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Contractor picked to help deliver nationally important project

Monday 16 May 2022

Morgan Sindall Construction have been selected to work as a preferred contractor to help deliver the nationally ground-breaking Western Way development in West Suffolk.

The multi-million investment in public services and new employment space, to be delivered at neutral cost to taxpayers, is being led by West Suffolk Council on behalf of local public sector partners. It also includes a replacement of Bury St Edmunds’ ageing leisure centre and new community health facilities on behalf of the NHS.

Morgan Sindall Construction was chosen as preferred contractor following a rigorous and very competitive process under the Pagabo National Major Works Framework. 

The Western Way Development brings together a range of partners from the public services and the private sector. Not only will Western Way provide new facilities for the community, but it will also make it easier for people to access community health and leisure services and at the same time improve their wellbeing. 

Western Way is also part of the wider programme of community hubs across the whole of West Suffolk. Mildenhall Hub, which opened in 2021, is already showing more use of leisure and library facilities as well as closer working between them, the NHS, the Family hub and a whole range of other public and voluntary services.

A new hub also opened in 2021 at Brandon Leisure Centre and a hub project is planned for Haverhill as part of its town centre masterplan.

The development will use and recycle the old current depot building on the Olding Road site and with the use of renewables, such as solar and battery storage, will meet the ambition of being as far as possible ‘off the grid’.

The plans, which will be delivered in a phased way, include modern facilities for leisure and health services as well as for the private and public sector. It will also integrate with public services already based next door in West Suffolk House and at West Suffolk College. Engaging with their users, the existing skatepark will also be upgraded and a new pavilion will be provided for the athletics track so it can operate as a standalone facility and continue to host competitions.

Morgan Sindall Construction and their supply chain will now work with Western Way partners and their professional team during a second stage of tendering for the scheme. This stage will also include engagement with key stakeholders to finalise designs and costs.

No contract will be awarded until the second stage of tendering is complete in early 2023, and ratified by councillors, to ensure that the council’s break-even financial tests for the project are still being met on behalf of the taxpayer. 

Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “The Western Way Development will benefit residents across West Suffolk and is part of wider work to improve the prosperity, health and wellbeing of our communities. It is a multi-million investment in all our futures and a nationally ground-breaking initiative which will transform the way public services work together. This is an exemplar of the One Public Estate ethos while at the same time creating new and better jobs. As such the competition for this contract attracted nationally recognised and well-respected companies, for which we are very grateful. Well done to Morgan Sindall Construction on making it through the first stage of the process and we look forward to working with this highly respected company.” 

Cllr Jo Rayner, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs for West Suffolk Council, said: “From the beginning we have designed this scheme to be cost neutral and flexible to meet future needs. To that end we have carried out a rigorous and nationally recognised tendering process to ensure we have a highly professional contractor with an excellent track record who will meet the needs of this vital project. We were pleased to receive a number of high-quality tenders and congratulations to Morgan Sindall Construction who we will now be working with to complete the second stage of the process and ensure it remains viable for taxpayers. Western Way will bring a range of public and private services together into one place to deliver benefits greater than the sum of their parts.”

Peter Whitmore, Managing Director for Morgan Sindall Construction's East region, said: “We’re delighted that West Suffolk Council have entrusted Morgan Sindall Construction with what promises to be a transformative development for Bury St Edmunds and the wider community. As a business committed to creating positive social value in the communities in which we operate, and personally being a resident of the town, we’re already well in-tune with the areas where real value can be created for the people of West Suffolk in the completed Western Way development, and also throughout the entirety of the construction process.”