Willmott Dixon is expanding its portfolio of net zero in operation projects by teaming up with North Tyneside Council to deliver a sustainable transport hub and town square in North Shields.
The appointment follows similar recent work secured that includes Tarleton Academy in Preston that will be net-zero carbon, while in North Wiltshire, Willmott Dixon is delivering a £29m net-zero carbon school build at Silverwood School’s Rowde campus, extending the existing campus to provide a high-quality environment for 350 SEND pupils by September 2023.
These low carbon schemes for North Tyneside Council form part of the council’s Ambition for North Shields and the Fish Quay Masterplan, and subject to a successful funding bid to the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) through the Department for Transport, both projects will breathe new life into the town centre and riverside, providing the right environment to support businesses, leisure users and retail.
The proposed transport hub will provide a modern and convenient, high-quality facility bringing all bus services in the town together and closer to Metro, taxis and links to cycling infrastructure – making it easier for people to choose cleaner, greener forms of travel. The proposals also include local amenities such as public toilets and a Changing Places facility.
The site will also feature a new open town square for events and leisure activities with new public realm creating a much-needed green space in the heart of the town centre and increasing biodiversity in an urban environment. The square will link the town centre to the vibrant Fish Quay using a series of walkways, providing much-improved accessibility with step-free routes and steps with handrails, coupled with the opportunity for further green space.
Sustainability will be at the heart of the projects, with the transport hub being targeted as the first net zero carbon building in North Tyneside. To achieve this, the structure will incorporate an enhanced building envelope to maximise airtightness, coupled with an array of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and a surface water management system.
The project has undertaken a Life Cycle Carbon Assessment to understand and take steps to reduce the embodied carbon footprint of the project. This was done by assessing the design at the earliest stage then amending the design to use techniques, products and materials to reduce the embodied carbon by a target of 40%.
By optimising this service, North Tyneside Council can ensure their new facility will perform to the best of its ability, supporting the council’s ambitions of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Cllr Carl Johnson, Deputy Mayor of North Tyneside, said: “We are committed to transforming North Shields into somewhere people want to live, work and visit to help sustain the town for years to come. We’re now starting to see these ambitions coming to fruition with work getting underway on the ground. These are really exciting times for North Shields and there’s every reason to be optimistic for the future.
“Our investments in the proposed transport hub and town square and embankment walkway are absolutely vital to improving connectivity and helping create a vibrant and sustainable shopping environment, which will help attract new investment in the town.
“We have been sharing our plans with local communities and incorporating their feedback into the designs and will continue to listen to what people tell us as the projects evolve.”
Nick Corrigan, Director at Willmott Dixon said: “We are proud to be playing our part in delivering a project that will be a catalyst for the regeneration of the town centre and create a new gateway for the people of North Shields. It really is a dynamic and sustainable design which will create a vibrant and innovative space for local people.
“Sustainability is at the heart of our business and through our 2030 ‘Now or Never’ sustainability strategy, we have pledged that by the end of 2030 all our new buildings and major refurbishments will achieve net zero operational carbon. The transport hub is a perfect example of how we can achieve those ambitions. We are focused on leaving a lasting legacy beyond bricks and mortar and that’s why we will be supporting the North Shields economy by using local businesses and creating local employment opportunities wherever possible.”