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March 11, 2021|4 Minutes

Update - Asset Delivery Programme

Many people have asked about the impact of COVID-19 on the Council’s Asset Delivery Programme, which will see the re-development of six of its key strategic sites.

COVID-19 has certainly changed our world but the changes we have seen in terms of reduced office space and better community spaces are, already reflected in our programme.

The office accommodation at the Freight House, Rochford has been planned to accommodate working arrangements with a reduced number of workstations and hot desking arrangements. This reduced office space will allow for flexible and agile working with a new welcoming area where our customers can access our services. COVID-19 and its impacts are on our programme risk register and so we are keeping that under regular review during the development phase.

Unfortunately, the Freight House is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but our proposals would mean a start on site in the winter of this year. The build period will be approximately 12 months and so the new premises are scheduled to open in winter 2022.

We are delighted that the Mill Arts & Events Centre is being used as a COVID-19 Vaccination Centre and we will continue to support the NHS in making that building available as the national vaccination programme is rolled out.

Following its premature closure for normal use due to the pandemic, the re-development of this centre has been brought forward in the programme, with residents set to be able to enjoy this exciting new facility by the Autumn of 2022.

To find out more about the sites and the engagement activity, including a link to the online surveys, visit: https://www.voyage-partnership.co.uk/have-your-say/

Engagement surveys for the Mill Arts & Events Centre and the Civic Suite sites in Rayleigh are now open with a webinar running on Wednesday 17th March.

The full recording of the webinar will be available in due course via the Rochford District Council YouTube page. A list of the questions raised, with answers can be viewed soon after the event on the Voyage Partnership website https://www.voyage-partnership.co.uk

The Leader of the Council, Cllr Simon Wootton said: “This programme will see a £1.5m investment to provide a community centre of which we can all be proud, and which will be much better equipped to meet the needs of our residents in the years ahead.

“We will of course be factoring in the impact of COVID-19 to our programme, and we are actually in a better position than many authorities as we were already working towards making our buildings more flexible in the ways they can be used.

“We will continue to liaise with the groups who use these facilities and keep them updated as part of our Stakeholder Forum, as we really want to engage with those who make of these sites. If you attend a class or group and you feel the organiser has been missed off our invitation list, please do let us know and we will be pleased to invite them.”