Stepnell welcomes trio of trainees on Bluebell

Category: Frameworks

Our Bluebell ward project Walton Hospital in Chesterfield is proving to be the ideal training ground for young people starting their careers in the construction industry.

The project, for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, is part of the Making Room for Dignity programme. Procured through the Procure Partnership Framework, once refurbished, the ward will provide 12 single ensuite inpatient rooms for older adults with mental healthcare needs. Each patient will have access to specialist older people clinicians focused in a safer ward environment to allow them to heal.

Currently, 18% of our workforce is made up of trainees and graduates out of 327 employees. Our target to recruit 10% of our workforce each year as new entrant trainees ensures we safeguard our future workforce needs, and that we have a pipeline of talent who are being trained at all levels and in all disciplines. We currently have 43 new emerging talent employees, including trainees, apprentices, graduates, year out students and T Level students, within the business.  

McKenzie Hague started his career at Stepnell in 2021 and is a level 2 ground worker apprentice on the Bluebell project. His pathway into construction was originally in joinery before retraining as a ground worker. He is currently combining his studies at Stephenson College with paid work, which includes a mentor on site. His longer term goal is to progress to train future trainee ground workers like himself.

Studying for a BSc in Construction Site Management at Sheffield Hallam University, new recruit Will Mart is a trainee site manager at Bluebell. He joined us in January 2024. His previous role included projects at East Midlands Designer Outlet, Old Rectory, Clifton and Glenair in Mansfield.

Based in our Nottingham office and travelling regularly to site, Ben Sandhu is studying for a BSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management at Nottingham Trent University. Ben previously studied sports science before deciding to change direction. His existing skills were easily transferable to make the successful move into construction.

Former Stepnell apprentice and project manager on the Bluebell project, Scott Fullaway, said: “Will, Ben and McKenzie have all settled into this project really well. I am impressed with their hard working ethos and commitment to do a good job. They are all showing real promise and the potential for a long and successful career with us.”

Training manager, Jayne Suthard, added: “Training and development is fundamental in ensuring we employ the right people with the right skills to do the right jobs. Secondary to this is continuous learning and development, which ensures we keep abreast of modern working practices and operational requirements. We embrace young talent like these three trainees and recognise nurturing competent, motivated and well-trained people like them is essential to our continued success.”

Boathouse completed for leading girls School

Category: Leisure

Stepnell have completed the build of Maddy Moorings boathouse for Headington School in Oxfordshire. The new facilities will enhance the independent girl’s day and boarding school’s ability to develop rowing talent – home to one of the UK’s top school boat clubs.

Stepnell has built the new state-of-the-art two-storey boathouse on the river Thames, in Long Wittenham south of Abingdon. Designed by project architects Spratley & Partners, the boathouse can accommodate storage for up to 50 rowing boats.

The location and configuration of the boathouse were carefully designed to minimise impact on the site. Inside the building there is a large boat storage area, a multi-use training room and welfare facilities.

It will provide a first-class training facility for the school’s extremely high achieving rowing team for years to come.

Ian Batchelor, contracts manager at Stepnell, said: “Maddy Moorings boathouse has been an intricate project to provide modern and sustainable rowing facilities. The build is equally world-class in specification but also built with methods and materials of construction that were not disruptive to the local biodiversity during the build, nor will be in the long-term to the ecosystem along the river.”

“With the school being one of the UK’s top educational institutions for rowing, we are proud to have used our leisure expertise to deliver sporting infrastructure that will contribute significant lasting value to the schools’ future successes.”

The low-maintenance, energy-efficient boathouse, elevated on sixty steel columns includes an indoor communal area, with an accompanying balcony overlooking the river for spectating. Boats can be accessed and carried via three bespoke double doors opening up to a large staircase, all designed and built by Stepnell’s dedicated joinery team.

Completing the boathouse externally is a comprehensive package, including a stunning timber façade, river pontoons which rise and fall and a wet dock area. The wildflower roof proudly boasts biological variability. Enhanced road access routes, additional parking spaces and new surface water drainage have also been installed to improve the accessibility and usability of the site.

Bringing in expertise from ecologists at the Environment Agency, Stepnell ensured that any key environmental concerns would be identified and addressed before building along the Thames. This included undertaking flood risk management, identifying the presence of water voles and ensuring the protection of trees, bats, and nesting birds.

Stepnell Tops Out Main Entrance At Queen Alexandra Hospital

Category: Uncategorised

A MAJOR topping out milestone has been reached as part of entrance renovations at Queen Alexandra Hospital (QAH) it is completing on behalf of the Portsmouth Hospitals University (PHU) NHS Trust.

The completion of the main entrance roof marks significant progress to extend and enhance the hospital’s entrance. Works will now continue to finish the rest of the structure in time for opening in spring 2024.

A stronger partnership between neighbouring NHS trusts will help tackle the long-standing challenges of delivering healthcare for the Isle of Wight and ensure the provision of high quality, safe, and sustainable services to all the populations they serve.

Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust will take the logical next step in their Acute Services Partnership and this project will support continued engagement with partners and the public to shape the way forward.


The main entrance will include accessible toilet and changing spaces facilities, a lecture theatre, conferencing and boardroom facilities which will all support the Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust partnership. As well as a new M&S Food store and clothing store The Stock Shop. Stepnell is also expected to start works to the north entrance once the main entrance is completed.
Rob Speirs, director at Stepnell, said: “This significant milestone marks the fantastic progress we have made on the entrance works, in which we are helping PHU NHS Trust to create an accessible, functional and welcoming main entrance space for hospital staff, patients and the public and support the partnership between the two Trusts.


“While construction has been ongoing, we have made sure to limit disruption through installing a temporary side entrance and hoardings around the area of construction, closing the main revolving door at the existing entrance.


“With the main entrance nearing closer to completion, our attention will soon turn to focus on refurbishing the north entrance, which will include a reception, Costa Coffee and consultation areas, due for completion in autumn 2024.”

Construction of new forest school begins

Category: Construction

Construction works have begun for a new forest school at its South East Coalville development in Leicestershire, delivered for Harworth Group plc, a leading regenerator of land and property for sustainable development and investment, with support from North West Leicestershire District Council and Leicestershire County Council.

Designed by award-winning firm Lungfish Architects, with construction works by Stepnell, the two-form entry school is scheduled to open in 2024, providing 420 places. The new school demonstrates Harworth’s commitment, as part of the Harworth Way, to working with local authorities and other partners to create sustainable communities, with this facility set to benefit the more than 1,000 residents soon to be living on site and those living in the wider area too.

“It’s exciting seeing work starting on the build and we look forward to seeing it taking shape. This school will be a welcome addition to this community, providing much-needed school places and a lovely setting for learning in an innovative way.” Councillor Deborah Taylor, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for children and families

The school will be built to a bespoke design based on forest school principles. Originating in Scandinavia, the forest school approach promotes education through play and activity while nurturing creativity through self-activity and investigation. To facilitate this, the school design consists of six single storey buildings, designed as a series of pavilions, which include teaching space as well as the school’s hall, kitchen, administration facilities and early years accommodation, all linked by way of a cloister. The teaching pavilions are organised around groups of four classrooms, offering much sought-after flexible teaching opportunities through a range of teaching spaces, such as group rooms and shared learning spaces.

“This new forest school demonstrates the Harworth Way in action, working with local partners to deliver a valuable asset to the local community, creating a sense of place and further enhancing the attractiveness of South East Coalville and the wider area as a place to live. With sustainability at the heart of its design, it will provide a modern and inspiring learning environment that is befitting of its National Forest location. I am grateful to all our partners for facilitating this development, and especially to North West Leicestershire District Council and Leicestershire County Council for their continued support.” David Cockroft, Regional Director – Midlands, Harworth

The classroom spaces have been designed to ensure they are dynamic, naturally lit and naturally ventilated. The school will generate approximately 10% of its own electrical requirements through a roof-mounted solar PV panel system and will use air-source heat pumps to meet its heating requirements. The buildings are intended to complement the largely residential nature of the site, with a contemporary and unique feel that also reflects the National Forest setting.

“This part of North West Leicestershire continues to see a lot of growth and development and I am delighted to see the start of work to bring a new forest school to benefit families and residents in the area. Ensuring infrastructure like roads and schools is delivered for any new settlement is vital to securing the future of our towns and village, so I look forward to seeing the next generation walk through the school doors in September 2024.” Keith Merrie, North West Leicestershire District Council Portfolio Holder for Infrastructure

A groundbreaking ceremony took place on Tuesday 10 October, attended by members of the Harworth team, including Andrew Blackshaw, Chief Operating Officer, and David Cockroft, Regional Director for the Midlands, alongside Councillor Deborah Taylor, Deputy Leader of Leicestershire County Council and cabinet member for children and young people, Councillor Keith Merrie of North West Leicestershire District Council. The leaders also opened a new 21-acre park comprising a riverside corridor with amenity space and several biodiversity enhancement features.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Harworth, and to mark this milestone moment for South East Coalville and its new community, As the first purpose-built forest school for Leicestershire County Council, we are pioneering a model for forest school design that has the potential to shape a new generation of schools. These types of learning environments benefit our children’s wellbeing because of the nature of their design – or rather, because their design is focused on nature. The benefits of balancing indoor and outdoor learning, and the school design that supports it, are achieved by careful consideration of the long-term outcomes and the happiness of pupils and their teachers.” Simon Reid, Managing Director, Lungfish Architects

South East Coalville is Harworth’s largest residential development in its Midlands region. The 250-acre site is situated just two miles from Junction 22 of the M1, and has an outline planning consent for the creation of a sustainable new community of more than 2,000 homes. The development comprises two distinct areas: Hugglescote Grange to the north and Swinfen Vale to the south, both named after surrounding villages. Immediately to the south of the site, is Harworth’s Bardon Hill development, providing 332,000 sq. ft modern Grade A employment space.

To date, Harworth has sold land parcels for the delivery of 793 homes, to housebuilders Redrow, Bellway, Morris Homes and Cadeby Homes and delivered new green space including the planting of over 800 trees. The second phase of the scheme will see the development of new homes, as well as a local centre close to the entrance to the site, where the school will be located, opposite a new Aldi supermarket. More community amenities are planned to be delivered at the site in the coming years.

“Coalville Forest School is an exciting new development that we are delighted to be part of. The sustainable and creative design of the school is exceptional, and aligns well with our comprehensive construction offering at Stepnell. As a complete construction partner, we are proud of our skill to drive forward energy efficiency of buildings and create quality developments to be proud of – this project will be no exception. We are also proud of our strong regional reputation in the East Midlands, and look forward to delivering not only a fantastic project for the people of Coalville, but also leaving a lasting legacy of social value here too.” Tom Sewell, Regional Director, Stepnell

Transformation of engineering campus passes midpoint milestone

Category: Construction

Complete construction partner Stepnell has passed the midpoint of a capital project to substantially upgrade the engineering and technology centre at Leicester College.

Set to complete in November, the redevelopment of the facility on the Abbey Park Campus will provide students with updated learning facilities, to support the delivery of engineering T levels and other types of engineering qualifications.

Stepnell is delivering the construction of a design led by Moss Architecture. Interiors Ltd. The multidisciplinary design team includes quantity surveyors from MDA Ltd, as well as mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers from Steven Hunt Associates Ltd and structural engineers from Price & Myers Ltd.

The project includes the introduction of and upgrade to new industry standard laboratories. These will be used to teach students across specialist engineering disciplines, including electrical engineering, electronic engineering, pneumatic and hydraulics, programmable logic controllers (PLC) and robotics.

A new mechanical engineering workshop is also being constructed by Stepnell to accommodate industry-standard lathes and milling machines. Additionally, a specialist hand skills development and projects area, welding booths and a state-of-the-art grinding room will be integrated to enhance the hands-on learning experience.

Tom Sewell, regional director at Stepnell, said: “With a consistent pipeline of projects within the education sector, this is the third project we have undertaken for Leicester College. We have a key focus to continue developing lasting public sector client relations. “We understand the college’s needs to provide the best learning experience in the long term while minimising the disruption to the teaching experience during the build, and we’re progressing well ahead of completion in November. “With a strong familiarity within our construction team of the educational needs for aspiring engineers, it’s a highly rewarding project to help create the ideal learning space to educate future talent.”

The capital project supports the introduction of engineering T Level qualifications at Leicester College, with the Department for Education having provided more than £1 million towards the project cost from T-level capital grant funding.

The college aims to help meet the skills demand at higher technical levels regionally and nationally and provide a valid pathway to higher technical qualifications. It aims to support the forecasted 1.2% growth in engineering and electronic engineering occupations available in Leicestershire and Rutland by 2030.

Ibrar Raja, director of engineering at Leicester College, said: “I am delighted to witness the transformation of our engineering building into a state-of-the-art facility that reflects our commitment to providing the best possible learning environment for our students and supports the need for highly qualified and skilled engineers in the region. This refurbishment project embodies our dedication to fostering innovation and excellence in engineering education.”

Work underway on major project in Newark Town Centre

Category: Construction

The first phase to transform the empty former M&S building on Stodman Street in Newark into an attractive hub made up of homes and retail units is underway. This ambitious project will breathe new life into the heart of the town when completed.

Stepnell, a well-established complete construction partner with over 150 years’ heritage in the industry, is undertaking the initial phase and mobilisation of the project.

Councillor Matthew Spoors, Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Economic Development at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “It’s exciting to see this project underway. We are showing that initiatives like this can help to develop town centres so that they that offer a vibrant experience which attracts different people at different times. “Without the Council’s intervention, this prominent building could have fallen into disrepair and become an eyesore. We’ve taken action into our own hands and are doing our best for Newark, turning a building that could have been abandoned into a thriving and active area where living, working and shopping come together.

“We actively asked many high street retailers to take on the store but none were interested in occupying the large 32,000sqft building. The fact is that they may already have a presence in nearby Nottingham and Lincoln and it’s not viable for them to occupy such a big building in a town of Newark’s size and location. There is however demand for smaller units and we are confident that the site will be occupied as soon as renovations are complete. This is reflected by the uptake of the retail units by the Travelodge and in the Buttermarket.”

Plans will see the empty building converted into an exciting hub made up of 29 high-quality residential homes in the heart of Newark, which will provide a new town centre housing offer with a sympathetic but eye-catching and vibrant design. There will also be two new retail units which will improve Newark’s retail offer with the aim of attracting more people into the town centre.

Smaller retail units will complement the rest of the town and will look at enhancing the shopping offer in the centre. The District Council has been successful in the past; although they own very few buildings in the town centre, since taking over and managing the area of the Buttermarket facing Middlegate, fantastic tenants such as Tambo Lounge, Iguazu, Specsavers and Inspire have collectively created a space for learning, shopping and socialising. With a track record for providing attractive units, the District Council continue to support town centre occupation.

Tom Cartledge, Co-Chair of the Newark Town Board, said: “This is an opportunity to transform a large empty building into something that will be hugely beneficial to the health of our high street in the future. “Across the country, retail in towns and cities is in decline which is why we’ve put this project together to inject new life in the area with the aim to make the heart of Newark a great place to live and shop. “There are many other projects running alongside the development including Newark Cultural Heart which has already brought people to the town centre through creating exciting events and programmes and the Stodman Street work is an extra step in encouraging more to visit, stay longer and take advantage of the activities and hospitality on offer.”

It is also putting emphasis on bringing sustainability aspects into the build. This development will utilise solar panels on the roof, have modern insulation and will recycle up to 90% of all materials removed from site. It will also create new green planting and expand St Marks Lane, opening up the link between Lombard Street and Stodman Street.

The first phase of work is likely to take place until the end of Christmas this year with the construction taking place soon after. Completion is expected to be in summer 2025.

Tom Sewell, Regional Director at Stepnell, said: “We are proud to be chosen as a trusted construction partner and to be beginning the important first phase of demolition works, which will create the space for building an exciting new hub in Newark. We are considerate of the need to minimise disruption to the public throughout the project, in what is a busy area of footfall in the town. “As the works progress, we will be making significant investment back into the local community. This includes targeted regional spending, employability programmes with local schools and colleges, and sustainability initiatives to reduce our carbon impact.”

The scheme has been procured through the Procure Partnerships Framework, which supports public sector bodies to procure contractor partners, divided regionally to support the values of local delivery with national governance.

The Framework supports public sector bodies to deliver their strategic targets, and is designed to be flexible yet robust, providing clients with demonstrable value for money when procuring their projects.

Tom Woolley, Key Account Manager (East), Procure Partnerships Framework: “Procure Partnerships Framework are absolutely delighted to have supported Newark and Sherwood District Council in appointing Stepnell to deliver this transformational scheme. “The completed works will join a wide range of successful schemes delivered by Stepnell in partnership with Procure Partnerships Framework, and it will be fantastic to see the boost that this project will provide to the people of Newark. It has been a pleasure to work with Newark and Sherwood District Council on this scheme, and we are excited to see how subsequent projects develop through the Towns Fund initiative.”

The Stodman Street development is one of many projects being funded by Newark Towns Board’s successful application to the Government’s Towns Fund initiative. It is being delivered by Newark and Sherwood District Council whose aim it is to breathe new life in Newark town centre. Other projects include the £3m restoration of Newark Castle and a £2.1m Cultural Heart project aiming to provide a varied and exciting events programme alongside investments to improve the town centre even further.

Stepnell completes two refurbishment projects

Category: Commercial

We are delighted to have completed works on Stenson House and Whitwick Business Centre in Coalville for North West Leicestershire District Council. Both projects were procured through the Procure Partnerships Framework and involved extensive refurbishment and improvement works.

The £1.9 million alteration works to Stenson House, NWLDC’s civic building, which is also home
to the Registration Service and Citizens Advice were completed over 31 weeks. During this
time, Stepnell made changes to facilitate the separation of the building. This was achieved while
preserving the current layout and updating the internal finishes such as floors, walls, ceilings
and lighting.

Adrian Barnes, regional director at Stepnell said: “Stenson House and Whitwick Business Centre are two recognisable council buildings in Coalville. We went to great lengths to ensure that the refurbishment and improvement works were conducted with respect to improving building safety and efficiency while minimising disruption throughout the projects. Delivering these projects through the Procure Partnerships Framework (PPF) enabled us to be flexible during the build to meet the requirements of North West Leicestershire District Council. Via PPF we were able to deliver the renovations to the highest quality, with significant engagement with trusted local suppliers.”

The second project completed by Stepnell for the Council was a £1.4 million renovation of
Whitwick Business Centre over 26 weeks. This was the first major update to the building since
its last extension in the 1970’s. Older elements of the building were deteriorating rapidly,
requiring extensive refurbishment to reach modern energy standards. Stepnell has now created
a refreshed open plan and flexible office space for council employees.

Paul Wheatley, Head of Property and Economic Regeneration at North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “We have been delighted with the work that Stepnell has done in renovating two of our buildings for modern and efficient use by our staff, civic functions and tenants.

St. Bernadette’s Community BBQ

Category: Construction

What a day!

We had a phenomenal day yesterday holding the St. Bernadette’s Community BBQ. A huge thank you to the team that made this happen and the St. Bernadette’s community. Thank you to our event sponsors including ArcadisGreens Plant Ltd Sub ContractorHawk Group Services LtdInspire Architects, and Sportsfields.

Mat Mason also attended bringing along The Community Kit Bag, known as the shop in a trailer. The Community Kit Bag provides low cost and free sports clothes and equipment to those who need it and helps support more people getting into sport whilst raising money to provide free mental health training and resources to sports clubs across the UK. 

There was plenty going on with the local news in attendance, St. Bernadette’s RFC, Bristol Bears and local Council members.

St. Bernadette’s is due to complete in March 2024 includes a new clubhouse, pitches, floodlights and associated works clearly means so much to all in the local area and St. Bernadette’s RFC. 

Work commences at Queen Alexandra Hospital

Category: Construction

Construction to the new main entrance at Queen Alexandra (QA) Hospital is now underway, set to include changing facilities and an M&S Food store in the new amenities for patients and staff.

Delivered by healthcare construction specialists Stepnell for Portsmouth Hospitals University (PHU) NHS Trust, the 12-month project includes the creation of a new Changing Places facility, one of three accessible toilet and changing spaces set to arrive at the hospital soon. A lecture theatre and clothing store The Stock Shop will also be constructed.

To accommodate the works taking place on the live hospital site, a temporary side entrance has been created and hoardings have been erected around the area of construction, closing the main evolving door at the existing entrance.

Stepnell’s works to the main entrance comes as part of a series of significant improvements to the Queen Alexandra Hospital site, as the PHU NHS Trust aims to continue to deliver high quality services in a modern, welcoming and safe environment.

Mark Orchard, chief finance officer at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, said: “This is a fantastic new development which will help improve the experience of those visiting our hospital site. It is another step in a number of significant improvements to the QA site, including improved green spaces. These plans will help us continue to deliver high quality services in efficient, well-maintained and well-designed buildings.”

Rob Speirs, director at Stepnell, said: “Taking advantage of our wealth of experience and expertise in healthcare projects, we are helping Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust to create a functional and appealing main entrance to the Queen Alexandra hospital that meets the needs of hospital staff, patients and other members of the public. “As part of our commitment to social value, we have ambitions to spend and engage with a local supply chain of subcontractors wherever possible. Being a healthcare specialist, we have a clear understanding of how to best achieve these aims on hospital projects and will be working closely with our supply chain to ensure we deliver to the standard we expect as a complete contractor.”

Stepnell will be working alongside Noviniti to undertake the project for PHU NHS trust, a developer with experience on the QA Hospital site, having built the North car park in 2022.

For more information on the project works taking place at Queen Alexandra Hospital as well as to find out more about Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, visit: https://www.porthosp.nhs.uk/.

Stepnell completes Health & Wellbeing Hub

Category: Construction

A charity funded Health and Wellbeing Hub for staff at Chesterfield Royal Hospital (CRH) NHS Foundation Hospital has now been finished by complete construction partner Stepnell, opening as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations of the NHS.

Using its extensive building expertise, the Stepnell team was responsible for design elements and quick delivery of the purpose-built facility, which is intended for hospital staff to use in support of their health and wellbeing. It includes facilities such as a state-of-the-art gym, counselling rooms, areas for complimentary therapies and group or individual reflections after traumatic incidents.

The finished Hub benefitted from Stepnell’s whole team working approach to develop and finalise the design with consultants and subcontractors – including Southgate and Sarabia ArchitectsMAC Consulting and Adept Consulting Engineers – to best meet the client’s budget. BIM coordination software was used in tandem with OneClick to enhance project discussions and engage early with the hospital Trust.

Tom Sewell, regional director at Stepnell, said: “Our team has gone above and beyond to ensure quality throughout the design and build of this new Health and Wellbeing Hub. As well as ensuring the project was built on time and within budget, we were also proud to have supported the hospital alongside local people, communities and businesses to help raise the required project funds. We are thrilled with the end result and the positive feedback received from stakeholders across the project.”

Stepnell’s work on the prestigious project featured a bespoke social value strategy, which included creating jobs for three local people, as well as organising fundraising events and carrying out significant social value work within the local community.

Dr Hal Spencer, chief executive of CRH NHS Trust, said: “We want to be recommended as a place to come to work and for the clinical care we provide. The Health and Wellbeing Hub is pretty unique in allowing us to offer this kind of facility to colleagues. I am especially proud of us opening on the day of the celebrations for NHS75. Along with our Emergency Department, Pediatric Assessment Unit, the Community Diagnostic Centres and much more, we are redefining the role and abilities of this fantastic hospital.”

Over the course of the project, more than 100 hours of support into employment training was provided to Chesterfield College and Parkside Community School and a cumulative total of 47 weeks of training was provided for trainees and apprentices studying at Level 2, 3 and 4+. Furthermore, Stepnell committed to a local supply chain by ordering building materials within a 30-mile radius of the project, which achieved a 50% local spend, including 36% spend with local SMEs.

Sue Woollett, social value manager at Stepnell, said: “This project is the epitome of what it means to put the community at the centre of our work. Stepnell was fully committed to the project with our own fundraising support for the hospital’s charity on top of being the appointed complete construction partner for the delivery of the hub. “It was an amazing project to be part of and we are delighted to be involved in providing a place for hospital staff to enjoy, as well as supporting the wider community during our time on-site, from young people to local tradespeople.”

Stepnell completes Health & Medical Education Facility

Category: Construction

A new Centre for Health and Medical Education at the University of Worcester has now been completed by Stepnell. This is the fourth project the complete construction partner has delivered on behalf of the University.

Starting on site at the University’s Severn Campus in 2021, the highly anticipated project has involved the delivery of a sophisticated anatomy laboratory, a suite of GP simulation rooms, and a range of general seminar and teaching rooms. Offices, break-out spaces for group study and a café have also been constructed by Stepnell.

Adrian Barnes, regional director at Stepnell said: “The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson building is our fourth project with University of Worcester and shows the success of our collaborative approach in creating lasting partnerships. Having this strong relationship helps to mitigate any risks to maintain the end goal of delivering a high quality project in time and to budget, which is what we have achieved. “The building is uniquely enveloped with gold copper shingle and is flooded with natural light from the impressive North light roof structures, so it was a priority to use our experience to ensure the redevelopment project would retain the legacy of this 1965 building, while delivering on sustainability and creating a modern teaching space. Throughout, we were also pleased to work with the University and its students and put in place measures to reduce emissions.”

Working in close collaboration with the University of Worcester, Stepnell added social and environmental value throughout. This included supporting local students with training opportunities and creating several sustainability initiatives to reduce emissions. The Stepnell team encouraged the use of public transport, walking and cycling and installed a biosite system to help track site visitors, deliveries and reduce worker emissions as part of a green travel plan that saved 122,721 transport miles.

As part of the project team, M&E consultancy CPW also provided energy modelling, strategy and design support to enhance the existing fabric of the building and reduce air permeability. This has helped achieve a Gold SKA environmental rating from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and an energy performance certificate (EPC) A rating.

Mark Evans, assistant director of Estates at the University of Worcester, said: “The University of Worcester has worked with Stepnell on a number of projects since they were appointed to our Medium Works Contractor Framework. This includes recently completing our fantastic new Elizabeth Garrett Anderson building on our Severn Campus. Stepnell has demonstrated it can work collaboratively and innovatively to deliver what the University believes will be an outstanding teaching facility for the future healthcare and medical professionals.”

NHS ward renovations completed in Bath

Category: Construction

Renovations to four wards for Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath NHS Foundation Trust have now been completed by complete construction partner and healthcare building specialists, Stepnell.

As part of the £2 million renovation works, Stepnell installed 28 new ensuites across the hospital’s Haygarth, Forrester Brown, Pierce and Acute Stroke Unit wards. An existing bathroom was also converted into a storeroom in the Acute Stroke Unit and additional drainage and services ancillary works completed.

“These improvements are already making a real difference for the people we care for and the people we work with. We’ve had some great feedback from staff and patients.“ Daisy Nelson, project manager in the capital projects team at Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust

Additionally, new clinical utility spaces were fitted-out. An unused former bathroom was also converted into a new shared office space for nursing staff and junior doctors within the Acute Stroke Unit, a new private side room was built on Haygarth ward and redecoration works, plus additional drainage and services ancillary works, were completed throughout all four wards.

“It was especially important the project caused minimal disruption to patients and staff while completing the works, and I’m delighted that by working together we achieved this where practically possible.” “Through our extensive healthcare expertise, we worked with RUH to ensure the renovations were completed as efficiently as possible and with minimal disruption, delivering the best possible value for the trust.“ Richard Stanford Brown, senior site manager at Stepnell

The outcome is excellent and will help the hospital and its staff to meet the high health and care standards for patients, which we are incredibly pleased about.

Completed in just 23 weeks, Stepnell secured the design and build contract under the public sector-based Procure South West Framework, which is managed by the Procure Partnerships Framework (PPF).

To complete the scheme, Stepnell undertook local supply chain spending and engaged with a local supply chain of subcontractors wherever possible.

“We are continuing to see an increase in projects come through with a significant proportion of our planned work with PPF projects to meet public sector demand. Our work with RUH Bath is a prime example of these quality works, which adds to our substantial portfolio of healthcare expertise.” Rob Speirs, director at Stepnell

Earth Day 2023

Category: Frameworks

22 April 2023 was EARTH DAY This year’s earth theme is ‘Invest in our planet’ together: As part of our Procure Partnerships Framework social value commitments and to mark Earth Day 2023, Stepnell, Seddon and Tilbury Douglas are working together to encourage supply chain members, colleagues, and communities to become a ‘Carbon Hero’ in support.

Did you Know Global warming caused by the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses is one of the biggest threats to the environment and we can all do more to reduce our carbon footprint.

We would like to encourage everyone in our networks to sit down and spend 5 minutes calculating your carbon footprint using this handy tool:

Carbon Calculator – Climate Hero

Why should you be a carbon hero?

If you are a colleague:

  • We would like you to feel empowered by your contribution/pledge to your companies and personal goals.
  • Help us secure a future where biodiversity and public health thrive for our future generations.
  • Use a bottom-up strategy to climate change through pledges which will instigate real sustainable change to industries and government polices/agendas at all levels.

If you are part of our local community:

  • We would like you to help us make cultural change, using more public transport and cycle to work schemes
  • Reduce household waste by making better food choices and recycling packaging in the appropriate ways
  • Shopping local to help keep our local economy thrive

If you are a supply chain member:

  • Help us go green by switching to green power vehicles and using sources of renewable energy
  • Collect measurable data from customers and suppliers to create transparency
  • By using recycled packaging. Forestry products such as carboard and paper are not always from recycled or sustainable sources.

What small change can you make to become a #carbonhero?

Southern Construction Framework

Category: Construction

Complete construction partner Stepnell, has been awarded a place on the 5th generation Southern Construction Framework (SCF) Construct framework, for the new £1-5 million value lots for the South West.

Stepnell is one of six contractors awarded a place on Lot 5 of the latest SCF Construct framework, which supports public sector construction and development in the South West region. The new framework win will see Stepnell build on its presence in the region with greater collaboration, added value, project performance and quality.

Lewis Archibald, framework director, at Stepnell said: “The new framework win reflects Stepnell’s shared values with SCF and how we are committed to providing a full spectrum of construction solutions for the public sector. This is all in line with our ability to offer a truly collaborative approach to deliver high quality, best value projects with an emphasis on carbon and social value targets.”

As part of the selection process, Stepnell was assessed against strict criteria, including being able to demonstrate exemplary carbon benchmarking assessments for all builds. Additionally, Stepnell was able to show prioritised carbon retrofit capabilities, to match industry leading carbon and social value targets required by SCF.

The new generation framework will be launched in May 2023 and complements the current SCF Residential and SCF Consult frameworks, which have delivered over £8 billion worth of combined construction schemes in the last 16 years, since SCF was first established.

Tom Wakeford, managing director at Stepnell, said: “This is another fantastic example of Stepnell’s significant capabilities across offices in Wantage, Southampton, Poole and Bristol, and we look forward to bringing our longstanding public sector construction project expertise to clients in the region as part of the SCF Construct framework. I would like to congratulate the Stepnell team, who have shown exemplary skill throughout the process in order to be successful on this prestigious framework bid.”

About Southern Construction Framework (SCF)

Southern Construction Framework (SCF) is a leading construction procurement framework delivered by the public sector for the public sector in the South of England (SW, SE and London). It has delivered over £8 billion worth of combined construction schemes, helping clients to deliver around £500m building work every year since it began in 2006.

Kingsley Clarke, SCF Operations Lead, South West said: “Via our new sub £5m lots, we’ve also opened the door to SME contractors in the South West and we’re very much looking forward to working with them and their local supply chains on some innovative schemes in the region.”

SCF provides construction procurement across public sectors including education, health, sport & leisure, fire and police and Build to Rent (inc. hotels, industrial units, offices).

SCF is the market leader in Two Stage Open Book project delivery. This process supports ‘Early Contractor Involvement’, which brings together contractor, stakeholders and suppliers to deliver best quality and value for the client.