Space at The Bridge increased by 500%

Fri 21st Sep 2012

The Bridge is located in central Preston and is the 3rd building in the Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (LCFT) Estate portfolio to be space utilised.

Originally used as a Social Inclusion and Restart Centre, the service users prepared themselves to participate in areas such as economic, social and cultural life that their mental illness had previously prevented them from doing.  The Social Inclusion Centre closed in 2011 with only the Restart Team consisting of 15 members of staff remaining. 

A Space Utilisation exercise was initiated at The Bridge due to low staff numbers located within the building and the huge amount of unused space that could be used to accommodate additional staff.  The Trust’s IT department, originally located at Greenbank, which was not fit for purpose and with an expanding team due to TCS, required a new facility thus the decision was made to relocate them to The Bridge.  The lease and maintenance cost of the building for the existing 15 members of staff was around £6000pa per person. 

The Bridge floor plans were reviewed and a total floor area of 500m2 was calculated, meaning that under the 5m2 per person criteria the building could accommodate up to 100 static staff but under the agile working space requirement of 5m2 per person and on a 7/10 agile desk ratio the building could accommodate 142 staff.  With this increase in capacity the overhead costs for the building will drastically reduce.

The refurbishment work commenced on 21st May 2012 with the upgrading of the ventilation system and the lighting. Additional power and data was installed to accommodate the IT Helpdesk and a shower cubicle was constructed for staff wishing to cycle to work.  The toilet areas were upgraded to accommodate the increase in capacity and the disabled toilet remains in its original location. The refurbished building was handed over to the IT department on 10th August 2012 and the Restart Team reintroduced week commencing 13th August 2012.

The project was delivered under budget but occupation was delayed by two weeks due to additional upgrades required. Prior to the Space Utilisation project, The Bridge accommodated 15 members of staff, on completion of the project the building now accommodates 90 staff, an increase of 75 work spaces which is a total percentage increase of 500%.

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