth, Director.
Join us at the Industrial + Logistics conference
We are proud to be sponsoring the Industrial and Logistics conference with Place North West on 16th October from 10:00 – 12:30. Our very own Industrial specialist, Alan Lamb will be one of the speakers.
Warehouse take-up, logistics trends, the impact of automation and e-commerce will be examined by a mix of experts at this conference. An increasingly popular sector for investors, the industrial sector still battles with lack of stock, and competes with the residential market for key sites.
Confirmed speakers include:
Clare Hayward, chair, Cheshire and Warrington LEP
Anna-Jane Hunter, Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Rail Policy Group Member, formerly a director at Network Rail
Andrew Pexton, director, JLL, who leads the North West industrial and logistics agency team
David Diggle, director, Turley, who advised on a number of high-profile logistics schemes including projects at Birchwood Park and Logistics North
Sally Duggleby, head of industrial & logistics occupier advisory, Savills, and former head of real estate at Amazon
Alan Lamb, director, AEW Architects, who has extensive experience in master planning, distribution, warehousing, manufacturing and energy projects
Matthew Whiteley, development manager, Harworth, one of the leading land and property regeneration companies in the UK
Wendy Broomhead, director, Scott Hughes Design, an engineering design company specialising in sustainability
In conversation with Place North West
Our practice is looking to its next chapter of growth with a focus on opportunity sectors such as logistics, later living and social housing, while maintaining the supportive company culture for which it is known, according to its directors.
At the end of last month, Aew completed a management buyout led by its new managing director Andy Rainford and director Colin Savage. The MBO is the second such deal in a decade for the practice – the first was led by former managing director, the late Steve Burne, in 2011.
In an interview with Place North West, Rainford and Savage explain why their strategy, as they take the reins from former majority shareholder and most recent MD Andy Critchlow, will never be about “ripping up the rulebook”. Rather, it is about “evolution, not revolution” in the words of Rainford, who defines his priorities as building on the strengths of the business and deepening its offering.
“The MBO stands us in very good stead to move forward,” said Rainford, who has been with Aew for more than two decades after joining as a graduate in 1999.
“[Critchlow] always had 2021 in his mind as the year he would end his career in architecture and move on to do something in a totally different industry. In fact, when Steve died, he was almost quite reluctant to take the reins as managing director, but he absolutely thrived in the role and has elevated Aew to a whole new level, and we’ve been fortunate to be part of that process.”
The MBO, under which Rainford will lead the business alongside Savage and directors Alan Lamb and Phil Hepworth, “provides the new-look board with a chance to come up with fresh opportunities for growth”, and implement strategies to achieve that growth in the coming years, added Savage. He joined Aew in 2017 tasked with expanding its activities in the fields of housing, public sector and regeneration.
Aew, which was founded in 1992 and employs around 65 staff, recorded net turnover of £5.1m in its last financial year to end of June, up slightly from £5m the previous year. The gross figure for 2019 is higher, taking in around £600,000 of income from sub-consultancy fees.
The firm was on track for “a record year” in 2020 until the Covid pandemic hit, said Savage. “[The impact] was felt more in project delays than loss of work. Construction sites closed, planning applications were delayed or put on hold, and clients reassessed their financial position. Thankfully, that activity has come back.”
Aew is aiming for slight revenue growth in the next financial year despite current market challenges, according to Rainford. “We keep a close eye on our finances. At the moment, we can see the next five months through comfortably and we have a good pipeline of work beyond that.
“The three-month horizon is what most consultancy businesses focus on, and that’s true for us. Nothing ever stands still, and our future pipeline is strong.”
Aew has worked hard since the 2011 MBO to diversify its business – in particular, to reduce dependency on the retail sector. In 2013, retail work accounted for 85% of the practice’s revenues; today, it is more like 36%.
“This was done through strategic planning,” Rainsford explained. “We weren’t trying to shrink the volume of retail work, but rather to grow other sectors so we weren’t relying on retail so much.”
Aew’s retail projects are now increasingly integrated with larger, town centre regeneration and leisure projects, such as the Merseyway Shopping Centre revamp, which Aew has designed for Stockport Council, and Glenbrook’s STOK office scheme, also in Stockport, which has retail units on the ground floor.
Industrial is the “clear winner” driving Aew’s revenue growth today. The sector has swelled to account for 33% of the business from just 18-20% in the past year alone, as demand for logistics space soars on the back of e-commerce growth, especially during the pandemic.
Said Rainford: “There had been a dearth of industrial space coming to market in the two years after the Brexit vote because of related market uncertainty, but the rise of internet retailing coupled with an increase in logistics demand when Covid kicked in, has meant the sector has just grown and grown.
“We’ve had to almost double the size of our industrial team to 22 people to deal with the sheer volume of work, and we will probably add two more members of staff before the end of the year,” he added. Led by director Lamb, Aew’s industrial projects include Tritax Symmetry’s 158,000 sq ft warehouse in Middlewich, Cheshire, being developed on behalf of confectionery maker Swizzels Matlow.
The company is also designing facilities for aerospace giant BAE Systems, logistics developer PLP at Ellesmore Port, and Panattoni in Bolton, and has just finished the sixth phase of Birchwood Park in Warrington, on behalf of the Carrington/Himor development joint venture with which it has had a two-year client relationship.
“Industrial really is a very strong sector, in which we have a significant pipeline, and it will only continue to grow,” proclaims Rainford.
Meanwhile, Aew wants to grow its work with the public sector on town centre regeneration projects – it worked with Chorley Council on the £17m Market Walk mixed-use scheme, and is in talks to work with regional towns including Rochdale, Oldham, Bolton, Altrincham and Burnley with a view to “breathing new life into town centres”.
The company is also expanding its expertise in the ‘accommodation’ sector – encompassing everything from private residential and affordable housing, to senior living and care homes. This part of the business is headed up by Savage, whose team is working on the £11m Sale West Estate masterplan for housing provider Irwell Valley Homes, backed by Homes England, and Glenbrook’s The Trilogy build-to-rent scheme in Castlefield, Manchester, among other schemes.
An emerging sub-sector is ‘step down’ care for vulnerable young adults, such as those with severe learning difficulties. Savage said he is in talks with prospective partners in Ashton-under-Lyne and at Sale West to design such projects.
In pursuing such opportunities for diversification, both Rainford and Savage are adamant they would avoid a “scattergun” approach. “We want to focus on areas that we have solid expertise in, so that we can add real value,” said Savage.
Amid its quest to grow the business, Aew is set on maintaining a nurturing environment for staff, according to Rainford. “We’ve always believed in building people up from the bottom [of the ranks] and that ethos is still very much in place. We have a lot of very longstanding employees.”
Thus, keeping a grip on the company’s finances and putting in place flexible working arrangements to support staff during the pandemic have been crucial areas of focus for Aew’s board members in recent months.
Said Rainford: “We’ve maintained a profit throughout the Covid situation, and we have to. We have 65 staff and so 65 families, whose wellbeing and security we have an obligation to look after, and we take that very seriously.”
Aew has its head office in the Zenith Building at Manchester’s Spring Gardens. The office is currently closed and all staff are working remotely – a decision taken in the wake of the heightened Covid restrictions imposed on Greater Manchester last month – and Aew intends to consult with staff on their proposed working set-up ahead of a lease break in 2022.
“We are mindful that a lot of people are in a lot of different situations and we’ll be taking a balanced, sensible approach to make sure it’s working for all of us,” Rainford said. “We’ll almost certainly be moving offices at the end of that period and our new home will be an exemplar of a modern, sustainable workplace.
“I do believe the cat is out of the bag, though, when it comes to working from home, and it’s unlikely we will all be in the office full time.”
The priority here will be to ensure the younger generation of architects acquire the same set of skills as they would have from full-time office working, notes Savage. “The industry is changing so rapidly – with architecture compliance checks being mooted to ensure quality, new building regulations coming in and ever-evolving standards on environmental sustainability.
“We have to keep on top of these things and cannot afford to be behind the curve.”
Virtual Manchester Marathon 2020
Throughout the month of October we are taking part in the virtual Manchester Marathon, running hundreds of miles for the Steve Burne Charitable Trust, in memory of our friend and colleague Steve.
We are coming together (virtually) to run, jog or walk the marathon distance of 26.2 miles each - promoting exercise and mental wellbeing as well as raising money for a fantastic charity which is close to our hearts.
The Steve Burne Charitable Trust supports charities such as Ronald McDonald House which offers accommodation for families who need to stay near hospitals while their children are being treated, and The Christie Hospital, one of Europe’s leading cancer facilities.
We appreciate it’s a difficult time for many people, but for those who would like to donate, your contributions are very much appreciated.
To donate, please click here - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/aew-architects1
Rainford and Savage complete MBO
Andy Rainford and Colin Savage have successfully completed a management buy-out of Manchester based Aew Architects.
The move comes as former majority shareholder and managing director, Andy Critchlow begins a gradual exit from the industry. Rainford will head the new look Board as Managing Director with Colin Savage, Alan Lamb and Phil Hepworth alongside him.
Having been at Aew for the last 21 years, Andy Rainford says: “I’m delighted to be leading the practice. We have a great team, fantastic Client base and a very resilient business; working through covid disruptions has only proved this further. I am looking forward to continuing the progress we continue to make, focussing on future improvements and driving sustainability”.
Colin Savage joined Aew in 2017 after years of leading another practice. Colin says “Since joining Aew I have been amazed by the whole team who collaborate daily to deliver great service but always look to improve – I’ve immediately felt at home since joining. I am delighted to now have an opportunity to continue to shape and build such a progressive business”.
Andy Critchlow took control of Aew in 2017 as other equity directors from the 2011 MBO left; Steve Burne developed terminal cancer and Nigel Machin joined The Derwent Group as Development Director. Critchlow says “Aew has never been in better shape and it is testament to our continued work on succession planning that I am handing over the baton to Andy and Colin. They both understand Aew’s values and are passionate to continue the legacy of continual improvement. I’m looking forward to supporting them in the transition before deciding on my next challenge”
Discussion regarding the MBO began in January 2020 and completed in mid-September without external finance.
Annual Client Survey... the results are in!
We asked 132 of our clients to give us their honest feedback about how we’ve performed on their projects over the last year, so we can continue to improve and provide the best possible service for our clients. We used a Net Promotor Scoring (NPS)* system to collect feedback on the questions below. The results are in, and the responses are overwhelmingly positive…
“From my experience, Aew provide a 'best-in-class' architectural service for our industrial projects. The determination to deliver designs that respond fully to the brief and enthusiasm shown along the way is both refreshing and a pleasure to work with.” Joe Burnett, Development Director at Network Space
Andrew Rainford, Director at Aew said "We are absolutely delighted with the feedback, which is a real testament to the exceptional commitment and hard work of our team over the last year. We certainly won’t rest on our laurels but will continue to improve and collaborate with our clients to design and deliver projects that exceed their expectations."
"Good to work with and quick to respond. Good house type design." Pauline Terry, One Manchester
"The team were very professional, easy to work with and have delivered on the brief.” Ben Copeland, Argent Energy
"I like working with Aew as they are friendly and professional." Michelle Murray, Harworth
“I find your work very professional with outstanding communications at all stages." Emyr Jones, Managing Director at SGi
For each response received we made a £10 personal donation on behalf of each client to Ronald McDonald House Charities, to help them provide free 'home away from home' accommodation to families while their child is in hospital.
*Net Promotor Score (NPS) is an internationally recognise Client feedback system, whereby Clients rate us from 0 (not at all pleased) to 10 (extremely pleased). The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of ‘Detractors’ (0-6) from ‘Promotors’ (9-10) multiplied by 100. Whilst NPS scores vary across industries, a positive NPS (i.e. one that is higher than zero) is generally deemed ‘Good’, an NPS of +50 is generally deemed ‘Excellent’, and anything over +70 is ‘Exceptional’.
We are committed to addressing the climate and biodiversity emergency
We recognise the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency and are committed to rapid change. Today we have signed up to Architects Declare and will be committing all haste in influencing, embracing and adopting change.
After an extended period of research and challenging of our existing business practices we are now ready to tackle every aspect of the ambitious declaration. From now on we will seek to:
Get in touch to collaborate and help shape the future.
£17m Market Walk saved Chorley from ‘stagnation’
Chorley Council bought the shopping centre from Orchard Street Investments for £23m in 2013 and commenced a large-scale regeneration scheme in 2018 involving a £15m, 79,000 sq ft retail and leisure extension led by main contractor Eric Wright Group and designed by AEW Architects. Here, Conrad Heald of Chorley Council tells his interviewer, AEW director Phil Hepworth, how the scheme came to fruition and has rejuvenated the town centre.
Towns are places that need to change – there always has been change as demand shifts and technologies evolve with each generation. In times of economic stagnation and increasing risk adversity among developers, local authorities must intervene to ensure the relevance of their particular ‘place’.
In the recent lifespan of Market Walk, several private landlords have had ownership of the site since 2008 when I started work for the council and saw redevelopment plans fall through as financial markets crashed.
At that time, residents wanted all the major High St shops that weren’t represented in Chorley. As the years passed and chain stores went into administration, Chorley was more resilient because we didn’t have those stores in the first place, but it was proving difficult to get the private sector to develop regeneration proposals in such a climate.
The council is proactive in making things happen, so in 2012 we started the process of acquiring the centre to be the driver of the town’s destiny and deliver on those endless private sector promises of bigger, better stores and a leisure offer that residents said was missing from the town centre and that would stop them going elsewhere for their needs.
The redevelopment of such a prime town centre site was fraught with problems as the enablement works were far reaching, such as providing replacement parking capacity before commencing the main site. AEW was responsive and adaptive in helping the council tackle such a wide variety of enabling schemes ahead of delivering the main development.
AEW’s use of 3D modelling assisted our stakeholder engagement and decision making process. Many stakeholders and colleagues struggle to visualise from 2D plans, so the availability of printed 3D images and the scheme in virtual reality are invaluable tools in decision making and bringing the drawings to life. It also helped everyone to understand the relationship between different elements of the scheme and the scale of elevations.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, tenants were all thriving and residents flocked to the new facility and, more importantly, new customers came to the town centre so that all the other businesses benefitted from the development. This was our intention from the outset, so satisfying to see it come to fruition. We aimed to provide quality large-format retail and leisure, different from what was on offer before, and that is what we achieved.
At the time of writing, we have exchanged on a lease with a national retail chain that will occupy two units, and are in negotiations with a local specialist restaurant that will further complement what we have and take us to 92% occupancy by floorspace. The scheme has a lettable area of 73,600 sq ft. New prospective tenants are also impressed with the facility when visiting to see it in the flesh, as opposed to in CGIs and brochure drawings.
Things we may have done differently, or added, in hindsight, include: putting canopies over unit entrance doors in consideration of typical British weather; rethinking the deliveries strategy for the cinema, which uses its public lift to take stock to the first-floor lobby; ensuring there is suitable acoustic treatment between floors in all areas rather than just the cinema, and considering alternative M&E routes should unit configurations change, which they did.
Most of the incremental footfall came in the evening and weekends, which, for Chorley, was typically where the market had been declining for several years previously. Any offer for cinema, tenpin bowling, adventure golf or a high street restaurant chain had to be sought outside Chorley and the development was key to retaining local spend with a more convenient location for our residents. Being in the town centre it has plentiful parking, bus station and railway station all on its doorstep.
The success of the scheme certainly gives the council more confidence in planning for further redevelopment and we currently have a Future High Street Fund submission underway for a new mixed-use civic square.
The public realm improvements are crucial to setting the scene for the development. Yet this part of a project can be quite subjective and often the first area to look to when making cost savings. The council was fortunate to already have a town centre public realm masterplan it was working towards, and the Market Walk scheme enabled a large proportion of that to be completed at the same time.
Town centres are increasingly becoming gathering places to dwell and enjoy company, so providing green and welcoming places to do that is essential. All food and beverage operators look for some external space attached to their units, so that is also important in the design stages.
Unfortunately, terrorism prevention and crime and disorder are important considerations now when creating places for people to gather in large numbers and a de-cluttering approach isn’t always achievable. Making the spaces available and accessible to all is also key when considering street levels and furniture placement.
The market traders have been very patient and supportive of the new development and their input was essential in achieving the finished. Before we could commence anything, we had to relocate the famous weekly Tuesday Flat Iron market off the Flat Iron car park and into the pedestrian streets of the town centre. Something that could have been one of the most difficult things to achieve was, in hindsight, one of the easiest parts of the project due to good planning and communication.
The traders were particularly concerned over the loss of nearby parking, which is one of the reasons the council committed to replacing it all, plus some, before starting to reduce the capacity of the Flat Iron car park to make way for the new development.
Now everything is complete, the new and old complement each other and offer a great diverse town centre offer to our residents and market visitors from far afield. The Covered Market is just about to undergo its own transformation, with a £600,000 investment planned to improve and upgrade the market in keeping with the Market Walk extension.
Even before Covid, we were seeing a switch to convenience shopping rather than dwelling and browsing, so more experiential and leisure-based offers were needed to encourage shoppers to stay longer. Chorley’s famous markets were crucial to this and sustained good footfall by attracting visitors from across the region including many regular coach trips.
The impact of Covid-19 has been significant, however, as a market town with great connectivity and convenience shopping, Chorley has been resilient throughout and footfall is returning. The leisure operators in the new development were hit the hardest with the restrictions in place for cinemas and tenpin bowling having a significant impact, but the other new tenants such as M&S Food and Loungers have continued to thrive. The recent signing of new tenants in the current climate show the potential for Chorley as a destination and the confidence of both occupiers and visitors in what the town can offer.
While there is talk of the disruptive potential of retail technology, there is little evidence of it in traditional market towns other than contactless payments becoming more the norm now across all demographics. Retailers are looking for space where they can utilise multichannel opportunities such as click and collect or home delivery hubs from existing stores, but they still rely on day-to-day footfall through the front door. Town centres need to provide what visitors want, such as affordable and easy parking, to attract regular visitors.
In the short term, Chorley, like many towns, is in a recovery period and assessing the impact of Covid-19. Not only has the physical environment of shopping changed but so too have shoppers’ habits, with more people working from home and demographics that perhaps previously wouldn’t have entertained online shopping now being forced to do so, and perhaps even preferring them. There is a vast amount of re-education needed for business owners and visitors to keep everyone healthy, and local authorities nationwide are investing a lot of effort into creating an environment where people feel safe.
In the longer term, Chorley Council continues to invest in and have ambitious plans for a new Civic Square as part of its Future High Street Fund bidding process. This will drive civic quarter public realm improvements in a complementary fashion to Market Walk.
Be clear about what your vision is and why you are doing it, don’t be afraid of radical and controversial schemes if it is the right thing to do, and ensure good communication with all stakeholders about progress. If things go wrong or hit delays, tell people and explain why.
Conrad Heald is service lead, commercial and assets, at Chorley Council
Wilmslow Business Park received unanimous planning approval
The 190,000ft² business park in Wilmslow has been approved by Cheshire East Council planning officers.
We submitted for planning in October for the 10 acre site to include four development plots allocated for employment or business use, a multi-storey car park with nearly 600 spaces, along with a centrally-located park and green space.
Phil Hepworth, director AEW, said: “It’s an interesting time for workspace design as we have all realised, in a short space of time, the benefits of digital collaboration through Zoom and Microsoft Teams and the how that provides efficiency and the flexibility to manage our time. But we have also come to appreciate the need for the physical workspace and the benefits that brings in terms of physical interaction with others, health and wellbeing and mentoring the next generation. The future of the workspace is unknown but the need for it is certainly still there. The design for Wilmslow Business Park will provide exemplar facilities and open space. The masterplan flexibly allows potential occupiers to create a home tailored to their business needs and be part of a wider business community.”
Insider Transforming Stockport for the Future
We are proud to have co-sponsored Insider's Transforming Stockport for the Future Online Forum last week.
Thanks to a series of bold projects and a £1bn regeneration programme, Stockport has become one of Greater Manchester’s most exciting boroughs. Perceptions are shifting, and it’s an increasingly attractive location for businesses and residents alike. How can the town build on the progress made so far?
Insider’s Online Forum considered how the town can maintain the momentum, while providing an update on the major schemes and signposting the opportunities for investment. Insider assembled a panel of experts from the public sector, private businesses and the property industry, asking:
The panel included:
Watch the full online forum on the Insider website - https://www.insidermedia.com/online-forums/insider-online-forum-building-on-success-transforming-stockport-for-the-future
Efficiency North: Procure framework success
We are delighted to be appointed by Efficiency North West on the EN:Procure framework for the Architectural Services lot. As one of only 70 successful consultants from over 600 tender submissions, we look forward to help maximise its positive impact in 4 key areas: Efficiency, Workforce, Communities, and Sustainability.
The new framework, with an estimated total value of £10.4m over 4 years, will provide a full range of leading edge, cost effective, easily accessible consultancy services for Efficiency North’s membership and customers in the social housing and wider public sector in Northern England.
EN:Procure Director of Operations Emma Mottram commented, “Following a detailed and challenging test of so many tenderers’ capacity, competency and efficiency we are delighted to have achieved such a diverse offer in the Framework, with a mix of larger national practices as well as smaller local businesses. We are very much looking forward to working with them to find solutions that meet the needs of our members and their communities in the current challenging economic climate.”
Insider Online Forum - Building on Success: Transforming Stockport for the Future
We are proud to be co-sponsoring Insider's Transforming Stockport for the Future Online Forum, to be held Thursday 20th August 2:00 – 3:00pm. The session will explore how Stockport has become one of Greater Manchester’s most exciting boroughs, thanks to a series of bold projects and a £1bn regeneration programme. Perceptions are shifting, and it’s an increasingly attractive location for businesses and residents alike. How can the town build on the progress made so far?
Insider’s Online Forum will consider how the town can maintain the momentum, while providing an update on the major schemes and signposting the opportunities for investment. AEW Director, Phil Hepworth, will join a panel of experts from the public sector, private businesses and the property industry, asking:
Please click here to register for the event.
Government funding secured for STOK and Pioneer Place
It is fantastic to see government funding has been secured for two of our projects, STOK in Stockport and Pioneer Place in Burnley.
STOK has been allocated funding from the £900m Get Building Fund which will allow for the 64,000ft² commercial scheme to be housed in the former M&S unit on Princes Street in Stockport.
The £3.6bn Towns Fund will support Pioneer Place; a town centre regeneration project in Burnley including a leisure space to attract more visitors and to grow the local economy.
Paul Dennett, the GMCA’s lead for housing, homelessness and infrastructure, said: “This funding from Government is a step in the right direction for our plans in Greater Manchester to bring new jobs and homes into our city and town centres. The announcement to support our ‘shovel ready’ projects demonstrates the Government’s confidence in our ability to deliver and it will support both our economic recovery from Covid-19 and our plans for homes, jobs and the environment.”
An office space that's part of the game-changing transformation of Stockport
The STOK will embody the spirit of the vision for the Merseyway Centre, reimagining the former M&S unit, to provide a place to work, shop, and meet, right in the heart of Stockport’s core.
Collaborating with Glenbrook and Interior design specialist Incognito, the change of use planning application will introduce complementary uses to support the vitality of the town centre, improving foot fall and the overall aesthetic quality of the shopping centre.
STOK will provide 64,000ft² of modern office accommodation across two large, open plan floors with leisure and retail facilities in both the basement and ground floor. The building will include a central glazed atrium, three 9-person lifts, cycle storage, drying facilities and a second-floor outdoor terrace.
Glenbrook Investment Director Chris Lloyd said: “ We have been working closely with the Council to ensure the scheme complements the ongoing plans for Stockport town centre and are pleased to have made good progress under such testing recent conditions. This is another key milestone in the delivery of STOK which will provide much needed, flexible office space in the heart of Stockport which is arguably one of Greater Manchester’s most desirable towns for businesses looking to re-locate out of the city centre.”
Architects' Mental Wellbeing Forum
We are extremely proud to support the Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum, having pledged our commitment to promoting better mental health in architecture.
The Architects’ Mental Wellbeing Forum was founded in late 2017 in an attempt to improve mental health within architecture. It was born out of a belief that we as an industry could all improve our understanding of mental health, and subsequently provide better environments for the mental wellbeing of people working in architecture.
As a result of a number of factors, such as a culture of long hours and perfectionism, architects are particularly vulnerable to problems with their mental health. This has been illustrated by the sad but noticeable increase in mental health problems reported by students in Architects' Journal surveys in recent years.
We are pleased to be a part of a forum that provides the tools and knowledge needed to make a positive impact within the industry. Supporting the AMWF will enable us to continue to promote better mental health at AEW and throughout architecture.
To find out more, please visit the AMHF website.
StockRoom will bring a learning and knowledge hub to Stockport
We supported Stockport Council in their £14.5m bid for Future High Street Funding to deliver their ambitious project for the town centre known as ‘StockRoom’ which will hopefully also see an additional investment of £8m in some of our other projects at the Merseyway Shopping Centre, including the re-purposing the former M&S and BHS buildings.
A statement from Stockport Council said ‘StockRoom will bring a learning and knowledge hub to the town centre - a future-focused community and public facing services hub - which can be used by the whole community. It will celebrate the culture and creativity of the town, providing a space that encourages people to tell their story, where residents can spend leisure time, learn and celebrate their heritage’.
Cllr David Meller, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economy at Stockport Council said: “This exciting development will bring more people in to the town centre and more importantly, will be somewhere that local people can enjoy for years to come. It will also act as a catalyst to attract even more investment into the town and attract major businesses”.
Working with clients to create sustainable solutions
As a UKGBC member, we are extremely proud to be working with Tritax Symmetry who have announced that all new developments within their portfolio will be constructed to net zero carbon in construction in line with the UK Green Building Council’s (UKGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework.
The primary focus of the framework is to set in place a path to achieve net zero carbon buildings in both construction and operation (in-use energy consumption), whilst beginning to provide direction for addressing whole life carbon in the industry.
As a practice we believe that all of our activities should have a positive effect on the environment. We are committed to good design that maximises social benefits for the communities in which our projects are based. We are committed to work with clients who also create sustainable solutions.
The full article can be found on Tritax Symmetry website - https://tritaxsymmetry.com/latest-news/net-zero-carbon-commitment-announced/
5 million step challenge for Ronald McDonald House Manchester
Throughout the month of May, we have spent our time walking, cycling and being active to reach a target of 5 million steps in the effort to raise money for Ronald McDonald House, Manchester and to remain active during our wellbeing month.
We completed a total of over 8 million steps and raised a fantastic £812 for the charity very close to our hearts, which AEW doubled to make a grand total of £1575.
RMHC provide families with a free ‘home away from home’ which enables them to stay close by while their children are in hospital across the UK. To find out more about the charity, please visit their website.
A huge thank you to everyone who contributed and donated to make a difference.
Planning approved for Sale West
We are thrilled that planning permission has been granted to enable much needed estate improvements and provide new homes for this great community.
The proposals for Sale West Estate will provide in the first instance, 79 quality family homes, improvements to existing car parks, improved highways, new safe quality play areas and enhanced amenity spaces. All 79 homes will be affordable and available for social rent. A further 184 homes could be provided as part of a second phase of development, which will be subject to a reserved matters application.
Claire Kilgariff, Associate Director at AEW Architects commented ‘Working collaboratively with Irwell Valley Homes, Nexus planning, Curtins, Exterior architecture and CPC, together we have delivered a scheme that is inclusive and sustainable and will transform the estate for it’s customers and the wider community.’
Innovation Chain North Framework success
We are extremely proud to have been appointed by the Great Places Housing Group to it’s £750m Innovation Chain North (ICN) framework for the next 4 years.
ICN has been designed to support delivery of new homes across the north of England, not only to support Great Places’ very ambitious development programme but also those of other housing associations operating across the north of England.
We are one of 83 consultants from the 183 that applied to be successful, being selected based on our technical competence, price and commitment to social value.
Helen Spencer, Great Places’ Director of Development, said “We are delighted to be working with AEW on our new ICN framework. We are confident they will be able to work with us and the clients of ICN in delivering the sector’s extensive development ambitions in the North."
AEW Director Colin Savage comments “We are looking forward to working with the members and the customers of this significant framework to deliver innovative, high quality and affordable housing within their neighbourhoods.”
For a full list of successful companies, please see the ICN website - https://www.innovationchainnw.co.uk/icn
Tom Fantom passes his final RIBA examination
We are delighted that after much hard work and an on-line interview, Tom Fantom has passed his final RIBA examinations.
Tom initially joined us in 2015 as a Part I Architectural Assistant before re-joining the team in 2018 as a Part II Architectural Assistant, having completed his masters degree. He has worked on many different industrial projects during his time with us, including Birchwood Park and Carrington Gateway.
Our people are at the heart of the business and we are proud to share their successes and wish them continued success throughout their careers with us.
Wellbeing Month 2020
Throughout the month of May, we are focussing on creating awareness and promoting mental health and wellbeing. We supported the Mental Health Foundation’s Mental Health Awareness Week by focusing on the theme kindness by being kind to ourselves and to others by completing the kindness bingo. This included tasks like switching off your phone for an hour, writing down what you are grateful for and checking in with a family/friend. Our team also took part in different activities including desk stretches, yoga, meditation sessions and team workouts via zoom, not forgetting our ‘5 million steps for Ronald McDonald House Manchester’ challenge.
This has bought a huge positive impact to our wellbeing and we aim to continue to raise awareness throughout the year for mental health and wellbeing by supporting charities and volunteering.
Find out more about Mental Health Foundation by visiting their website https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/
5 million steps for Ronald McDonald House Manchester
During the month of May, we are using our homes, back gardens and daily exercise time to walk, run and cycle, to reach a target of 5 million steps.
We have extended Mental Health Awareness Week hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, to an awareness month, where we will stay active for the positive benefit it has to people’s mental and physical wellbeing whilst supporting our longstanding charity partner, Ronald McDonald House Manchester, which remains close to our hearts during this unprecedented time.
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) provide free ‘home away from home’ for families with children in hospitals and hospices across the UK. RMHC provide free, safe, relaxing accommodation for parents during their child’s stay in hospital, all at no cost to the NHS Trust or families who stay, thus helping to keep family units together and encouraging families to support one another through what can be an emotionally challenging time.To find out more about the charity, please visit their website.
To donate, please visit the justgiving page - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/aew-architects
Collaborative on-line design supports ongoing construction for sites
It’s positive to see on-site construction activity continuing on many of our industrial projects, with great progress being made through the hard work of contractors and sub-contractors to implement site control measures that facilitate safe operations in strict accordance with Government guidance.
We have remained fully operational throughout the COVID-19 situation, working remotely via our robust and advanced IT systems. We have continued to collaborate with our clients, contractors and design teams with web based project meetings and design team workshops, holding virtual coordination / clash detection sessions with on-line sharing of our asset rich, 3D BIM models, and exploring innovative ways to manage the remote capture of on-site data.
Please stay in touch. We are encouraging our team to regularly talk to others in the industry to remain connected and ease the isolation.
If you have any questions regarding our approach or services, drop us a line.
COVID-19: Risk Assessment
Following HM Government’s publication of ‘Working safely during COVID-19 in offices and contact centres: Guidance for employers, employees and the self-employed 11 May 2020’, we have conducted an appropriate risk assessment. We will continue to fully work from home and await further evidence towards the eradication of COVID-19 before changing these working practices. Attendance of AEW staff to sites will be reviewed on a individual basis subject to the prior receipt of the Principal Contractor’s method statements and risk assessments in accordance with HM Government’s publication of ‘Working safely during COVID-19 in construction and other outdoor work: Guidance for employers, employees and the self-employed 11 May 2020’. The situation will next be reviewed in mid-June 2020.
Since the initial lockdown orders were announced we have fully worked from home and remained 100% operational for all services.
Merseyway Shopping Centre Regeneration
As part of our work with Stockport Council on the wider regeneration of the Merseyway shopping centre, we have designed a new Innovation Centre in the prominent former Next building.
The re-purposing of the redundant first floor retail unit to form a 15,000ft² coworking office, will create a flexible, collaborative and engaging community workspace incubator. The scheme will include coworking spaces, a flexible business lounge, divisible meeting rooms and smaller self-contained office units. The appearance of the unit will be significantly enhanced by alterations to the façade including new cladding and alterations of existing windows to create floor to ceiling openings to provide natural light to the building.
The scheme is part of a wider series of interventions proposed to transform this prominent town centre location, including new shopfronts, improved public realm and community facilities. The aspiration is to create a destination which is integrated into the town centre and attractive to both retailers and customers, with the introduction of complementary uses to support the vitality of the town centre, bring new users into the shopping centre and improve the aesthetic quality of the centre.
Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter - Supporting our Greatest Asset
We are proud to have become supporters of the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter, which supports and promotes ethical and secure working standings for people across all districts of Greater Manchester. Our dedicated team have deep specialist knowledge, skills and experience of our sectors and services, collaborating with our clients, consultant partners and contractors from inception through to delivery, to maximise the benefits of good design for all. Supporting this charter will enable us to give them the best possible working conditions by reviewing and implementing flexible working, health and wellbeing initiatives and promoting people engagement throughout our practice.
The Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter, was developed through a process of co-design, involving the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), employers and employees from all sectors, as well as trades union employees and other experts. The Charter aims to improve employment standards across all GM employers regardless of size, sector or geography.
Ronald McDonald House Oxford Completes
Following the successful design and construction of new Houses in Birmingham, Manchester, Southampton, London and Cardiff, we are delighted that our latest project for Ronald McDonald House Charities is now complete. The 62-bedroom Ronald McDonald House Oxford will provide invaluable support including free ‘home away from home’ accommodation for families whose children are undergoing treatment at the Oxford Children’s Hospital, Children’s Critical Care and Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) units on the John Radcliffe Hospital site.
Business Continuity Update: COVID-19
With the continued spread of COVID-19, we'd just like to confirm that we remain fully operational and able to support clients on all matters.
For many years we have invested in robust and advanced IT systems and solutions, which have been thoroughly tested this week. Everybody at AEW is set up to work remotely, we all have;
With such flexibility in place and given the most recent Government advice of Monday 23rd March, we have decided to close our office until further notice to safeguard our people, restrict travel and encourage social distancing. The office phone line will remain answered 5 days a week, however post will not be regularly monitored during this time. If you intend to send hard copy mail, please contact your normal AEW contact or via reception on firstname.lastname@example.org / 0161 214 4370 to arrange alternative delivery address details.
As with the rest of the industry, we are encouraging everybody to heed Government advice and stay safe by avoiding face-to-face meetings. Through our experience of collaborative working across the UK, ROI and internationally, we are well-placed to effectively connect remotely with our clients and industry colleagues. We are able to assist setting up virtual meetings via Microsoft Teams on our projects if this helps.
We do not foresee any significant issues in continuing to provide our services to you, but will be in touch if the situation changes.
Please stay in touch. We are encouraging our team to regularly talk to others in the industry to remain connected and ease the isolation.
If you have any questions regarding our approach or services, drop us a line.
Game Changing Office for Stockport
Continuing our regeneration work at the Merseyway Shopping Centre, Stockport, we are delighted to be working with developer Glenbrook and interior designer Incognito to re-purpose the former Marks & Spencer building into a contemporary office-led mixed-use development called ‘STOK’.
Under the proposals, the 67,000ft² building would contain two open plan office floor plates at first and second floors totalling up to 32,000ft², linked to a spacious entrance lobby fronting Princes St via a new central atrium punched through the building, with new feature staircase, refurbished lifts, basement cycle storage and a second-floor roof terrace. The remainder ground floor and basement will provide flexible retail and leisure space, designed to meet a range of occupier requirements.
Chris Lloyd, Investment Director at Glenbrook “believes STOK will be a real game-changer for Stockport. The town centre itself has hardly any new office space, yet it is in perfect location for an office scheme.”
He added: “The final configuration of the space is flexible and will be led by the requirements of the occupiers, but we envisage it will be primarily office-led, with a smaller amount of retail and leisure space to complement the mix on Merseyway.”
Green Building Council
We are proud to announce that we have become members of the Green Building Council. The organisation is compiled of over 400 organisations spanning the entire built environment sector who have committed to work together for a better built environment. As a practice we believe that all of our activities should have a positive effect on the environment. We are committed to good design that maximises social benefits for the communities in which our projects are based. We aim to create sustainable solutions from the outset, engaging with all stakeholders and driving social improvements including access, inclusion, health and wellbeing, amenity and whole lifecycle project ‘costs’ including energy usage.
Danielle Purves, Associate Director commented “Having worked at AEW for 15 years, I understand how important green and sustainable initiatives are for our clients as well as how we operate as a business. We have many clients at present who are striving for carbon neutral goals and long term, future proofed sustainable design. This is something we are passionately working with them on, across both architecture, digitisation and interior design which is my speciality. By joining the Green Building Council we look forward to sharing knowledge and leading continuous improvement for our clients and our future generations who will utilise the buildings and spaces we design.”
RICS Awards shortlisting for The Trilogy
We are extremely proud to be shortlisted for the RICS Social Impact Awards 2020, for The Trilogy in the residential category, North West. The awards which are held regionally aim to recognise the transformational impact of the built environment across the UK. The Trilogy, which comprises of 232 residential apartments was not only fully let after 6 months but it continues to be the No1 rated apartment scheme by residents in Manchester on the HomeViews website, a national tenant feedback website.
David Brooks Wilson, Chair of the RICS award judging panel commented “The real estate sector is a vital part of our economy, and this year’s shortlist shows the power of built environment professionals to make a positive impact on society and our communities. It showcases the breadth of work and contributions that our professionals and wider industry make and the difference this profession can make.”
Good luck to all who have been shortlisted, to see the full shortlist please see the RICS website: https://www.rics.org/uk/news-insight/latest-news/press-releases/social-impact-award-shortlist/
Sweet Swizzels Signing for Ma6nitude
We are delighted to have supported Tritax Symmetry in securing a deal to construct a new manufacturing plant for Love Hearts maker, Swizzels Matlow, at MA6NITUDE in Middlewich, Cheshire. The 158,000ft² facility represents a significant expansion of the confectioner’s current manufacturing capability and involves a significant additional investment in new plant and machinery. It will form the first phase of a potential 460,000ft² overall development for Swizzels at the business park.
David Nuttall, development director at Tritax Symmetry, said: “Bringing a well-respected and long-established company to Ma6nitude is a huge coup for both the scheme and the region. Swizzels’ decision to choose Ma6nitide as the location for such a significant investment in growing their business emphasises the quality of the site and their confidence in our ability to deliver this new manufacturing facility. This is also excellent news for Middlewich too, bringing a range of good quality jobs to the area.”
A planning application has been submitted.
Continuing Partnership with Leading Logistics Specialist
We are continuing our 10 year partnership with Lineage Logistics, the largest UK provider of frozen supply chain solutions. We have worked with Lineage on their facilities nationwide, helping them set the standards in frozen food logistics. Our most recent work continues development at their depot in Heywood, where we have already completed a 100,000sqft cold store. Plans have recently been submitted for Phase 7 on this site consisting of a 75,000sqft extension to this facility, including a single skin cold store, loading dock and associated office space, which will provide much needed additional storage for this growing company.
Our Commitment to the Next Generation
Our Director, Colin Savage attended the University of Central Lancashire cJAM: Built Environment event last week. Colin got a chance to present to the students about architecture and his experience within the industry. The day also involved speed pitching, networking and a Q&A session.
We believe investing in the future is hugely important and actively commit our time, energy and knowledge into the next generation.
Colin Savage, Director comments “A fantastic day spent with the students from UCLAN. Some interesting pitches delivered by the students and discussions about the industry and what’s to come.”
Summer start for regeneration of Sale West Estate
We are proud to be working with Irwell Valley Homes on the regeneration of the Sale West neighbourhood. Our team engaged with the residents and stakeholders of Sale West in 2019 to gather valuable information about their needs & concerns. Using this knowledge, we produced an innovative, inclusive and sustainable masterplan to transform the estate for its customers and the wider community. A planning application will be submitted this month.
Sasha Deepwell, chief executive of Irwell Valley Homes, said “As well as the improvements to the existing homes and estate, the new homes will give local people access to a home they can afford within their community.”
A Happy and Healthy January
We have positively kicked off 2020 with a wellness and wellbeing initiative to ensure a happy and healthy start to the new year for our fantastic team.
Throughout January we have had the opportunity to take part in a range of activities for all abilities such as yoga, simple desk exercises, wellness walks around the city and also 5k fitness runs.
A big thanks to our very own Matt Bell who organised many of these activities which have had a positive impact on our wellbeing and overall mental health.
We will continue to raise awareness for mental health and wellbeing by continuing office activities, volunteering and supporting charities throughout 2020 and beyond.
Legislation set to digitise high-rise housing
A change is coming.
New legislation, expected in the coming months, will force the owners of high-rise residential buildings (HRRBs) to hold robust digital information about their assets. For many building owners, this presents significant challenges. We need a culture change in how we design, build and operate HRRBs.
Building a Safer Future
In May 2018, following the Grenfell disaster, the ‘Building a Safer Future’ report, led by Dame Judith Hackitt was published. This report was commissioned to independently investigate the issues surrounding the current Building and Fire Safety Regulations. As expected, the findings of the report were damning.
Dame Judith found several areas of concern:
One example of her findings was of doors marketed as fire resistant for 30 minutes that failed subsequent re-testing.
The key recommendations of the report were the introduction of a new regulatory framework and the creation of a new Joint Competent Authority (JCA). The JCA will be formed from existing bodies including LABC, the HSE, and the Fire and Rescue Service. The regulatory framework will focus on the design, and construction of all multi-occupancy HRRBs. A digital record of the building will be used in regular ‘safety case reviews’, ensuring that these buildings are safe for their residents. Proposals in the ‘Building a Safer Future’ consultation incorporated recommendations from the Hackitt Report. A strong theme in these proposals, was for structured digital information to be the ‘golden thread’ throughout the life-cycle of a HRRB.
Access to information
Collating digital information on new-build HRRBs should be achievable for all owners with little effort. The supply chain in the construction industry has had several years transitioning to working in the age of information, providing this sort of data.
The challenge for many building owners will be two-fold:
Structured digital information has become commonplace in other sectors. Market pressures and the financial crash compelled retail and industrial property owners to innovate their business processes. Sadly, it took a tragedy for wholescale action to occur in the residential sector.
However, the move towards trusted structured information presents opportunities for building owners. The JCA will use the structured information as a basis for safety case reviews, but the main beneficiaries of this process are those concerned with governance, and of course, the occupants of the building. From a governance perspective, business processes based on secure access to a dataset will drive compliance. Building systems that need regular maintenance can be programmed into automated events. Responsibilities, statuses and reporting can be built into a transparent asset management system. Currently, asset management is often exceptionally fragmented, with compliance largely being achieved despite disparate knowledge across an organisation. A truly digital system can change this, offering dashboard-style management of not only an asset, but also a whole estate.
Finally, we must appreciate the resident. Anyone living in a HRRB should be able to instantly access information about the safety of their home. For example, when the sprinkler was last tested, the emergency escape strategy, what the building is made from… Most importantly, the resident should have a voice.
The new legislation is eagerly awaited by many.
Are you ready?
Get in touch to discover how we can help you and your estate meet the needs of the digital age by emailing email@example.com.
Designing sustainable and inclusive neighbourhoods through Frameworks
Through our specialist knowledge and experience of working in the accommodation sector, we have been appointed to provide architectural services on a range of frameworks to assist our clients in delivering high quality, sustainable homes that meet the current and future needs of residents. By working within these frameworks with other design disciplines, we support innovation, achieve benefits from collaborative working, provide opportunities for sustainable job creation and training, whilst delivering efficiencies and value for money. Over the past 2 years we have worked closely with housing providers and their customers to design over 400 new homes and regenerate areas into sustainable and inclusive neighbourhoods.
We are currently engaged on the following Frameworks:
Insider NW Resi Awards 2020
For the second consecutive year, we are honoured to have sponsored the Insider North West Residential Property Awards. AEW Director, Colin Savage presented the ‘Social Impact Award’ on the evening, which was received by One Manchester for their affordable housing scheme, Stoney Gate in Openshaw. The award, which was launched this year, looks to recognise a residential scheme that has had a significant positive impact on the local community, which is strongly aligned to our values and ethos when designing homes and communities.
We are also extremely proud to have been shortlisted for two categories at the awards, the ‘Architects Practice of the Year’ and our project The Trilogy, Castlefield was shortlisted for ‘Apartment Development of the Year (more than 100 homes)'.
The awards took place on the 23rd January at Manchester Central. Congratulations to all who were shortlisted and to those who won awards on the evening.
Pioneer Place Burnley gets the Green Light
We are delighted to start the new year with planning approval for our town centre regeneration scheme at the heart of Burnley.
Collaborating with Burnley Borough Council and Maple Grove Developments, the leisure-led mixed-use scheme, which will include an 8 screen Reel cinema along with complimentary retail and leisure units, is designed to attract both local and national operators, varying the current offer, driving footfall, raising Burnley’s profile as a leisure destination and enhancing it’s night time economy.
Nik Puttnam, senior development manager at Maple Grove Developments, said: "This is a huge coup for Burnley; the town has been yearning for a strong leisure offer to attract more visitors from a wider area and increase dwell time and spend. We are talking to a number of national and regional leisure operators. Our next step is to appoint a contractor for the scheme with a scheduled start on site date of early 2021 and an estimated opening of Pioneer Place in November 2022."
Burnley Council leader Charlie Briggs added: "This is great news and a major step forward in this exciting leisure development. It will draw in visitors from a wide area which, in turn, will boost existing local businesses and have a positive impact on the local economy as a whole. Not only does it attract visitors but how great it will be for residents of all ages?"
Bernard Lam, Associate at Aew Architects, said. “We are extremely proud have collaborated with Maple Grove and Burnley Borough Council on this landmark project, to help revitalise the town centre and make it an attractive place for people to work, live, visit and invest.”
2019 with our longest standing client
The last year has seen us continue to build on and strengthen our 23+ year relationship with one of the world's most recognisable brands.
To date, we have delivered 7,000+ new build and reimage projects with McDonald’s throughout the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Europe. Our partnership sees us continue to collaborate with McDonald’s to support their relentless drive to keep their brand relevant to customer demands. Our highlights of 2019 include:
We look forward to continuing our work with McDonald’s for many years to come.
Our Christmas Giving
We believe that our activities should have a positive effect on the environment, the community, our clients and business partners and our employees. This is never more important than in the build up to the festive period, where we have run three charity focussed activities, which the whole office has been involved in. We couldn’t be prouder of our AEW team who have donated both their spare time and money to these fantastic charitable causes.
Christmas Cards & The Big Lunch
We have designed and handcrafted Christmas cards to support our chosen charity, Ronald McDonald House Charities. Combined with the proceeds from our Christmas Jumper Day and Big Lunch, we raised over £737 to help RMHC provide families with a free ‘home away from home’ which enables them to stay close by while their children are in hospital across the UK. To find out more about the charity, please visit their website https://rmhc.org.uk/
‘In The Box Manchester’
We have also chosen to support ‘In The Box Manchester’. This is a combined Christmas campaign for Manchester charities, Centrepoint, Lifeshare and Barnabus. On Tuesday 17th December our team, organised by Liam Barnett, delivered over 20 boxes for this worthy cause. The boxes were filled with essential items to be distributed to adults in greater need this holiday period.
In The Box Manchester
We believe that our activities should have a positive effect on the environment, the community, our clients and business partners and our employees.
As part of our ongoing commitment to support charities, our internal charity committee, who focus on maintaining and strengthening our social value contribution, have decided this Christmas we will be supporting ‘In The Box Manchester’. This is a combined Christmas campaign for Manchester charities, Centrepoint, Lifeshare and Barnabus. The campaign is headed up by football player Marcus Rashford to help local homeless people in Manchester, and members of the public are being encouraged to fill a shoebox of essential items to be distributed to adults in greater need this holiday period.
The following contents list has been collated in partnership with organisations who specialise in homeless care to guarantee the most urgent and essential needs are met. Alternative items are not prohibited, but they request that lids are not sealed when dropped to allow for suitability vetting process.
On Monday 16th December lunch time we will be taking our boxes down to the drop off point at Selfridges, Manchester Exchange. Thank you to Liam for leading the committee for us and all the hard work and energy the team are putting into this project and others. If any of our clients or contacts would like to help us with this please get in contact with Liam: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shortlisted for Insider Residential Property Awards 2020
We are extremely proud to be shortlisted for two categories at the Insider Residential Property Awards 2020. We have been shortlisted as ‘Architects Practice of the Year’ and our project The Trilogy, Castlefield on Ellesmere Street has been shortlisted for ‘Apartment Development of the Year (more than 100 homes)'.
We are honoured to be sponsoring and presenting the ‘Social Impact Award’ on the evening. The awards will be taking place on 23rd January at Manchester Central.
Good luck to all who have been shortlisted, to see the full shortlist please see the Insider website https://www.insidermedia.com/news/north-west/shortlists-revealed-for-north-west-residential-property-awards
The Trilogy - Best Places To Live
It’s great to know we're doing the right thing; creating homes that people love! The Trilogy, which comprises of 232 contemporary, high quality, sustainable homes is in the top 3 developments nationally and is the number one place to live in Manchester too. The whole team are extremely proud of this achievement.
Data has been sourced by up and coming website HomeViews, a website set up for residents and viewers to rate and review not just the property itself and its location, but also give feedback on the developer and the building’s management team, giving a true and real time insight into the overall developments and homes created.
One tennant on the website noted "Everything is perfect. It feels like a small community, has modern design and everyone is extremely helpful. It’s a lovely place to live and it feels like home already!”
The scheme was developed by Glenbook and constructed by Grahams Construction, and was a BIM enabled project.
Elderly Living Feature
We are delighted that South Gate, one of our most recent elderly living schemes has been featured by The Housing Learning and Improvement Network. The article focuses on creating independent homes for people developing or living with cognitive conditions in East Manchester. Read the full article here: https://www.housinglin.org.uk/Topics/type/Creating-independent-homes-for-people-developing-or-living-with-cognitive-conditions-in-East-Manchester/
Continuing our work with HIMOR
We are delighted to continue our work with HIMOR, supporting them in the preparation of their new outline planning application for Carrington Village. We undertook an advisory role on the architectural master planning for the employment areas, where we utilised our specialist sector experience and in-depth knowledge of the site to collaborate with AECOM and the rest of the project team in designing the scheme which includes up to 620,000ft² of industrial & logistics space, up to 48,000ft² of offices, a relocated rugby club and up to 320 homes with a new district centre.
Supporting Breast Cancer Now
We spent Friday 18th October raising money and awareness on wear it pink day for Breast Cancer Now.
We wore pink, took part in a sweepstake, quiz and other activities within the office and are extremely proud to have raised over £200 for this amazing charity.
Steve Burne Apprenticeship Award
We proudly sponsored the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Property and Construction Annual Dinner and Awards on Thursday 3rd October. As well as the ‘Building of the Year Award’ being announced, we also saw the launch of the ‘Steve Burne Apprentice of the Year Award’. Our late Managing Director, Steve Burne, who passed away last year, was a high-profile Chamber member for many years, with roles as Vice-President of GMCC and Chair of the Property & Construction Group. This year the ‘Apprentice of the Year Award’ has been renamed in tribute to Steve to recognise his contribution and passion in supporting young people.
The award was presented to Abdul Tahir from the Mace Group, for the great example he has set to current and future apprentices. Abdul is part of the M-Futures scheme, meaning that he is enrolled on a two-year programme studying an HNC in construction and a L4 NVQ Diploma in Construction and Building Services Management and Supervision (sustainability). The M Futures programme consists of a group of employers that all employ an apprentice who is then rotated around the group of employers for four-month placements over the two-year programme. The runners-up for the Steve Burne Apprentice of the Year Award where Liam Gee from Three Sixty (Part of Stockport Homes Group) and Holleeann Walker from Laing O’Rourke.
We strongly believe in nurturing and supporting the next and are proud that Steve has been recognised by the Chamber.
Macmillan Coffee Morning
We love a little bit a baking here at the AEW office, so when the annual Macmillan coffee morning marks its return every September our brilliant budding Mary Berry’s take the challenge of creating the most delicious bakes for the office. Thank you Meg and Naeema who spent time organising a bonanza of baked activities throughout the day! Including getting our newest members of the team Holly and James to give their critical verdict on any soggy bottoms!
Holly the newest member of our central resources team commented “It’s my first week and I think being asked to judge the bake off is a pretty good way to meet the team, luckily all the bakes were a pretty good standard, so we avoided any controversies. It was a great way to kick off my job here at AEW, and great to see the whole team getting involved. Everyone made me feel very welcome!”.
We are proud to have raised over £350 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Town Centre Regeneration for Burnley
Continuing our town centre regeneration work, Pioneer Place in Burnley, has now been submitted for planning. The proposed development represents a key stage in the council’s long-term ongoing masterplan to revitalise the town centre and is pivotal in progressing the Burnley’s future as an attractive place for people to work, live, visit and invest.
The leisure-led mixed-use scheme, which will include an 8 screen Reel cinema along with ten complimentary retail and leisure units, is designed to attract both local and national restaurants, leisure and retail operators, varying the current offer, driving footfall, raising Burnley’s profile as a leisure destination and enhancing it’s night time economy
The high-quality building designs, materials and enhanced public realm, will act as a focal point, enhance the arrival experience into Burnley, and improve legibility and connectivity throughout the town centre including, links to the bus and railway stations.
Collaborating with Maple Grove Developments and Burnley Borough Council, early public engagement and stakeholder consultation processes, were key to help us to tailor our designs to the needs of local residents, shopkeepers and businesses
Cllr Mark Townsend, leader of Burnley Borough Council, said: “Recent investments have already seen increases in the number of visitors to the town. Pioneer Place will build on this, by diversifying our offer and attracting even more visitors to our town centre. This will further boost the local economy and benefit local businesses.”
Councillor Asif Raja, executive member for economy and growth said: “Developments like this offer something for everyone. It will attract more visitors to the town which means more spend and a greater buzz about the place. If we don’t take actions like this to grow the local economy, we risk losing out to other places that do. Another added benefit of Pioneer Place is that it will help to attract more students to come and study in Burnley, which in turn will generate further economic benefits for the borough.”
Steve Burne Charitable Award
We will continue to honour Steve’s legacy with our work and future fundraising for Ronald McDonald Manchester and the Steve Burne Charitable Trust.
We believe our activities should have a positive effect on the environment, the community, our clients and business partners and our employees. This year, our annual award to recognise an outstanding personal contribution to charitable causes, was renamed ‘The Steve Burne Charitable Award’ to his honour his legacy. Steve, who sadly passed away last year, was not only at the heart of our AEW family, but tirelessly completed fundraising and charitable activities for Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Steve Burne Charitable Trust.
This year, we asked our team to nominate and vote for a colleague who they thought should be recognised for giving back and helping others, and responses flocked in.
At our annual presentation Oi-San Iu was gifted this award for selfless volunteering and charitable work. Her works include; voluntary work with Manchester Alliance Church; volunteering with food banks, her youth work as a singing coach and supporting role at two camp trips this year.
Oi-San has also been a volunteer singer for the last years at the Overbury's Charity Music Night raising funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities and Martin House and is a volunteer Director of Bare Boards Opera, amateur and professional group, staring in Rigoletto at the Waterside, Sale.
Oi-San also provides support to Manchester Enterprise Academy, Wythenshawe students and has carried out multiple mentoring sessions with our students here at AEW. Well done Oi-San a thoroughly deserved winner and inspiration to us all!
Future proofing residential development round table
Our Director Colin Savage took place in a round table hosted by Insider Media at Rendall & Rittner to debate ‘Future-proofing Residential Development’. Colin joined the group of industry peers and experts to discuss pressing topical issues in the residential sector from design to safety, legislation to changing consumer demands and much more in between.
“Being involved in these discussions is a fabulous way to engage with industry peers who have a great insight and impact in their professional field. Thank you to Insider’s Oscar Lynch who hosted the event, and for the opportunity to share my own experiences and knowledge within this forum, we look forward to reading the full round table article in your October 2019 edition.” Colin Savage, Director.
Scholar’s Fields, Wythenshawe Phase 1
We are proud to have been part of the team to deliver the first phase of Scholar’s Fields in Wythenshawe for Wythenshawe Community Housing Trust, which comprises of 4 2-bedroom 3-persons apartments, 28 2-bedroom 4-persons houses and 12 3-bedroom 5 person houses.
When complete, the £19.6 million development will create 147 new family homes, making it the largest new build residential development in Wythenshawe since the completion of the garden city in the 1950's.
Whilst contemporary in its design and the high standard of accommodation provided, the scheme retains the scale and detail of the original garden city, integrating into the existing urban setting using considered layouts and a complimentary palette of materials.
“Scholar’s Fields is a significant development for Wythenshawe, and we are extremely proud to be involved in designing and delivering these homes for the local community. We look forward to continuing our work for the Trust under the JV North Framework on the future phases of this project.” Claire Kilgariff, Associate Director.
AEW toasts record year with Director promotions
We are delighted to announce that Associate Directors Alan Lamb and Phil Hepworth have been appointed to join the AEW Board of Directors. Alan and Phil will join Managing Director, Andy Critchlow and Directors Andy Rainford and Colin Savage to lead our practice.
Alan joined AEW in 1997 and specialises in the industrial sector. His personable service and expert knowledge has directly led to continued commissions from many of the North West’s premier developers of strategic employment land.
Phil joined AEW in 2009 as a part II architectural assistant and his ambition, energy and talent has accelerated his development. He works across all of AEW’s key sectors including accommodation, retail, offices, industrial and sports & leisure.
The promotions follow an excellent year with increased revenues, significant reinvestment in business processes, procedures and automation that has led to a strong pipeline of work and future opportunities, all of which were shared at our annual ‘end of year’ presentation.
Andy Critchlow, Managing Director, comments "as we reinvest and grow its time to strengthen the board. We continually focus on developing our people and as a result have an amazing talent pool that share our values. I am pleased to welcome Alan and Phil to the board but more widely would like to congratulate everybody in the business for doing a great job, everyday."
Yet again, we have stuck to our strengths in retail, accommodation, industrial, offices and sports and leisure sectors. We have combined our specialist service with an increased market presence, sponsoring seminars, conferences and awards plus hosting our own specialist events has increased our audience and client base.
Following years in a support role to our people and projects, it is also great to see BIM Services being commissioned directly by Clients. Our team’s collaborative approach to understanding, collating and accessing information is timely in response to The Hackett Report and our industries need to provide The Golden Thread.
Future of Retail Conference 2019
We were excited to co-sponsor Place North West’s ‘Future of Retail’ conference in September 2019 along with Bruntwood, Savills, WSP and TLT. We were joined by over 170 guests in discussing and debating the central theme of the high street and it’s future, along with the impact of Brexit on the overall retail sector itself.
AEW Associate Director, Phil Hepworth gave great insight as the opening speaker, focusing his talk on highlighting the changes in retail, specifically in town centres, and what architects are doing to make these locations more appealing for the new demographic. Phil noted that each town has its own unique selling point that makes it special and distinctive. He called this “an opportunity” for “the town centre to change its retail offer and connect to its key demographic. They can diversify their offer and increase footfall this way.” Councils in Stockport and Bolton are already doing this and tailoring their centres to its locality. This includes, in some areas, moving away from the retail-led aspect and shifting to more leisure-led areas dependent on what is needed in that area.
Phil envisioned city or town centres as being more connected to the local area, by both integrating with the people who visit, but also making the space better utilised. “By connecting schemes like Pioneer Place in Burnley to the high street and creating new public realm, it encourages people to spend more time there and enjoy it. A big thing about space is its management and curation so everything works conveniently together”.
Retail remains a key sector for our practice, working with private developers, local authorities and directly for some leading national retailers. We use our wealth of experience to ensure we support and guide our clients through this changing marketplace, whether it be town centre reinvigoration, out of town retail parks or bespoke retail roll outs and have an exciting project pipeline with our clients in this sector.
We have strengthened our BIM team
We have strengthened our BIM team with the appointment of Rosina Slavova as BIM Coordinator. Rosina will assist in the continued refinement of our BIM operations throughout the practice, providing support and advice to our internal design and technical teams, wider project design teams, stakeholders and Clients.
BIM Manager Mark Turner commented: “The growth of our specialist team is an indication of our commitment and success in BIM. We now support all AEW projects and are engaged directly by Clients for BIM services. In 2018, Mark Haworth joined the team to accelerate our drive in improving digital engineering design processes - Rosina will help us push even further and will support our ambition to provide an industry leading BIM consultancy service.”
Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Annual Property and Construction Dinner & Awards 2019
We are proud to be sponsoring the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Annual Property and Construction Dinner & Awards 2019. The black-tie event, to be held at the Imperial War Museum North on 3rd October 2019, will see over 300 delegates from across the North West gather in celebration of the industry in our region.
Supporting the Chamber, the largest in the UK, is something that we have always done as a practice. Our late Managing Director, Steve Burne, who passed away last year, was a high-profile Chamber member for many years, with roles as Vice-President of GMCC and Chair of the Property & Construction Group. This year the ‘Apprentice of the Year Award’ has been renamed the ‘Steve Burne Award’ in tribute to Steve and in recognition of his contribution and passion in supporting young people.
Planning secured for 19 Industrial units
We are delighted to have supported FI Real Estate Management Ltd in successfully securing planning consent for over 200,000sqft of industrial accommodation across 4 sites on Wrexham Industrial Estate. Using our wealth of experience in the sector, AEW collaborated with our client and the wider design team to maximise the offering on the sites, which includes 19 speculative new build units ranging from 800sqft to 70,000sqft. The buildings are designed to complement and enhance FI Real Estate Management’s substantial existing portfolio on the largest industrial site in Wales. The new developments, which are already in demand, currently sit on unused land on the site and will positively extend and increase economic and employment growth in the area.
Birchwood Park - 20 Year Relationship Continues
We are extremely proud to have been involved with Birchwood Park for over 20 years, during which time we have worked closely with the Client to help shape this exciting and vibrant business park community.
Our designs of the latest phase of development, for which construction work recently started on site, have been evolved and refined through our experience, knowledge and collaboration with the client, design and agency teams to best meet current occupier demands and anticipated future market trends.
The project will deliver 170,000ft² of Grade A speculative industrial space across five new high-quality units, which are targeted at high value science and engineering tenants in Warrington and the Cheshire Science Corridor. The self-contained warehouses, ranging from 18,000 ft² to 58,000 ft², and featuring a high percentage of flexible office content, are set to complete in Spring 2020.
Martin O’Rourke, commercial director at Birchwood Park comments “Warrington has been crying out for industrial space of this size and spec for some time, and so we’re confident that the second phase of our Cavendish Warehouse development will meet the needs of businesses and plug this gap in the market."
“We’ve taken on board experience from the first phase of our development to ensure we’re able to offer greater flexibility when it comes to adapting this industrial space, to suit the needs of both our current or future occupiers”
Chorley Market Walk Tops Out
The topping out ceremony for Chorley, Market Walk has taken place to mark the milestone of reaching the highest point in the construction.
We designed this scheme, responding to the needs of the local town and the council’s vision to enhance Chorley’s leisure and retail offer for this central district. As part of the design process we held public consultation events to listen and engage with local Chorley residents and businesses.
Using our understanding of the retail sector and experience in the leisure industry, we have helped Chorley Council breathe life back into the town centre, creating a vibrant mix of retail and leisure and refocussing the town centre as a destination for residents of Chorley and surrounding towns. The development will house a new six-screen Reel Cinema, a crazy golf complex, bowling alleys, M&S Food Hall, together with other retail, leisure and food/beverage outlets. The scheme will be completed in Autumn 2019.
“Following the council’s acquisition of the Market Walk shopping centre in 2013, we have worked closely with them and the appointed consultants to produce a scheme that will have a hugely significant and positive impact on the town centre.” Bernard Lam, Associate.
Dementia care in South Street, Openshaw
Bringing to life an underused vacant site in South Street, Openshaw with One Manchester.
Currently on site, the mixed use scheme of bungalows consists of 12 affordable houses and 15 bungalows aimed at people with early onset dementia. The bungalows, which are arranged around a central courtyard, feature large glazed windows to flood the living spaces with daylight and provide a strong visual connection with the raised beds, sensory planting and summer house. A varied colour palette has been sensitively developed to add interest whilst aiding memory and way finding.
Sports Day Extravaganza
This summer we held our first ever Sports Day! We took our fantastic team over to Didsbury Sports Club and had a wonderful afternoon of welly wanging, egg and spoon races, sack races and the ultimate teambuilding event – the three-legged race! From the outset our competitive and convivial teams worked together to create colourful team outfits, crack puzzles and hone their game strategies. One of the early highlights of the day really exhibited the power of working as a team, with the orange team and the green teams, led by Rob Dickson and Andy Critchlow, racing to get bonus points for being first to the Sport Club!
Health, wellbeing and taking care of our team is hugely important to us as a practice, and we look forward to making this an annual event. We are sure that some teams have already started practicing for next year. And a huge well done to orange colour team for coming first and to Wilson for being the overall sports day 2019 winner! The winning team’s prize was a £50 donation to a charity of their choice.
Gatley Road, Sale on site progress
Great progress has been made on this vibrant mixed use project at Gatley Road, Sale for Laurus Homes. Consisting of 8 retail units, 28 apartments and 9 houses, it has been designed to to sit comfortably within the existing urban context and allows for completion in a phased sequence, allowing the demolition and clearance of the existing shops / apartments without disruption.
Phil Hepworth on Current Office Design Trends
Our associate director Phil Hepworth on current office design trends:
We are currently working on several end user led high profile office projects. Each client has their own unique brief, however common themes immediately present themselves.
We design office space from inside out and outside in – collaborating with our interior designers really enhances our service. Clients appreciate that creating the right environment for their people can have endless possibilities. Following workplace analysis and stakeholder engagement getting to know the Client we design spaces to promote collaboration, efficient tailored workspace, focus areas, meeting spaces and group social spaces.
Designing from a user perspective, wellness must be embedded into successful office space. Biophilic design and smart buildings are hot topics; facilities such as on-site gyms, access to the outdoors and social function spaces are becoming expected.
Given the pace of changing technology and user expectations, successful long-term office space must be flexible. Clients are keen to understand how designs today can evolve and flex.
Clients want to create an environment that presents their values. Our design decisions can enhance this and executed well, can create a sense of place and belonging to the whole organisation
New offices should be exciting for the whole organisation. Clients are keen to include their people in decision making and shaping their future. Our engagement sessions and use of 3D technologies can make this accessible for everybody and real fun.
We have spent the month of May creating awareness for mental health and wellbeing. Different activities including a lunchtime walk around sunny Manchester taking in the beautiful city and architecture, a healthy communal office breakfast, bunches of beautiful flowers throughout the office and even taking part in meditation sessions. A big thanks to Melinda who has organised many of these activities and has had a positive impact on our wellbeing.
We will continue to raise awareness for mental health and wellbeing by continuing office activities, volunteering and supporting charities.
Liz Durcan is on this year's Mix Interiors 30 under 30 list
Interior Designers, Liz Durcan has been recognised by the Mix Interiors magazine’s ’30 under 30’ list of rising stars in interior design. Liz received the award on the final night of Clerkenwell Design Week to top off a fantastic and informative week. A huge congratulations to Liz and all the others who made the list!
Since joining in 2017, Liz has become a passionate and committed member of the AEW family, impressing us with her design skills, drive and enthusiasm. Liz works across all our sectors with direct interior design commissions and support to our architectural projects.
Most recently Liz has focused on commercial offices, completing workspace analysis and designing interior concepts for several large occupiers. Liz’s fresh, innovative design ideas communicated using 3D design and rendered walk throughs have gained amazing feedback from our Clients.
Read the full article here.
The Cumbrian Challenge for Walking With The Wounded
On a cloudy weekend in May, our awesome volunteers went on a little walk, well not so little really, a 16km and 32km mountainous trek in Cumbria for an amazing charity Walking with the Wounded. Our teams ‘AEW - Chafing The Dream’ and ‘AEW_New Generation’ not only supported this worthy cause by donating their weekend and heaps of energy, they raised over £2000 and Chafing The Dream also happened to come in 4th place overall out of 66, so pretty fantastic on all accounts! A great cause, a great weekend and a great outcome! Our team included members: Andy Critchlow, Eleanor Strange, Kelly Ward, Phil Millward, Rob Dickson, Daniel Sutton and Joshua Molesworth.
We regularly volunteer our time and skills to charities and community projects, it’s something we love to do and its part of who we are as a practice. Now, where do we sign up for next year…..?
Town Centre Regeneration - Stockport
We are currently working with CBRE and Stockport Council on the redevelopment of the Merseyway shopping centre, Stockport. Our specialist town centre, leisure and retail knowledge is being used on Adlington Walk, the first of a series of strategic interventions across the scheme, which is focused on improving access, facilities and customer experience.
Adlington Walk, which is a covered area off the main shopping mall linking to Chestergate, include plans to create community and welfare facilities in the town centre. Enabling the people that use the centre a more varied and useful visit, our designs include a soft play area, new seating, buggy stores, parent-and-child facilities, and a multi-faith prayer room. The designs also incorporate a focal lobby-style entrance, a new stair and lift core, overhauling existing retail units, public realm improvements, and new toilets which is all key in revitalising the centre.
Consultation events will be held on the plans at Arden Walk in the Merseyway between 10am and 4pm on Wednesday 22 May and Friday 24 May.
Radius Campus wins RICS NW Awards 2019
We are pleased to announce that Radius Campus, Crewe has won the RICS North West Awards 2019 for the Commercial category.
The awards took place on Friday 10th May 2019, they celebrate the most innovative projects in the region and their impact on local communities.
Radius Payment Solutions' new £14million headquarters comprises of 64,000sqft Grade A office space, with a real focus on the wellbeing of its team. The modern, unique office includes an on-site gym, café and relaxation breakout areas with Play Stations, pool and table tennis tables, giving staff the opportunity to relax within a working environment.
Phil Hepworth, Associate Director, commented “Designing offices for us is always about the people that use them day in, day out, focussing on the cultures that they bring, establish and grow within the business. I personally love the challenge of working with teams to create buildings and spaces that give them a sense of pride and enjoyment about being at work. We are delighted that Radius Campus has won this award, for our client and their fantastic team”.
We complete two new drive thru McDonald's
Over the last week, we have completed two new drive thru restaurants, now open for customers in Formby and Aberdeen. With over 23 years’ experience, our national role for McDonald’s continues at strength.
In Formby we converted an existing two-storey diner into the largest McDonald’s Drive Thru’ building in Europe! In Aberdeen we delivered a model two-storey modular Drive Thru’ next to the ASDA superstore in Portlethen.
Dan and Florence pass their RIBA Part III examinations
We are extremely proud that Dan Sutton and Florence Cooke Steed have both passed their final RIBA examinations. After much hard work, Florence received news last week, following Dan’s success at the beginning of the year.
Our people are at the heart of the business and we are proud to share their successes and wish them continued success throughout their careers with us.
The Cumbrian Challenge 2019 for Walking With The Wounded
We are thrilled to be taking part in the Cumbrian Challenge for Walking With The Wounded. On 18th May, two teams from AEW will complete a 16km & 32km walk in the Lake District alongside teams of veterans who are getting their lives back on track thanks to Walking With The Wounded.
Walking With The Wounded support veterans who are struggling with their mental health, who are hard to reach, socially isolated, homeless, in police custody... men and women with little to look forward to but who want to get back into society and employment.
Please support Walking With The Wounded by donating using this link. Every £675 can enable a veteran to access 1-2-1 private mental health therapy within an average of 4 days of referral.
We have been named one of Property Week's Best Places to Work in Property 2019
We are absolutely delighted to have been named as one of Property Week’s ‘Best Places to Work in Property 2019’, being recognised on the prestigious list for the second year running!
‘Best Places to Work in Property’ is collated by Best Companies Group on behalf of Property Week to determine which are the best employers in the national property industry. This year, AEW are one of only 43 companies who made the grade after rigorous employer and employee surveys, which evaluate the business performance across eight key metrics: overall engagement; leadership and planning; culture and communication; role satisfaction; work environment; relationship with supervisor; training and development; and pay and benefits.
The property awards took place on 24th April at Grosvenor House, London. Look out for the May issue of Property Week to read more about it.
Planning approved for Church Wharf, Bolton
The delivery of Bolton’s £1.2bn masterplan for the regeneration of the town centre moved a step closer, as our designs for Church Wharf, a new £150m neighbourhood, were unanimously approved by Bolton Council’s planning committee on the 18th April. Working in collaboration with Muse Developments, our proposals for this key gateway site will help breathe life into the town centre by opening up access to the River Croal, creating outdoor space for everyone to enjoy and an attractive place for people to live, work and relax.
Church Wharf is the first project of this scale to be brought forward under Bolton Council’s wider vision to regenerate the town centre. It will create an exciting new area that will include a mix of over 350 homes, a hotel, offices and leisure and retail opportunities.
David Burkinshaw of Muse Developments said: “This is a huge step forward in delivering a new neighborhood at Church Wharf. With a focus on high quality design and architecture this gateway site will be transformed into a vibrant new area of the town.”
Bolton Council’s director of place Gerry Brough said: “We’re one step closer to achieving our vision in our £1.2bn masterplan... Church Wharf is fundamental to the regeneration of Bolton town centre... a key gateway into the town and of incredible strategic importance.”
Read the full article on Place North West https://www.placenorthwest.co.uk/news/muse-takes-150m-church-wharf-to-the-next-stage/
Our commitment to supporting charities
At AEW, volunteering our time and skills to charities and community projects is part of who we are. Here is a roundup of our recent activities and events:
We supported the National Autistic Society (NAS) on Friday 5th April as part of Autism Awareness Week. Our team raised money by wearing a variety of different colours and taking part in the office raffle and sweepstake. It was a huge success and we raised over £250.
Raising money for a charity close to our heart, Rob Dickson embarked on 200km off road bike ride for The Stephen Burne Charitable Trust.
Thanks to Associate, Dan O’Hara for organising or most recent Blood Donation Drive. This has become a regular part of AEW’s yearly calendar.
Our team continue to donate food to the Lifeshare project.
We have two fantastic teams completing a walk around the Cumbrian peaks in Grasmere with like-minded people from the business community, for the Walking with the Wounded charity. The teams are in full preparation mode, and we’ll be sending out a donation link in the coming weeks.
With continued thanks to our amazing team who give their time and donations to these fantastic causes. We look forward to continuing our fundraising activities throughout the year.
We look to the next phase… in conversation with Place North West
In our 27-year history, we have seen a raft of changes, brought about by foreseen, and unforeseen circumstances. Place North West sat down with us to discuss the next phase for the business and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.
Our conversation wih Place North West....
Founded in 1992, AEW is based in Manchester, with 65 staff delivering services such as design, masterplanning and BIM, across sectors including residential, industrial, retail, offices, sport and leisure. Historically known for its industrial or out-of-town retail projects for clients such as Peel and Derwent, the past few years have seen an expansion into town centre regeneration work in Burnley, Bolton, and Stockport, as well as office projects, such as in Crewe for Radius and Wrexham for Moneypenny. Turnover is set to reach £6.5m this year.
One of the saddest and most significant events for the practice was the death of former managing director Steve Burne. Burne had led the business alongside Critchlow and Nigel Machin following a management buy-out in 2011. After a terminal cancer diagnosis in 2017, Burne exited the business to focus on treatment, and passed away last October.
Critchlow acknowledged the past couple of years had been “a sensitive time”.
“Steve was such a well-known figurehead in the market, and going through a period of terminal illness we needed to be very sensitive, both to the individual and in our business decisions in order to be sensitive to everyone else .
“We’re about putting people first, so as soon as he was diagnosed, the priority was getting him out of the business so he could get treatment and focus on that. Any business concerns were taken off him to give him the time to invest in himself, and we put practices in place so he didn’t see any pressure.
“Even in the most dire circumstances, Steve was putting the business first and ensuring succession was being thought of.”
Last year also saw the departure of fellow director Nigel Machin, who left in August to join long-standing client Derwent Group, leaving Critchlow with 100% ownership.
However, Critchlow had no inclination to run AEW solo, so the coming weeks will see Rainford and Savage come on board as minority shareholders.
“It’s down to the culture in which you’ve always worked. AEW has never been headed by a single person, it’s never been one person’s brainchild, it’s a collaborative approach,” Critchlow explained.
“The idea of maintaining and orchestrating control has never been in my psyche, and it’s been about sharing the opportunities available in the business, and mitigate any single person’s risk.”
Burne’s illness and Machin’s departure coincided with AEW’s 25th anniversary, what would have been a natural time to evolve the business, however changes were put on hold while the leadership team changed and adapted to the absence of Burne. In the past few months, AEW has seen an overhauled office, rebrand, other promotions, and the recruitment of Phil Sayle from Eric Wright as business development manager.
According to Rainford, “the business needed a refresh”.
“it’s what Steve would have wanted, for us to grow and succeed. It’s a testament to his legacy, that there’s a strong business plan and strong structure in place.”
Each director takes care of a separate stream of the business, however Critchlow said that “the logic is, it’s all connected, if we’re investing in people, we should turn out the best projects, and then if we have that sorted then performance should really look after itself.”
With a specialism in residential and social housing, Savage’s recruitment in 2017 brought new experience to the practice’s more established teams, and since joining, AEW has won places on four frameworks, for social and affordable housing, as well as increasing the volume of projects in this field with clients such as Trafford Housing Trust.
For Savage, AEW’s expanded residential offer hasn’t just acted as a separate work stream to the rest of the office. “We’ve seen a combining with existing commercial clients, so putting the two together has been very interesting. Particularly, commercial clients with landholdings looking to do other things with their stock, which adds to the work we’re doing increasingly with registered providers who need to do a lot more, be self-sufficient, and look at different ways to bring income.” Overall, AEW has 500 residential units on site, across different tenures, and a further 600 in the pipeline.
According to Rainford, the company has been intentionally diversifying its projects, but part of the battle has been perception.
“Historically, we’ve been very retail focused, and at peak, retail has been 65% of workload for the company, although externally perception may have been that we had more of an industrial focus. We’re now being a bit more targeted, growing that retail and industrial offer, but also looking at mixed-use, residential, and increased commercial developments. We’re not over-exposed in the city centre residential market, and we’re looking to be more active in peripheral towns.”
“Blurring the different sectors we operate in represents a blurring in the market,” added Critchlow. “It’s inconceivable to talk about a retail only, any scheme will have to have leisure in there, backed up by residential. Occupiers and employees are demanding retail space on their front door. Schemes need to be drawn from a variety of different component parts to be successful.”
Ensuring all schemes are held to a high standard, from sheds to offices and homes, is central to AEW, said Critchlow: “Some of our great projects could be big, rather dull-looking industrial sheds to other practices, but if we maximise the benefit of that to provide good employment space to the community in which it’s being built, and have brought good design solutions, then that’s a great project for us.
Commenting on AEW’s reputation as a delivery architect, he said: “We’ve previously talked ourselves down and beaten ourselves up about what the market thinks of us, but I’m proud that clients and contractors will come to us to deliver a project because of our technical expertise. But that’s not at the detriment to our design reputation.”
While AEW has a good regional spread of projects, historically it’s had fewer schemes in central Manchester. Work has included King Street Townhouse and a residential project for Glenbrook on Ellesmere Street, but is the practice looking to do more?
“We continue to bang on the door in Manchester, and deliver good schemes anywhere else. We can work in London across from the Houses of Parliament, or in Stockport across from the Town Hall, so would love to get the opportunities to do that kind of work in Manchester,” said Rainford. “But it’s incumbent on us to go out there, keep doing great work, and talk to people we haven’t done work with before.”
Asked about perpetual challenges for architects, of bidding for projects on frameworks, and facing pressure to deliver work speculatively, Critchlow said that while some frameworks had the right sentiment, many didn’t provide “a level playing field”.
“Some of the scenarios you pitch against on frameworks are make believe situations. Some people then pitch low numbers, because they know reality is not going to be anything like what they’ve priced, but they get their foot in the door, which is a cynical way of dealing with it.”
According to Rainford, AEW was firm that “we’re not entering into a race to the bottom with fees, we can’t compete with a two-man band, we’ve got to be profitable and be able to invest in our people, create the right environment and product. It’s not about being uncompetitive, but about not cutting our own throats. You can run around being busy fools, and not making much money.”
Overall, the practice was seeing “less pressure for large-scale speculative work. A lot of our clients talk about fees early on in projects, something which has changed recently.”
As AEW moves into its next phase, for Critchlow, his priority is “a focus on continual improvement, internally and externally.
“I’m a huge fan of British Cycling, and Team Sky’s 1% marginal gains, where everything is about, don’t beat yourself up about if you’ll be perfect tomorrow, but if you make a slight improvement to how you were today, you’re going in the right direction.
“If everyone in the company is doing that, then the opportunities are endless.”
To read the full aticle head to Place North West: https://www.placenorthwest.co.uk/news/opportunities-endless-as-aew-looks-to-next-phase/
Ellesmere Street Practical Completion
Practical completion has been reached on one of our most prominent sites across Manchester, which has been developed by Glenbrook. The Trilogy in Castlefield delivers aspirational living spaces of 232 high quality apartments over 3 interlinked buildings of up to 12 storeys for the private rented sector (market rent).
Constructed by Grahams on a constrained site, our design focussed on the emerging accommodation typology for the region, and encompasses resident amenities including a gym, concierge, basement car park and cycle storage. The project maximises design benefits of external space by creating an attractive courtyard terrace for residents and enhanced public realm.
Our team take part in RIBA Student Mentoring Programme
As part of our commitment to invest our time, energy and knowledge into the education of the future generations of our industry, we are very proud to have taken part in the RIBA Student Mentoring Programme for our third consecutive year. The scheme, which was founded in Manchester in 2015, aims to enhance the students’ academic education by offering an insight and experience of design, project delivery and the day to day workings of an architectural practice.
Our team mentored 4 second year students from the Manchester School of Architecture. They have attended regular visits to AEW to gain an understanding of how our practice operates. The students experienced some of our projects through VR, attended a site visit, office briefings and design reviews, as well as receiving support on CV writing, interview technique and portfolio presentation.
Birchwood Park set to start on site next month
The second phase of industrial units at The Quadrant, Birchwood Park is set to start on site next month with a completion date in early 2020. We have been involved with Birchwood Park for over 20 years with this being the sixth phase we have delivered.
It comprises 170,000ft² of industrial units on the Warrington Council owned park and will be a mix of two 18,000ft² units, a 24,000ft² unit and larger 50,000ft² and 58,000ft² units.
Guest lecture in BIM
It’s part of our ongoing policy to always nurture and educate the next generation, it’s who we are as a practice. Last week our BIM Manager headed off to Bolton University to host a guest lecture on BIM for the Project Management students.
“As part of our role at AEW we always focus on sharing and imparting knowledge, not just to help each other but to ensure the next generation of property professionals are geared up to industry standards, work flows and expectations. Going back to Bolton Uni was not only a fantastic opportunity to meet a great bunch of students, but it’s close to my heart as that is where it started for me in higher education.” Mark Turner BIM Manager.
“Thank you very much for delivering such a fantastic lecture on BIM as a project management tool to our final year construction management students yesterday. As an alumnus and current member of our Industry Advisory Board (IAB) for construction, your guest lecture contributes immensely towards enhancing our curriculum. As you may be aware, engagement with industry is essential for us as it enables students to see the practical aspects of theories from industry experts like yourself.” Rukaya Dake
Plans in for £150m Church Wharf
As part of our work at Church Wharf, Bolton, we have submitted a hybrid planning application for Muse Developments for this development. We are asking for full consent to start demolition and delivering infrastructure, as well as outline permission for later phases including 350 homes and 130,000sqft of offices and leisure.
Church Wharf is part of the £1bn wider regeneration plan for Bolton town centre, which is made up of various development zones. Church Wharf will comprehensively regenerate this important gateway, to create a vibrant place that will welcome people into the town to work, visit, and live.
For the full article head over to Place North West.
Future of Retail with Place North West
We are sponsoring Place North West’s ‘Future of Retail’ event in September. Get your tickets here: https://www.placenorthwest.co.uk/events/future-of-retail-2019/
“From bricks to clicks, the death and rebirth of the High Street, and the rapid retraction of household names, replaced with booming ecommerce brands who occupy sheds rather than shops; retail is in a state of flux. Join us to debate its future, and learn how the property sector can be on the front foot with the ever-changing trends.”
Job Vacancy : Architectural Technician
Come and join our fantastic team! Please send your CV to email@example.com.
"Busy City Centre (Manchester) Architects with a buoyant workload can offer an immediate start for an experienced Architectural Technician. The successful candidate will be given significant responsibility and will have the opportunity to work on a multitude of exciting projects, spanning all commercial sectors in an energetic and stimulating environment. The ideal candidate will have 3 years + experience, will possess sound technical and construction knowledge, be proficient in the use of Autocad and Revit and be up to date with current building regs and codes of practice."
Liverpool Shopping Park - Second Phase - Approved
The second phase of Liverpool Shopping Park has been approved by Liverpool City Council. The scheme which will create hundreds of jobs, will include a leisure block comprising a six-screen cinema, a new state of the art Hollywood Bowl, as well as a gym and five restaurant units on the ground floor. A separate building will accommodate a 60,000sqft anchor retail store and a further 16 smaller retail units. This new phase will bring Liverpool Shopping Park’s total retail offer to in excess of 300,000sqft and will add new high street brands to the park, which includes Next, M&S Food Hall, River Island, H&M, TK Maxx and Smyths Toys. Ross Huntington, Associate Director said ‘This is another fantastic planning success for our long standing client, The Derwent Group and the city of Liverpool. The team are looking forward to starting on site in Spring/Summer 2019 and continuing our work on this iconic and exciting gateway scheme.’
Radius in the running for Regional Awards
We are delighted that Radius is in the running for three fantastic awards by the BCO and RICS. It is a finalist in the ‘Corporate Workplace’ North of England category for the British Council for Offices and shortlisted in both the ‘Commercial’ category and ‘The Design and Innovation’ category for the RICS North West Awards. The design of the building has allowed Radius to recognise and celebrate the heritage of the business and its future potential.
“The opening of the new HQ is a crucial moment in Radius’ history and even more important that it is based in Crewe. We have tried to build a mix of professional workspace with some nice relaxation and informal areas to create a great environment for our employees. We now have a unique, modern base which will further enhance our ability to attract new talent. Thank you to the team at Pochin’s and all other consultants on the project.” Bill Holmes, CEO at Radius Payment Solutions.
McDonald's Iconic London Bridge Restaurant Opens
Continuing our work for McDonald's Restaurants Ltd, one of our most recent projects is proudly located within the London Bridge Redevelopment site, basking in the shadows of one of London’s most iconic towers, The Shard . The store was carefully designed to maximise the brands modern restaurant feel and hi tech ordering systems, while respectfully working with the Victorian railway features such as the original, magnificent brick arches. The final design incorporated an industrial feel with exposed ductwork and lighting to carry on the industrial heritage feel of this iconic site, which is owned by Network Rail.
Employer Cafe - Meeting the Next Generation
Our commitment to investing in the next generation continues. We attended a great initiative called the ‘Employment Café’ set up by Manchester School of Architecture, where members of our team could meet with students looking to move forward in their journey to become architects. Overall the day was a great success, there was a fantastic turn out from both students and practices.
Church Wharf Showcase
Our full proposals for the £150m Church Wharf project in Bolton town centre, which we are working on for Muse Deevelopments have now been revelaed. The scheme promises a placemaking and public realm-focussed approach to the underused and largely derelict site.
The project which is at pre-application stage, features a residential-led mixed use development including around 320 homes as well as the potential for a hotel, offices, and ground-floor retail and commercial space. There will be a mix of one, two, and three-bed flats along with duplexes and townhouses.
The full news article can be seen in Place North West
Knowsley Business Park
We are continuing our work with Peel, this time focussing on an industrial led project in Knowsley. Peel has put in an updated planning application for up to 800,000sqft at Knowsley Business Park, following the a lapsed planning application from 2015. Peel is still looking to build out the site, which is now primed and ready for development.
For the full news story please go to Place North West.
RMHC Oxford - On Site
Our most recent project with RMHC has now started on site. The new 62-bedroom house, which started on site in December 2018, is due for completion by summer 2020. The facility will provide free ‘home away from home’ accommodation for families whose children are undergoing treatment at Oxford Children’s Hospital, as well as Children’s Critical Care and Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) on the John Radcliffe Hospital Site.
Success on Homes England Framework
AEW are delighted to have been named as part of the Curtins team as one of twenty housing specialists selected by Homes England for their new Multidisciplinary Framework. The new framework will require the team to provide technical advice, services and design input that will help Homes England prepare brownfield and surplus public sector land for residential development.
The framework is open to registered providers, local authorities, healthcare trusts, colleges, schools, higher education providers, and all other government bodies.
During the next four years, the framework will enable procurement of £100m worth of services. It will support Homes England in achieving their objectives of accelerating the market by using their resources and influence to positively increase the scale and quality of housing delivery
Tony Dolan, Executive Director of Curtins, commented, “Curtins are really proud to have been successful on this framework, and to be working with organisations such as AEW who have a similar ownership structure, ethos and approach.
Colin Savage, Director of AEW commented, “We look forward to working with Curtins in assisting Homes England in accelerating to delivery of much needed housing. This framework sits perfectly with our work on JV North, Fusion 21 and Forviva frameworks together with private sector regeneration projects in Bolton, Stockport and Manchester.”
Radius Campus, Crewe
We are delighted and proud to announce that Radius Campus has been shortlisted for the British Council of Office Awards 2019 in the ‘Corporate Workplace North of England’ category.
The 66,000ft² state of the art global headquarters building, which officially opened on 11th December 2018, will accommodate over 500 people and includes an on-site gym, café and breakout areas with PlayStations, pool and table tennis tables, giving staff the opportunity to relax within a contemporary working environment.
Phil Hepworth, Associate Director at AEW Architects, said “from the outset the building design was about providing an inspiring space, which the people at Radius would be proud to call home. Together with the project team including Pochin, Radius and interior designer Space Invader, we created a flexible contemporary office building, with a striking exterior set in a mature landscape. Internally there are multitude of wellbeing facilities, meeting areas and work spaces, all connected by a highly glazed 17m high atrium at the heart of the building. Our tailored approach, using collaborative 3D modelling and virtual reality helped craft a bespoke yet BCO compliant building that will help Radius to continue to grow and evolve”.
Bill Holmes, CEO at Radius Payment Solutions, said: “The opening of the new HQ is a crucial moment in Radius’ history and even more important that it is based in Crewe. We have tried to build a mix of professional workspace with some nice relaxation and informal areas to create a great environment for our employees. We now have a unique, modern base which will further enhance our ability to attract new talent. Thank you to the team at Pochin and all other consultants on the project”.
Church Wharf, Bolton
Plans for Church Wharf, a new £150m neighbourhood in the heart of Bolton has been unveiled. Regenerating a fairly unloved and forgotten part of Bolton alongside the River Croal will create a vibrant and thriving community. Currently at the pre-application stage, Church Wharf will be a residential-led mixed use development including around 320 homes as well as the potential for a hotel, offices, and ground-floor retail and commercial space.
A fantastic project to be involved in working with Muse Developments and Bolton Council. A public consultation will be held later this month followed by a planning submission in spring. The full team on the project includes landscape architect CW Studio; planning consultant DPP; quantity surveyor Abacus; WSP on highways; and Scott Hughes Design as civil and structural engineer.
For further information on Church Wharf, visit https://www.churchwharfbolton.co.uk/
Supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities
Over the last few months, the team at AEW have given up their spare time to design and handcraft Christmas cards to support our chosen charity, Ronald McDonald House Charities. Combined with the proceeds from our Christmas Jumper Day and Big Lunch, we raised £700 to help RMHC provide families with a free ‘home away from home’ which enables them to stay close by while their children are in hospital across the UK. To find out more about the charity, please visit their website.
A huge thank you to everyone who contributed and donated to help make a difference.
Bilal Ravat becomes a Chartered Architectural Technologist
Congratulations to Bilal who is now a Chartered Architectural Technologist, MCIAT.
Bilal joined AEW in 2016 as a Technician and has worked on key projects in the retail sector including refurbishment, new build and modular buildings for McDonald’s and Domino’s.
We are extremely proud of Bilal for his commitment and continuous development to technological design and look forward to supporting him in his career.
WW1 Chorley Pals Memorial
It is incredible to see the WW1 Chorley Pals Memorial complete in advance of remembrance Sunday. We are pleased to be a part of the town centre regeneration project with the memorial being the first area to be completed, marking this special occasion for Chorley. The 80,000 ft² shopping centre is currently on site adjacent to the memorial, consisting of a 2 storey building including new leisure facilities, office space and an improved public realm.
Lighting, new paving and benches and two interpretation boards (donated by Eric Wright Construction) have been installed around the statue. Each evening, the statue will be illuminated, courtesy of Chorley Council.
Future Carrington Ground Breaking Ceremony
Last week we were delighted to help HIMOR celebrate the start of Future Carrington, one of the largest regeneration projects of its kind in North West England. It was fantastic to see Will Ainscough, Mark Booth and Andrew Bain of HIMOR together with Kate Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston and Andrew Western, Leader of Trafford Council break ground to mark this special occasion.
Future Carrington will bring over 15,000 jobs and up to 7,000 new homes to the area in the coming years. The first phase, our 212,000 ft² Carrington Gateway scheme, which was granted Reserved Matter planning consent last month, will establish Carrington as a thriving business location. Work on the first new homes at Carrington Village will follow in the new year.
Dave Somers added, “We are extremely proud to have been appointed by HIMOR on a framework agreement to help realise their ambitious long-term vision for Carrington. The start of Carrington Gateway is the culmination of a huge amount of hard work from the entire team, but it is just the start of an amazing project that will create a lasting legacy for Carrington and the surrounding communities.”
Regenerating vertical communities
AEW are currently involved in a series of innovative refurbishments of existing apartment blocks constructed in the 1970s. The blocks situated in the borough of Salford vary in height from 16 to 23 storey and have a combined total of 234 apartments within the towers which can accommodate up to approximately 624 residents.
These communities were once earmarked to be rehoused due to the planned regeneration of the area but were given a new lease of life when funding was secured to modernise the blocks. Working closely in collaboration with the client Salix Homes, the residents and main contractor Casey Group, some of the issues the communities were experiencing were:
Via client led consultations and buildability / cost advise from the contractor we combined this knowledge with our vast skills and experience in regeneration and refurbishment. This led to a design strategy which achieved a sustainable, safe and energy efficient outcome. This will ensure the communities will continue into the future and remain an iconic presence on the Salford skyline. Acting as lead designer we achieved this by:
Our director Colin Savage commented
"We have found that working in partnership with the key stakeholders has led to a risk based approach. By identifying and taking ownership of the risks all issues were addressed through the design and construction phases. The outcome has resulted in a coordinated, efficient and cost effective solution which will provide a sustainable future for the apartment blocks."
Canada Street clean up
AEW Architects undertook a clean up at Canada Street in Manchester on Thursday 19th July 2018 for the charity Walking With The Wounded.
The regeneration of the street was led by Colin Savage, Director at AEW, whilst working at his previous practice. The abandoned houses were transformed into a stunning village for war veterans on DIY SOS in 2015, helping veterans and their families reintegrate back into society.
Overgrown weeds and peeling paint to public areas left the street needing a makeover. Continuing our social value commitments, 50 AEW employees along with the help of residents spent the afternoon cleaning up the street; picking weeds, sweeping back alleys, painting the carpark fence and planting some beautiful plants for the residents to look after. Hard work paid off with the street looking transformed and happy residents when completed.
A visit from Lord Mayor of Manchester, support from Manchester City Council and donations from local florists created a fantastic buzz around the nearby streets of Canada Street.
"I want to thank all the team from AEW Architects for coming along to Canada Street to undertake the great work they did. Everyone wanted to be here and all had a smile on their face and were very hard working. Beneficiaries of Walking With The Wounded were involved on the day as well as some of the residents and feedback has been that it was ‘extremely amazing what the team came and did, they have now given us the impetus to keep our community clean and safe for all'." Gary, Associate Director at Walking With The Wounded
Wythenshawe starting on site
147 affordable housing units in Wythenshawe Town Centre has started on site for Garden City Homes. Colin Savage was thrilled to be on the MEA site and part of the joyous moment along with Garden City Homes and Wythenshawe Community Housing Group.
McDonald's Oxford Street re-opening
McDonald’s has now re-opened on Oxford Street, London with a fresh new interior concept. A fantastic project to be involved in, refurbishing a flagship store in the heart of London.
AEW Onesie Wednesday 2018
On Wednesday 28th March 2018, AEW Architects took part in `Onesie Wednesday` to raise money for the National Autistic Society.
As part of Onesie Wednesday, staff donated money to wear their onesie's and took part in raffles and a sweeptake. A total of £310 was raised for the charity.
Autism is a lifelong disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. There are approximately 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK.
Steve's Superhero Walk
A huge thank you to everyone who joined Steve’s Superhero Walk on Sunday 18th February. Approximately 600 people walked from the AEW office to Ronald McDonald House, Manchester with lots of fun activities and food once we arrived at the House.
We have raised a fantastic £17,025.70 so far from Steve’s #superherowalk.
Steve’s experience as Chair of Ronald McDonald House in Manchester, the love for his own family and understanding of the pressures and stress through illness has resulted in a new resolve: an aim to raise £250,000 to convert three spaces in the Manchester House into larger 6 person family rooms and to do it in his lifetime. The rooms will be named in Steve’s honour. For further information on Ronald McDonald House Charities, please see their website.
For other events taking place, please follow SteveBurneRooms on Twitter.
Colin Savage joins board of directors
Colin and his six-strong specialist housing team joined AEW in May 2017 and currently have a number of new projects underway since the Government’s announcement of housing shortages. AEW currently work with clients such as Glenbrook, Trafford Housing Trust, Wythenshawe Community Housing, Trafford Hall Hotel, Seddons, Muse and CTL Estates, to name but a few.
Andy Critchlow, AEW Managing Director, said: “Colin and his team have made a seamless transition into AEW since joining us and are a perfect fit for our culture and values. Our accommodation sector now includes apartments, hotels, hospital accommodation, volume housing, social housing and private housing, and feedback from our clients has been extremely positive. As an experienced Director in other businesses, we welcome Colin’s strengths to our board.”
Colin Savage added: “Combining the team’s specialism and experience to AEWs renowned architecture skills, technological advances and resources, has enabled us to develop a unique offering in the accommodation sector. We are already working with a number of providers to deliver several new projects and I am very much looking forward to what the next twelve months will bring us.”
Five tips for designing better mass housing
Top five tips for designing great places
1. Space Standards and internal layouts
Aim to exceed minimum nationally described space standards. Where dwellings are designed for wheelchair users refer to Cat 3 standards. Check local authority planning policy and funders requirements.
Adequate space provides layouts that can accommodate the correct furniture and provide layouts with regard to relationship between rooms. Ensure a balance of social space and private space. Build in flexibility to adapt the home in the future.
2. Place making
Establishing a strong sense of place creates a sustainable built environment which provides well designed homes and neighbourhoods. Respond to local character and history whilst promoting innovation through the design. Does the scheme take into consideration each of the key categories of built for Life standards.
Providing barrier free homes and environments benefits all users and visitors. Exceed approved Doc M 4(1) by referring to detailed publications such as BS8001, wheelchair housing design guide, lifetime homes, dementia guidance, RNIB etc. Engage with local groups to gauge opinion on way finding and accessibility. Auditing of designs at early stage will ensure that planning policies are considered and allowed for.
4. Communal Spaces
Design shared spaces that are secure, naturally lit and encourage social interaction within the building and outdoor amenity spaces. Ensure utilities and services are easy to maintain and accessible. Technology in apartment blocks in advancing at pace, ensure building is designed to embrace modern technology and infrastructure.
5. Design Team
Appointing the right team at the earliest opportunity is crucial to the process of delivering a successful project. This ensures the strategic brief is developed with shared visions and clear objectives. The team should have the correct skills appropriate to the size of the project and should include design team members, contractors and stakeholders. This will ensure that creativity and constructability is delivered in partnership with the community to create great places to live.
Ronald McDonald House, Evelina wins London Construction Award 2017
AEW are pleased to announce that Ronald McDonald House Evelina has won the London Construction Awards 2017 for the Architectural Design of the Year Category.
The LCA’s recognise achievements, developments and innovation within London’s booming construction industry. Ronald McDonald House is a great example of this, with the House being situated in the heart of London to support Evelina London Children’s Hospital. The House neighbours Grade I listed Lambeth Palace and Gardens, as well as the surrounding Conservation Area and listed buildings. It provides a welcoming, comfortable and inclusive environment, key to the Charities `home away from home` ethos, in supporting the 975 families expected to be accommodated each year.
Royal Visit for Ronald McDonald House, Evelina
The Duchess of Cambridge officially opened Ronald McDonald House, Evelina on 28th February 2017. Her Royal Highness met the families, staff, doctors and nurses from Evelina’s Children’s Hospital. The Duchess was then taken on a tour of the new £21m flagship house before unveiling a plaque to mark the official opening.
Ronald McDonald House Evelina London was designed and built to support Evelina London Children’s Hospital, part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, to provide a ‘home away from home’ for families of children staying at the hospital. AEW Architects have worked with Ronald McDonald House Charities for over ten years, and have completed five new builds as well as having a further two major projects with planning consent.
The £21m flagship House is situated in the heart of London, neighbouring Grade I listed Lambeth Palace and Gardens, as well as the surrounding Conservation Area and listed buildings. The design of the House began with a detailed contextual study of the immediate context, identifying key features which were integral to the fabric of the Conservation Area. The resulting design aimed to respond to, but not copy, these surroundings in a contemporary yet sympathetic manner, ultimately enhancing the sensitive and historic character of the area.
Please click here for further information on Ronald McDonald House, Evelina.
Moneypenny highly commended for RICS Award 2017
Moneypenny has been highly commended in the Commercial Category for this years Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Wales Awards 2017.
The RICS Awards took place on the 27 April 2017 and showcases the achievements of the most inspirational regional initiatives and developments in land, property, construction and the environment. Earlier this month, the project also won the Corporate Workplace Award at the BCO Awards 2017.
Moneypenny’s new headquarters opened its doors in September 2016. The new 91,000 sqft head offices in Wrexham, designed by AEW Architects have been said to rival the offices of Google and Apple, and boasts a tree house meeting room, nature trails, vegetable gardens and even its own pub.
Emma Rayner becomes chartered Architect
We are delighted to announce that Emma Rayner has recently passed her final qualification and is now registered as a Chartered Architect with the RIBA.
Emma joined AEW in 2010 as a Part 1 Architectural Assistant, after studying at Newcastle University for three years. Emma then completed a two year masters course in 2011 at the Manchester School of Architecture before returning to AEW in 2013.
During her time at AEW, Emma has worked on the design and delivery of key projects including accommodation buildings for Ronald McDonald House Charities at Cardiff and Oxford, the latter undergoing a full CABE review.
Managing Director, Steve Burne comments “We are extremely proud of Emma for qualifying, which is a really difficult and challenging process, especially whilst carrying out an important job role. Emma is a great asset to the company and a very talented designer. We will continue to support her throughout her career.”
We expand our housing expertise
AEW Architects has completed the transfer of an experienced housing team from a well known practice based in Heaton Mersey, as the award winning practice bolsters its specialist accommodation sector offering and increases its capacity for project opportunities in housing design and delivery.
Already briefed on a series of housing projects, the new team of six brings a wealth of experience and expertise in this sector to complement the existing 71-strong AEW practice of architects, interior designers and architectural technicians. Headed up by former director, Colin Savage, the Housing team has a strong track record having won a host of awards for its multi-million pound schemes nationwide.
Upon securing the team, AEW managing director, Steve Burne, said: “Housing projects and Social Housing in particular was identified as a target area within our Business Plan, to complement our other accommodation work in apartments, hotels and hospital accommodation. To obtain a team of highly regarded specialists is a real coup for AEW and gives added diversity in this continually growing sector.”
Following recent BCO award success and RICS ‘Highly Commended’ for its commercial project, Moneypenny’s headquarters in Wrexham, North Wales, AEW will look to further increase its foothold across North West projects, in its specialist sectors of Offices, Retail, Industrial, Accommodation and Sport.
Colin Savage of AEW added: “Housing is a key driver in the Northern Powerhouse and Greater Manchester’s spatial framework agendas, which our clients have responded to positively in their development plans. Combining our housing expertise and experience with AEW’s renowned architecture skills, pedigree and resources, we are offering clients an enhanced service in delivering their goals. We are delighted to join AEW and be part of the practice’s next period of sustained growth.”
Bransholme water pumping station wins RICS Award 2017
Yorkshire Water’s Bransholme Storm Water Pumping Station, Hull project won the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Yorkshire and Humber 2017 Award in the Infrastructure category.
Housed beneath a noise-reducing green living roof, the Bransholme upgrade quadrupled capacity to protect homes that had suffered severe flooding. AEW worked on the detailed design and delivery whilst working alongside GHD to design the superstructure, suspended floors and removable pre-cast concrete structures over the Archimedes screw pumps that support the living green roof.
The judges at RICS said: “Bransholme Storm Water Pumping Station is a superb example of contemporary engineering, designed and delivered with the passion and expertise typically associated with Victorian infrastructure. Innovative use of ancient technology combined with a bold and confident architectural response has resulted in a facility that is welcomed by the local community, not just as a ‘flood alleviation scheme’ but as a local landmark; a symbol if you will of a community that will not be defeated by flooding.”
Rob Dickson, Associate at AEW Architects commented “It has been a fantastic experience to work as part of committed and dedicated team. AEW are proud to have helped to deliver a facility that will help prevent up to 15,000 homes from being flooded.”
Beth Roebuck becomes chartered Architect
Congratulations to Bethany Roebuck who has passed her RIBA Part III examination in Professional Practice and is now a Chartered Architect.
Beth joined AEW in 2013 as a Part II Architectural Assistant, after studying at Northumbria University for five years.
During her time at AEW, Beth has worked on a wide range of projects including Liverpool Shopping Park, Rathbone Trade Park and Midpoint 18. She is also the office CPD Coordinator.
Moneypenny wins BCO Award 2017
AEW Architects has won the Corporate Workplace Award at the BCO Awards in Manchester on 5th April 2017 with their project Moneypenny, Wrexham. The awards programme provides public recognition for top quality design and functionality and a benchmark for excellence in workplaces.
Designed by AEW, the new 91,000 sq ft head office was completed last year and has been said to rival the offices of Google and Apple and boasts a tree house meeting room, nature trails, vegetable gardens and even its own pub.
The brief for the project was to ignore the norm, rip up the rule book and create a space that inspires. The challenge was to create a happy workplace on a budget, and the achievement is clear for all to see. This project demonstrates that bespoke design does not necessarily have to be expensive.
The Award judging panel commented “Despite working within a tight budget, this building succeeds in setting a benchmark for the telecoms industry. Design touches, such as a tree house, demonstrate how fun can be functional, and that this spacious office has the wellbeing of the Moneypenny team at its heart. The judges loved the inclusive and collaborative spirit that shines through in every detail, right down to giving staff vouchers to decorate their own desks.”
Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive of the BCO, commented: “This year’s awards showcase the eminence and value of new office development. With Moneypenny, it is clear that the welfare of the workforce was at the heart of the approach and end product, and this focus has led to the innovative and cost effective design of numerous social spaces. Alongside the other buildings recognised at this year’s awards, Moneypenny sets a high standard of quality for future projects around the UK.”
The project team included Pochin’s Ltd, Hatrick Property as Development Director, Avid Property Consultants, Cundall, CW Studio and Todd and Ledson.
RIBA student mentoring programme
AEW Architects are very proud to be taking part in the RIBA Student Mentoring programme. The scheme was founded in Manchester in 2015 and aims to enhance the students’ academic education by demonstrating design in practice and offering an insight and experience of the business of architecture.
Associates at AEW, Alex Southall and Ross Huntingdon are mentoring Ceri Baxter and Jumana Taraz , who are second year students from Manchester School of Architecture. They will attend regular visits to AEW to gain an understanding of how a professional practice operates. The students will attend a series of site visits, project meetings and design reviews as well as receiving support on professionally related matters including CV writing, interview techniques, portfolio presentation and presentation techniques.
Andy Rainford, Director at AEW Architects commented, ‘as a Chartered Practice we are delighted to be able work with the RIBA and Manchester School of Architecture, to enhance and safeguard the future of our profession by inspiring, motivating and mentoring the next generation, which is one of our core values as a sustainable business’.
Moneypenny highly commended at Mixology Awards 2016
Moneypenny has been Highly Commended at the Mixology North16 Awards after being shortlised in the Large Commercial Interiors Project of the Year category. Mixology North16 Awards is the North’s most prestigious award ceremony and created for the dynamic and innovative interior design community.
Moneypenny’s new head quarters opened its doors in September 2016. The new 91,000 sq ft head office in Wrexham designed by AEW Architects have been said to rival the offices of Google and Apple, and boast a tree house meeting room, nature trails, vegetable gardens and even its own pub.