Three-year-olds Clara Sore and Jaxon Lerman were among those who had the honour of unveiling a new plaque as members of the local community officially opened Mildenhall Hub this afternoon.

The Mildenhall Hub is a nationally recognised groundbreaking initiative to bring public services together to improve the health, well-being and education for the community in a collaborative way.

The ambitious new building features a new school, new gym, fitness studios and 3G pitch, swimming pools and sports hall, a new town library, health centre, children’s centre, Citizens Advice West Suffolk and jobcentre. The Hub also features office space for the NHS, police, Suffolk County Council and West Suffolk Council. As well as providing better facilities such as the school and leisure provision, the Hub will see partners in education, health, leisure and other services working even more collaboratively for the benefit of residents.

Today saw students Esme Perpetuo and Stanley Turner from Mildenhall College Academy, join Clara Sore and Jaxon Lerman from Little Treasures nursery, and Sonal Balrey, a Mildenhall Library customer, join three Abbeycroft Leisure users to unveil a plaque to mark the official opening of the Hub following its phased opening over the summer.

Esme said: “It’s so good, I think it is really big, clean, spacious and it is a really good learning environment for the school.”

Stanley said: “It is a really easy layout, the building is amazing, it is really modern and a lot better than our old school plus it has loads of really good facilities, such as the gym and pool – then you have everything in the school, the cooking rooms, the design technology rooms – it’s great.”

Andrew Squire from Mildenhall was one of the first members of the Mildenhall Sharks to use the old pool in Recreation Way, and his parents Beryl and John Squire were two founder members of the committee that raised funds for the community pool.

Andrew said: “The opening of the original swimming pool and being a member of Mildenhall Sharks from age nine, made a huge impact on my early life. Regular training sessions and travelling the county and beyond for swimming galas with colleagues was so much fun; providing memories to last me a lifetime. If the new facilities at The Hub can provide individuals with the same experiences these will be a great asset to the local community.”

Geraint Jones, Vice President of The Mildenhall Sharks swimming club said: “The Hub is so important because it combines all the aspects of life in a small county town. We have a beautiful new swimming pool with space for all our swimmers and the opportunity to develop the club to include triathlon and learn to swim. The young members of The Sharks are greatly motivated with the new facilities and we’re looking forward to what we can achieve as a community club.”

Colleen Duffield is a member of Abbeycroft Leisure and has used the leisure facilities more than any other member since it’s opening in June.

Colleen said: “The Hub is fantastic and I love the new leisure facilities. We used to have to use all different buildings and locations, so having it all under one roof is brilliant. I became a member of Abbeycroft six years ago after I broke my ankle and I had gained a lot of weight and it’s fair to say I now have the fitness bug. I feel so much healthier having lost weight and being active but I’ve made so many friends and a facility like this helps people feel part of a community.”

“It’s so good, I think it is really big, clean, spacious and it is a really good learning environment for the school.”

Sonal Balrey has been a regular user of the Mildenhall library since 2013 and praised the friendly staff. She added: “Being in the Mildenhall Hub makes it so much easier when I am taking my children swimming or to karate as it is all in one place.”

They were watched on by representatives of the funding partners that made the Hub possible: West Suffolk Council, Education and Skills Funding Agency, Academy Transformation Trust, Suffolk County Council, the National Lottery, Sport England and the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner. Also attending were the organisations that use the building and a wide range of community stakeholders.

The Mildenhall Hub has been built by RG Carter with project management from Currie & Brown and design from Concertus.

For more on the Mildenhall Hub visit mildenhallhub.info

Orwell Multi-Academy Trust are celebrating the start of construction for the new primary and pre-school in Stowmarket. In April 2021, Suffolk County Council received planning permission to build the new school, which is to be named “Grace Cook Primary School”. The new school will be located within Northfield View housing development, previously known as Chilton Leys.

Following a community consultation, Orwell Multi-Academy Trust, which has several other academies throughout Suffolk, named the new school after Alice Grace Cook, (1877-1958) known as Grace Cook, a British Astronomer. This suggestion received substantial support from the local community, including the Town Council, as well as the Royal Astronomical Society.  Trustees felt that naming the school after Stowmarket’s pioneering female astronomer would provide a strong link to the history and community of Stowmarket, as well as being an inspirational role model for the pupils. Grace Cook joined the British Astronomical Association in 1911 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1916, part of the first group of women elected as fellows. Cook lived in Stowmarket, Suffolk and in the 1950s became a founding member of the Ipswich and District Astronomical Society. Cook died in 1958 and was remembered by her colleagues as a skilled and dedicated Astronomer.

Anna Hennell James, CEO of Orwell Multi-Academy Trust, said, “This is a very exciting day as work is progressing on the building for Grace Cook Primary School. We are looking forward to watching the building develop and preparing it for opening, ready to welcome our first pupils in September 2022”.

The school, construction of which is funded through Suffolk County Council’s capital programme and designed and project managed by Concertus Design and Property Consultants, will provide a focal point for the local neighbourhood. The school has been designed to fit in with the surrounding residential area with the external appearance intended to offer visual interest and an identity for each area of the school.

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Emilie Farrimond, Senior Project Manager at Concertus, said “The new Grace Cook Primary and Pre-School will provide a modern, fit for purpose learning environment for local children, as well as helping to ease pressure on local schools due to the expansion of housing in the area. Our design is focused on representing the school’s surroundings within the colour choices and fabric of the building and creating a central community hub which will be both unique and aesthetically pleasing.”

Rachel Hood, Cabinet member for Education at Suffolk County Council, said: “The initial construction stages of the Grace Cook Primary School in Stowmarket is the next milestone in our busy programme to create additional first-rate education provision across the county.

“The delivery of this mainstream school, and significant pre-school places, follows the opening of the new Thurston Church of England Primary Academy buildings this week and continued development of a range of new special education settings across the county.”

Councillor Penny Otton, Liberal Democrat councillor for Thedwastre South, at Suffolk County Council, said, “The new school will be an exciting part of the pupil’s education, attending this brand-new school. To name it after Grace Cook is an excellent example of celebrating one of Suffolk and Stowmarket’s women who may not be as well known as she should be.”

R G Carter has now started work at the new site, which will also be able to accommodate future expansion, help guarantee continuity of provision and meet future population growth in the area.

Leading on the construction, James Wilson, Director and General Manager from R G Carter said, “We are delighted to have been appointed to deliver this much-needed facility for the local community. We have extensive experience in providing high-quality educational facilities across the region and are looking forward to working in partnership with Orwell Multi-Academy Trust and Concertus on this exciting new project.”

The new 210 place primary school and 60 place pre-school will open in September 2022 to provide sufficient school places for local children and help support the new housing developments in the area.

Lois Wilkes and Danni Ager joined our Architecture team for a two-week work experience placement in August. Kelly and Tracey mentored Lois, providing an insight into the role of an Interior Architectural Designer, whilst Katherine and Daniel were mentors for Danni, focusing on Architectural Design.

Lois and Danni attended ArchiCAD training and were given a brief to design an extension or standalone building. Lois has worked on the external and internal building concept design, planned room adjacencies, and more detailed elements. She was also given the opportunity to present her work to gain further experience which can be applied to her future studies. Following analysis of the existing school site and floor plans, Danni created a moodboard to depict her initial ideas. Danni then developed her proposal in more detail to produce floorplan sections, elevations, fittings, finishes and reflected ceiling plans. During her second week with us, Danni assisted on a feasibility report for one of our live projects.

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We are very excited to announce the launch of our new website. Our team have worked hard to design the new website, ensuring that it provides an elevated experience for both our current and prospective clients. The aim was to create a website which represents our core values and showcases who we are, how far we have come as a company, and the work our teams deliver. As well as celebrate the contribution of ideas, passion and hard work by our clients, contractors and the variety of organisations involved in the projects we deliver.

Since embarking on our journey in 2013 with 60 employees, the Concertus family has grown to now include over 200 team members. We have also extended our client base and broadened our project portfolio, covering a greater range of sectors and geographical locations. This has provided us with even more opportunities to share and collaborate on projects with many of you, contractors, clients and subconsultants alike. Creating new relationships and continuing to build on old ones. This has allowed us to work on countless amazing projects over the years which embrace this sense of collaboration. Without the input and continued support of all those we have worked with these achievements would not have been possible.

As we grow, we are continuously looking for ways to improve and progress as a company, and our new website is a representation of this progression, as well as demonstrating our focus on providing the best experience for our clients. In addition to improving ease of navigation the website re-design concentrates on sharing our company information and news stories in an interactive and creative way. This has led to the creation of a user friendly, informative, and modern platform to share our company with you, keeping you up to date on all of the fantastic projects we are working on. We hope in doing this, visitors to our website will be able to gain an insight into the collaborative Concertus team and the diverse range of services that we can deliver and have delivered with the help of all those involved in the journey so far. We can’t wait to use this platform to share with you the numerous case studies we have compiled highlighting the brilliant work we have delivered for our clients alongside our collaborators.

As Concertus reach key milestones in our growth strategy and we develop our award-winning services, we will continue to update our content for you with company announcements and project updates.

We are extremely proud of the entire Concertus team and those who worked so hard to create our new website, as well as grateful to our clients who continue to provide us with the opportunities to work on their projects, and the contractors and sub-consultants who help us to achieve outstanding results. We hope you will enjoy visiting the new website and we look forward to sharing the next steps of our journey with you.

Contractor Henry Brothers has broken ground and started work to build a new £4million extension at Glossopdale School, funded by Derbyshire County Council.

The new block will provide an additional nine teaching spaces comprising eight standard classrooms and a demonstration science lab. It will also provide flexible options for dining and social spaces and extra staff workrooms.

Once finished, there will be room for a further 200 students aged 11 to 16, and 40 additional sixth form places.

Construction director of Henry Brothers Midlands, Justin Hicklin, said: “We are excited to have started work on this site to build an extension for Glossopdale School. Henry Brothers built the main school complex, which has proved popular with students, and we are delighted to have strengthened our relationship with the school by being appointed to create this new block as well.

“Henry Brothers has partnered with Derbyshire County Council and a number of Derbyshire schools on a variety of projects in recent years, helping them to enhance their facilities, and we are looking forward to building this extension at Glossopdale School to create extra spaces for pupils.”

A small ground-breaking ceremony was held to mark the start on site by Nottingham-based Henry Brothers Midlands.

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Alex Dale said: “It’s great news that work has started.

“We’ve worked hard to provide the extra places needed and this is a major step forward towards the much-needed expansion of this school.”

Headteacher, Debbie McGloin said: “We are really pleased to see this extension move forward and are excited to be able to offer more places for the children in our community.”

Other members of the team involved in building the extension at the school in Hadfield are employers agent Concertus, DLA Architecture, civil and structural engineer Curtins and Couch Perry Wilkes for M & E services.

Associate Director at Concertus Andy Bates said: “We are thrilled to be working for Derbyshire County Council and Henry Brothers to deliver the expansion of Glossopdale Community College. We have extensive experience in providing high-quality educational facilities across the region and are excited to be able to celebrate the early stages of this new facility.”

It is expected that the new block will be completed in Spring 2022, allowing more children to attend from September 2022.

Credit: Henry Brothers

We are really pleased to be working with Forestry England at multiple sites across East Anglia. The goal is to rejuvenate historic or older buildings into modern open plan spaces which focus on productivity, activity-based working, and collaboration. Concertus are advising Forestry England on workplace solutions to support new workplace layouts that will drive the most benefit and productivity. At present we are working on four buildings across three sites. The team are providing options to our client by finding innovative ways to configure and improve their existing spaces, allowing for a more agile and adaptable working environment.

We are currently providing innovative design services at the new Forest Centre in Rendlesham. Matthew Jeffery, Business Development Manager for the East England District said: “I am really impressed with the detail and quality of work produced by the team at Concertus. As a senior manager within Forestry England, I have really enjoyed and appreciated how our working relationship has been and continues to be on this project. This is an exciting project to be involved in and I am confident we can take it forward following everyone’s work so far”.

Works progress on the construction at Exning Primary School’s new Special Educational Needs (SEND) unit.

East Anglia’s leading construction business, R G Carter, joined representatives from Concertus Design and Property Consultants Ltd as well as James Clark, Headteacher at Exning Primary School and their Head Boy and Girl, to celebrate the progress being made on this much-needed development.

The dedicated teaching block for Reception and Key Stage 1 called ‘The Hive’ is being created to provide improved facilities for both staff and SEND students, offering more specialist spaces to those in the local community.

With a shortfall of special education places available across the county, this new facility is part of the SEND capital programme provided by Suffolk County Council to help accommodate more children with SEND and allow them to have the opportunity to be educated closer to home.

Leading on the construction, James Wilson, Director and General Manager from R G Carter said: “We are delighted to be delivering this much-needed specialist facility for the local community. We have extensive experience in providing high-quality educational facilities across the region and are looking forward to working in partnership with Suffolk County Council and Concertus on this exciting new project.”

James Clark, Headteacher at Exning Primary School said: “As a school community, we are very excited to be expanding our capacity and looking forward to welcoming new children into our inclusive Exning family.”

“Our specialist unit (The Hive) will meet the needs of children with a range of special educational needs and disabilities and will be staffed by experienced Key Stage 1 practitioners and senior members of our Exning team. This team have a wide range of specialist experience and knowledge, which has been developed by working with a range of complex needs within our outstanding school.”

Each year we are blown away by the support we receive for our chosen charities. So, it’s only natural after the year we have had, to want to do more this year than ever before, right? That’s why we are working behind the scenes arranging raffles with the chance to win family days out, food parcel drives, the all-important quiz nights and much more to make this the best year yet. Our charity giving is important now more than ever so we have dedicated time on each of our wellbeing days this year to ensure we give back to our local community. Watch this space!

FIND – Families in Need

For 30 years, Families in Need (FIND) Ipswich has offered a lifeline to people in Ipswich and the surrounding areas who are experiencing poverty and despair. They provide free food parcels and personal care items to help people get through a crisis, as well as furniture, bedding and other household items where the person or family has none. An army of over 80 volunteers regularly give their time freely to check and sort the donated food, collect items from local stores, make up the food parcels and deliver them. It’s a six-day a week operation. The demand for food parcels has risen year on year and FIND now distributes an average of 100 parcels every week and even more at Christmas – more than 6,000 every year.

Donate to Families in Need

Chesterfield Foodbank

They don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. That’s why they provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to them in crisis. They are part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK. The Chesterfield foodbank is a registered charity that was started in June 2013. It is a franchisee of the Trussell Trust, (420 foodbanks across the UK) and provides emergency food packs for people in crisis. The foodbank has three distribution centres at Brimington, Loundsley Green and West Bars, a small warehouse at Sheepbridge and a van. The foodbank van is used to transport donated food from drop bins in supermarkets, churches and libraries to their warehouse. Volunteers at the warehouse weigh and sort the food into group and ‘best before date’ order, organise the sorted food into cardboard trays, and load it into pallets. The food is picked at the warehouse and delivered to the centres.

Donate to Chesterfield Foodbank

Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) are providing a new Care Home and Independent Living Scheme in Flitwick. The new Steppingley Road Care Home will be situated on a large unused plot of land, located in the outskirts of the main residential area near a new leisure centre.

The proposal, designed in conjunction with Oliver & Robb Architects and CBC, includes a 72-bed care home, 88 units comprised of a mix of one and two bed independent living apartments, and an 8-bed short break unit. It is especially designed to build a sense of community and friendship between the residents. All of the units are linked to a central ‘core’ with shared facilities such a café/bistro, medical rooms, hair and beauty spa, community/multi-purpose space, multigenerational activity space and associated facilities.

Cllr Eugene Ghent, Executive Member for Housing and Assets, said: “This is a huge step forward in delivering our ambition for a variety of housing for older people in the area. We know that there is an increasing older population in Central Bedfordshire, but we also know that people want to remain independent for as long as possible. That need not mean staying in their family home until it is too difficult to manage; independent living schemes offer the best of both worlds. There is also a care home on site for those who need a bit more support. From early work speaking with residents in the Flitwick area, we knew there was concern about the extra demand on health services, so we have deliberately allowed for some space in the building to be used for health provision, if required. People also said that it should feel part of the community and we have included a multi-use space for people to book, whether that’s for parent and child groups, or book clubs!”

The whole building has been designed to meet international energy performance standards, known as Passivhaus, to help reduce the building’s energy demands now and in the future. The entire space will be connected internally, with large gardens and walks planned in and around the site to encourage use of the space by residents as well as the local community.

Concertus Design and Property Consultants are continuing to lead this project into its next stage. “Steppingley Road has been a really exciting project for us as a team” said the project’s Architectural Consultant, Steven Ryles. “Managing a project that has so many different uses, while ensuring that the whole project feels coherent, was a challenge. Developing this facility to Passivhaus Certified Standards, so as to achieve a building that is not only sustainable now but into the future, is a real triumph for our team and I could not be prouder.”

Steven added “The consultants we have been working with have worked extremely hard to meet the challenging requirements Passivhaus buildings require, especially at this scale.”

Using cutting edge technology, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has provided detailed intelligence to Central Bedfordshire Council. The Council have been able to engage in regular intervals throughout this process to ensure that they are getting everything they expected and more, from a project with such high importance to them and the local community. Using BIM helps manage and deliver projects more economically, with faster delivery times, improved risk management and better sustainability.

Planning permission was successfully granted this month with a proposed completion date of late Summer 2023. This project will be the largest CBC have ever delivered.

We were appointed to deliver new social housing at Westbourne Court in Havebury on behalf of Pentaco Construction.

Our integrated approach to structural and civil engineering design allows us to provide effective, coordinated, sustainable and efficient solutions for building, structures, drainage and paving.

With a focus on appearance, durability, safety and buildability, our team of Structural and Civil Engineers delivered the engineering design work. This included the design of piled ground beam foundations to support a steel light frame superstructure, retaining walls, hard surfaces, highways S278 agreement, and a SuDs drainage scheme.

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