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Gloucestershire Business News

BAM awarded contract in £10.6m Five Acres scheme

Residents will soon see construction activity at the Five Acres site in the Forest of Dean after the contract was awarded to BAM.

Forest of Dean District Council has chosen leading national construction and property developer BAM to develop and build the new leisure, enterprise and education facility.

The Five Acres design, build and construction project is part of the Levelling Up Fund bid which totals £10.6m.

BAM are a UK-wide construction company with a local office in Caerphilly. The £364,000 pre construction services contract has been agreed so far as part of the design and build process.

Cllr Johnathan Lane, cabinet member for levelling up, said: "Since taking control of the site in early 2022, the council has been hard at work ensuring that the initial demolition of buildings on the site, as well as the design and planning of the new facility, were completed on time and with the engagement of the local community, organisations and sports clubs.

"We're now really excited to move on to the next stage of the project, appointing BAM to bring the design and build to fruition and to deliver the quality facilities needed by people in the local community.

"I'd like to thank those who have been involved with the Five Acres and Levelling Up project so far and look forward to the next stage of this journey, working collaboratively with partners to deliver the best possible facilities for the Forest of Dean."

BAM has been building in the UK since 1874, designing, building and maintaining sustainable buildings that enhance local communities.

BAM says it is committed to adding social value and will work with local suppliers wherever possible, helping to bring a range of benefits to the Forest of Dean: local knowledge, local people, support for the local economy and a smaller carbon footprint.

The project at Five Acres will be completed in phases, with the initial phase focusing on dryside sport and leisure facilities through the repurposing of the Speedwell building, building a new multi-purpose four court sports hall/performance space, party rooms/dressing rooms and separate changing rooms - all with car parking, including electric vehicle charging points.

Justin Price, construction director at BAM, said: "We're incredibly excited to be chosen as the contractor for the design and build of the new facilities at Five Acres.

"We are aware of how much Five Acres means to the residents of the Forest of Dean and we'll be holding several engagement events in the coming months so that we can discuss the plans for the build in detail with people from across the district.

"At BAM we are committed to working with local businesses wherever possible and we can't wait to work with partners and the community to develop these incredible facilities for the residents of the Forest of Dean."

Forest of Dean District Council, leading design consultants Pick Everard and build contractors BAM will work together with residents to establish the final design plans for Five Acres before a planning application is submitted and construction can begin.

Dates for future engagement events with residents will be announced on the Forest of Dean District Council website and social media channels.

Alex Dovey, director at Pick Everard, said: "The work set to be undertaken at Five Acres is indicative of our commitment to transforming people's wellbeing through access to high quality leisure and educational environments.

"It will be a modern facility, delivering significant social value to the local community through accessible, multi-use spaces for all the family, that will have a lasting impact for generations to come.

"We're pleased to be collaboratively working on this venture and look forward to delivering a range of management and consultative services."

Punchline reported back in February on tenders opening for the Five acres site. 

Punchline says: "We've no criticism of BAM but it's not a local contractor that's won it. It should have gone to a good local firm. There are a lot of good local contractors around that employ local people, local apprentices and local sub-contractors such as Barnwood, E G Carter and Kier. It's a missed opportunity by Forest of Dean District Council. They've just gone for the cheapest tender."

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