A ‘topping out’ ceremony marked a major construction milestone for the new HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Specialist Site at Teville Gate House in Worthing [1 July 2020]. HMRC has had a longstanding presence in Worthing and the new office will be home to around 900 full time employees.
Councillor Daniel Humphreys, Leader of Worthing Borough Council, Alan Tume of HMRC, John McGregor, director of Teville Gate House Ltd, Conor McKenna and Gary Bell of McLaughlin & Harvey placed the last paving slab on the roof to mark the occasion, with construction due to be completed early next year.
“We are extremely proud to reach this point and it is a testament to all our partners in the project that we have been able to get through the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to make such progress. This is a story of hard work and success, all within the regulations, using common sense,” said John McGregor, director of Teville Gate House Ltd.
The site was closed at the end of March when the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed, but with careful planning and close cooperation between all parties, the site opened again just one month later, compliant with social distancing guidelines.
“We worked very hard throughout the site closure in conjunction with our supply chain, developing new operating procedures in line with government guidelines to make the site safe for our team to work,” said Conor McKenna, Contracts Manager, McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd.
“A return to work via a ‘soft start’ was implemented with resource levels increased week on week, allowing workers to familiarise themselves with the new working environment. The site has a one-way system throughout and additional welfare units were brought in, to allow staff to use facilities with 2 metre distancing, we have cut down travel massively and our meetings are held online or outside.
“We remain proactive in reviewing the impact the pandemic continues to have on our supply chain, relating particularly to resource and material availability, with procurement dates adjusted and parts of the project rescheduled accordingly.
“We have managed to mitigate the challenges and received very positive feedback when we were inspected recently by auditors, who described our site as an exemplar.”
The new five-storey development is being built by McLaughlin & Harvey, who are known for delivering quality construction projects. Completion and occupation are expected in the first quarter of 2021.
Councillor Daniel Humphreys, Leader, Worthing Borough Council, said, “It is fantastic to see the project on course to bring huge benefits to Worthing and we want to congratulate the team for their hard work to make this possible. Teville Gate House will boost local business and support our on-going work to improve the vitality of the borough and to make the station a more welcoming approach into Worthing.”
Alan Tume, HMRC Regional Implementation Lead for London and the South East, said, “We are pleased to be recognising this milestone in the construction of our new specialist site, despite the challenges over recent months. We have worked with our partners to ensure work continues in the safest way possible to deliver what will be a fantastic new building for our people.
“We are really looking forward to seeing how the development of the site by McLaughlin & Harvey progresses, before the internal fit out work starts on our new office. Once complete, we will bring our team into Teville Gate House, which will provide colleagues with modern, flexible and collaborative working environments.”
Teville Gate House was chosen as the preferred location for Worthing’s Specialist Site as it meets HMRC’s future needs and location principles. HMRC is transforming into a more highly-skilled operation offering modern, digital services to create a tax authority fit for the future. HMRC’s Locations Programme is the key to the department’s wider transformation.
The derelict office and retail premises at Teville Gate House were demolished to make way for the new development. It is hoped that this project will encourage the development of the adjoining site where planning consent was recently approved.
The design team for Teville Gate House includes Box Clever Consulting as development managers, Macconvilles as employers agent & quantity surveyors, CDA Architects, A10 Mechanical and Electrical, HOP Structural Engineers and ECE Planning Consultants.
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