WALTHAM FOREST TOWN HALL CAMPUS
Building a new neighbourhood and giving back public space to the community
330 new homes on site
300 homes on vacant land
50% affordable housing
9,000 sqm of council workspace
Renovation of Grade II listed Town Hall
“Inner Circle provide a quality product, they are a multi-disciplinary consultancy - there are not many that have the depth of that sector and I would say they are better than other consultancies as they walk in step with you and actually one or two steps ahead of you. Rather than being directive, they understand relationships; they are technical but understand delivery in a complex environment and there’s always humour there at the end of the day. If you asked me how likely are you to ask you to bid/put a proposal in for future work? I’d say we’re already working with him again.”
Aiden McManus, Director of Property and Assets, LBWF
The Waltham Forest Town Hall Campus redevelopment is a borough-changing opportunity that builds on the legacy of London’s first Borough of Culture. The incredibly bold vision will set a new standard for regenerating a historic site and giving back public space to the local community.
This transformative plan will provide over 330 new homes on site and a further 300 on vacated assets. The scheme includes circa 9,000 square metres of modern, flexible workspace for the council staff, public sector partners and small businesses. Transformed from private spaces, the buildings will blur traditional lines of public and private workspace and social space. The quality of space is key to staff recruitment, retention and performance whilst also facilitating modern public sector collaborative working.
As a legacy for the Borough, works will renovate the Grade II listed Town and Assembly Hall, and create a new civic heart with a high quality public square. Family friendly and open to all, the space will support a creative events programme as part of the Borough of Culture Legacy.
The projects supports the borough’s vision of optimising the civic estate. The project aims to be cost neutral upon completion of all phases (by 2023). It will 50% affordable housing, delivering on a key priority of London’s Housing Policy. The design creates commercial opportunities to gain income for reinvestment in public services. The project and the wider estate reconfiguration is bound to catalyse further regeneration of the Forest Road corridor following the successful openings of the Walthamstow Wetland Centre, William Morris Gallery and One Hoe Street.
Our involvement began in 2017 when we worked with the Council’s Property Director to produce a borough-wide Property Strategy that blended regeneration aspirations, with the capital programme strategy and an emerging investment strategy. That created the framework for the council’s major projects.
The most significant project was the Town Hall Campus. So we were invited to take up the Project Directorship role. We began to assemble and led an award winning multidisciplinary team to help produce and deliver a transformative plan for the campus. Our focus was on delivering quality and ensuring we accelerated the pace of delivery. We managed the necessary procurements, gave the project structure, created and led a network of senior workstream owners (blending consultants and in-house staff) to progress what is now a multi-award winning project.
Our impact has been to increase pace, optimise ROI for the client through densification, good design and value engineering. We built public support, upped design quality and increased efficiency of existing work space. Of course this could not have been done alone and we pride ourselves on positive collaboration with the very best partners: architects, engineers, valuers and staff.
This project will create jobs and 17 apprenticeships with a net annual gross value added of £16.5m to the local community. We forecast revenue from local residents, businesses, and visitors of £5.8m and indirect revenue from reductions in JSA claims, spending from LBWF staff and businesses, and reduction in health care costs to be valued at £4.5m.
In terms of longer lasting impact, the 20th-century art deco ensemble will be preserved and enhanced by the synergies brought by new cultural programmes and a multifunctional town square.
The project has the potential to become a model for other town halls and civic centres across the world. It features in London’s public housing guide and recognition of our efforts and the progress which was made the project received the Highly Commended award, at the Planning and Placemakers Award 2019 for Best Use of Publicly-owned land.
Harrow Civic Centre