Decision to be made on which Company will build the Worcester Library & History Centre 25.03.09

Decision to be made on which Company will build the Worcester Library & History Centre 25.03.09

29 March 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet will meet next week to decide on which private company will be asked to build the pioneering Worcester Library and History Centre.



Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet will meet next week to decide on which private company will be asked to build the pioneering Worcester Library and History Centre.
The £60 million centre is a joint project between the County Council and the University of Worcester with support from regional development agency Advantage West Midlands and Worcester City Council. The combined facility, believed to be the first of its kind in Europe, will draw together the County Council's library services for the City Centre with its History Centre, Record Office and archaeologists, as well as library facilities provided by the University.

It will be built on The Butts site through a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) which brings together the public and private sectors. The County Council's Cabinet will meet on Thursday, April 2, to decide on whether or not to appoint Galliford Try as their approved contractor.

Galliford Try were one of two companies finally bidding for the Worcester Library and History Centre and officers have recommended that Cabinet selects them as the preferred bidder. Their bid was considered to meet all the design, technical and facility-management requirements laid down as part of the tendering process, and should also be at the cutting edge of environmental performance creating a comfortable, low-energy, naturally-ventilated building.

Patrick Birch, the County Council's Director of Corporate Services, said: "This is a very exciting time for a very exciting project. While both bids were of a very high standard, the Galliford Try proposal stood out as exceptional.

"It meets our expectations for a landmark destination that will contribute significantly to the City. It would provide a unique and inspirational facility that will deliver joined up services and levels of access never achieved before and contribute to the whole community."

Anne Hannaford, Director of Information and Learning Services at the University of Worcester, added: “After many years talking about this project this is a very exciting step forward. People will be able to enjoy the riches of an integrated university and public library with university texts sitting side-by-side the public library collections. There will be access to information, advice and support; and digital technology throughout the building.”

The Worcester Library and History Centre will not just provide first-rate learning and heritage facility, it also plays a role in the regeneration of the City Centre and will create a number of jobs.

It will be open to all members of the public, as well as students at the University.

If Cabinet approve Galliford Try's bid, a planning application will be lodged with the City Council in the middle of April and heard by committee within 13 weeks. If permission is granted, construction work could start in September this year with the project finished in early 2012.

Notes to Editors

Further details of the proposal are available in the Cabinet agenda, which is available here: http://worcestershire.whub.org.uk/home/wccindex/wcc-mas/wcc-mas-dsu/wcc-mas-committee-services/wcc-cs-lads-agendas-cab-020409.

There will be a Press Briefing immediately following the Cabinet meeting on Thursday, April 2 at County Hall, Worcester. The meeting itself starts at 10am. Representatives from both the County Council and the University of Worcester will be on hand to outline this fantastic project and answer any questions, while images will also be available on the day.

If you wish to attend, contact either Lee Shrimpton, Worcestershire County Council Senior Communications Officer, on 01905 766573, or Sally Jones, University of Worcester Press Officer, on 01905 857517

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