ENHANCING PUBLIC SERVICES
When it comes to the climate change emergency, the clock is ticking and there’s no time left for talking. Newcastle City Council (NCC) know they need to take action. As one of the UK’s most active local authorities, they’re showing others how it’s done with our support.
The large-scale programme will help make spaces more sustainable for the future. The public buildings placed in the programme include schools, libraries, leisure centres, and cultural venues like the Theatre Royal. Changes involve innovative measures to tackle climate change, from solar panels to smart building management systems, to more energy-efficient windows and pipework insulation.
As well as helping the environment through decarbonisation, the project will also support people living in Newcastle by safeguarding more than 800 jobs.
Unlike other projects, the council weren’t procuring the work from scratch, meaning we needed to consider existing frameworks and relationships. Throughout the programme, it has been key to make sure new projects fit current arrangements and comply with legal requirements, but at a pace and in a way that everyone is happy with.
The success of this partnership has depended on our pragmatism, practicality and rapport with all parties. For example, our construction lawyers have worked closely with NCC’s legal team and key officers, particularly when supporting them through negotiations with the contractors. And that’s just one area of our work.
Our support for NCC includes providing subsidies advice on technically challenging issues, as well as advising on the public procurement rules to procure two main contractors in timescales that wouldn’t have been possible through a full procurement process.
The ACS team helped negotiate pre-construction services agreements for the speedy delivery of the early stages of design by the contractors’ teams, then we negotiated the full building contracts. We also drafted and reviewed energy documents including an energy savings agreement, and heat supply and connection agreement.
The ACS team are extremely proud of this partnership and hope to support the client through future phases of funding.
“This is a very important programme to make public buildings more sustainable. Together we’re hoping to develop an approach that is an example of good practice for the future. We’re very proud of this project and know that work like this will encourage the Government to invest more in this area.”
Mark Cook, partner, Anthony Collins Solicitors