Hanro Group, a prominent property developer in Newcastle, enlisted the services of Sunderland-based Brims Construction for the extensive £3.5 million renovation of the former Gilbridge Police Station. The transformed building, now named The Yard, opened its doors in December 2022.
Once the bustling headquarters for city policing, the station had remained vacant since 2015, with its cells and meeting rooms frozen in time. Today, The Yard stands as a contemporary office hub catering to SME businesses. It offers a range of office suites for rent, starting from 45 sqm. The building underwent both external facade modifications and a complete internal fit-out.
In 2021, a planning application was approved to convert the premises into office spaces, featuring amenities such as fitness facilities for the occupants, an open business lounge and bookable meeting rooms.
Previously owned by Sunderland City Council, the property was sold in February 2020 to enable Hanro to enhance the Riverside Sunderland area. The council’s decision to sell to Hanro followed the expiration of an 18-month exclusivity deal between the council and Newcastle developer Charlie Hoult. The revitalisation of The Yard complements the development of office spaces on the former Vaux Brewery site, providing a significant boost to city centre traders.
The Yard’s development adds to the growing list of positive investment ventures in and around Riverside Sunderland, which is transforming into a vibrant mixed-use urban quarter where people live, work and play.
Covering an area of 3,000 sqm, The Yard adds to Hanro’s impressive portfolio of developments in Sunderland. Over the past five years, the company has invested more than £20 million in the city, including the development of retail spaces on Trimdon Street.
Brims Construction was entrusted with the task of bringing Hanro’s vision to life. The firm, located at Quay West Business Park, has recently completed notable projects in the vicinity, such as The Fire Station 450-seater Auditorium and the distinctive Tombola building on the fish quay.
Excitingly, Riverside Sunderland is set to host development projects worth up to £500 million. Currently underway are the construction of two Legal & General offices, a new multi-story car park, a pedestrian crossing over the Wear River and 132 ultra-sustainable homes – the first phase of a planned 1,000 residences for the area.
In addition to these projects, the Grade II listed Sheepfolds building, adjacent to the Stadium of Light, is scheduled for a significant restoration. City planners envision transforming the derelict structure into a stunning £2 million events and hospitality venue.
Riverside Park, a brand-new public park spanning 13.7 hectares, with a water space of 5.3 hectares, further enhances the appeal of the area. This park represents the initial phase of establishing Riverside Sunderland as a hub for high-quality green spaces, woodlands and nature walks at the heart of the development.
Location: Gill Bridge Av, Sunderland, SR1 3AP
Assignment: Builders clean, sparkle clean and external window cleaning
In 2020, The Hanro Group successfully secured the purchase of the former divisional headquarters from Sunderland City Council after a competitive bidding process. The North East developer unveiled an ambitious multi-million-pound project to convert the site into modern and flexible office spaces.
The comprehensive proposal entailed a complete refurbishment, both internally and externally, transforming the concrete-clad building into a dynamic business hub tailored to meet the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Following a meticulous planning process, The Hanro Group submitted a full planning application to Sunderland City Council’s planning department, which was validated in early July 2021. After careful consideration and consultation, the plans received official approval on August 23, 2021.
In a decision report prepared by council planners, the numerous benefits of the scheme were highlighted. These included the revitalisation of a vacant building, contributing to the overall regeneration efforts across the city and safeguarding the future of the structure for productive use. Additionally, the project was praised for its role in enhancing the character and appearance of the Bishopwearmouth Conservation Area while positively contributing to the economic renaissance of the Minster Quarter and the wider revitalisation of the city centre.
The newly designated Grade A office space will be spread throughout the building, accompanied by a state-of-the-art gym facility located in the basement. Other planned improvements involve the creation of a new car park, facade upgrades and enhancements to the surrounding landscape.
Originally constructed in 1972, the main police station features a distinctive brutalist design characterised by its exposed pre-cast concrete elements on all elevations.
The office development project includes the provision of 42 parking spaces, including two designated accessible spaces and four electric vehicle charging points. Additionally, the building’s basement will house 31 cycle spaces to encourage sustainable commuting options.
As part of the broader project, a separate planning application was approved in early 2021 to demolish the cell block building attached to the former police station, making way for surface parking to further accommodate the needs of the development.
Analysis: Site Visit
Cklip Commercial Cleaning conducted a comprehensive site visit as part of their assignment for The Yard project. The site visit aimed to assess the cleaning requirements, evaluate the condition of the premises and gather essential information to develop an effective cleaning plan.
During the site visit, Cklip’s team carefully evaluated the cleaning needs of The Yard. They assessed the size and layout of the premises, identified the different areas requiring cleaning attention and determined the extent of the cleaning required for each space. This evaluation allowed Cklip to understand the scope and complexity of the project and ensure that all areas would be thoroughly cleaned.
Cklip’s experts identified specific challenges that could arise during the cleaning process at The Yard. They examined factors such as the presence of heavy machinery, delicate surfaces or hard-to-reach areas. By identifying these challenges during the site visit, Cklip could develop appropriate cleaning techniques and strategies to overcome them and ensure a high-quality cleaning outcome.
Safety was a paramount concern for Cklip during the site visit. They evaluated the site for any potential safety hazards, such as uneven surfaces, slippery areas or restricted access points. Cklip ensured that their cleaning plan incorporated all necessary safety measures, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and adherence to relevant health and safety regulations.
The site visit included a detailed analysis of the external window cleaning requirements at The Yard. Cklip’s team examined the height, size and accessibility of the windows to determine the most effective and efficient methods for achieving sparkling clean results.
They assessed any potential obstacles or challenges associated with external window cleaning and devised strategies to address them.
Throughout the site visit, Cklip documented site-specific details, such as the types of surfaces, materials and finishes present in different areas of The Yard. This information was essential for selecting appropriate cleaning products, tools and techniques that would achieve the desired results without causing damage.
The site visit analysis conducted by Cklip Commercial Cleaning for The Yard project played a crucial role in understanding the cleaning requirements, identifying site-specific challenges, assessing safety considerations and gathering essential details. By conducting a thorough analysis during the site visit, Cklip was able to develop a customised cleaning plan that addressed the specific needs of The Yard. The analysis ensured that the cleaning process would be efficient, effective and safe, leading to a successful cleaning outcome for the project.
Planning: Site Survey
Cklip Commercial Cleaning conducted a thorough site survey as part of their assignment for The Yard project. The site survey was an essential step in understanding the specific cleaning requirements and assessing the condition of the premises.
During the site survey, Cklip’s team carefully examined the layout of The Yard. They analysed the floor plans and spatial arrangement to gain a comprehensive understanding of the premises. This evaluation helped identify different areas that required cleaning attention, such as office spaces, common areas and external surfaces.
Cklip meticulously assessed the various surfaces present within The Yard. They identified the types of materials used, such as concrete, metal, glass or wood and evaluated their specific cleaning needs. This included considering factors such as sensitivity to certain cleaning products, the presence of stubborn stains or debris and any specific cleaning instructions provided by the client.
The site survey also involved identifying any challenges or obstacles that could impact the cleaning operations. This included factors such as hard-to-reach areas, delicate equipment or machinery, tight spaces or areas with limited ventilation. Cklip noted these challenges to develop appropriate cleaning strategies and ensure thorough and safe cleaning practices.
Cklip considered environmental factors that could affect the cleaning process at The Yard. They assessed aspects such as natural lighting, airflow, temperature and the presence of nearby vegetation or outdoor elements. This evaluation helped determine the appropriate cleaning techniques, products and equipment to achieve optimal results while minimising any potential environmental impact.
Throughout the site survey, Cklip documented any special cleaning requirements specified by the client, Brims. This included unique cleaning standards, preferences or regulations that needed to be adhered to during the cleaning process. The team ensured that these requirements were considered in their cleaning plan to meet Brims expectations.
The site survey conducted by Cklip Commercial Cleaning for The Yard project was a crucial step in assessing the cleaning requirements and understanding the specific characteristics of the premises. Through the evaluation of the site layout, cleaning surfaces, challenges, environmental factors and special requirements, Cklip gained valuable insights that informed the development of a tailored cleaning approach. The site survey ensured that the cleaning plan and execution were aligned with Brims expectations and the unique needs of The Yard. By conducting a comprehensive site survey, Cklip demonstrated their commitment to delivering exceptional cleaning services tailored to the specific requirements of their clients.
Implementation: Works Carried Out
Cklip Commercial Cleaning was approached by Brims, a prominent construction company, to provide comprehensive cleaning services for their project, The Yard, located at Gill Bridge Avenue in Sunderland, SR1 3AP. The assignment included builders cleaning, sparkle cleaning and external window cleaning.
Brims is a renowned construction company with a strong presence in the Sunderland area. They specialise in large-scale commercial and residential projects, known for their commitment to quality and attention to detail.
Cklip Commercial Cleaning was entrusted with the responsibility of executing a range of cleaning tasks to ensure The Yard project was presented in pristine condition.
The initial task was to perform a thorough builders clean. This involved removing construction debris, dust and any other remnants from the construction process. The team at Cklip meticulously cleaned all surfaces, including floors, walls, ceilings and fixtures. Special attention was given to high-traffic areas, such as entrances and hallways, to ensure a clean and welcoming environment for future occupants.
Once the builders clean was completed, Cklip’s team proceeded to perform a sparkle clean. This phase involved a detailed cleaning of all areas to achieve a polished and immaculate finish. The team meticulously cleaned all surfaces, paying close attention to fixtures, windows, doors and floors. Additionally, they ensured that all interior glass, mirrors and stainless-steel surfaces were spotless, giving the project a visually appealing and hygienic appearance.
To complete the project, Cklip Commercial Cleaning also carried out external window cleaning. This involved cleaning all windows on the building’s exterior, including those on upper floors. The team utilized industry-standard equipment and cleaning solutions to remove dirt, grime and any other contaminants from the windows, leaving them crystal clear and enhancing the overall aesthetics of The Yard.
During the project, the team encountered a few challenges that required quick thinking and efficient problem-solving. One such challenge was the tight project deadline. The Yard’s grand opening was fast approaching and Cklip had to ensure all cleaning tasks were completed within the given timeframe. To overcome this challenge, Cklip mobilised a larger workforce and implemented a well-structured cleaning plan, ensuring that all tasks were carried out efficiently without compromising on quality.
Another challenge was the height of the building, which posed difficulties for external window cleaning. Cklip’s team implemented advanced safety measures and utilised specialised equipment, such as high-reach poles, to safely clean the windows at higher levels, ensuring the well-being of their staff while delivering exceptional results.
Cklip Commercial Cleaning successfully completed all assigned tasks for The Yard project within the agreed-upon timeline. The building was left in a pristine condition, ready for occupancy and showcasing the high standards of cleanliness and hygiene. The client, Brims, expressed utmost satisfaction with the quality of work delivered by Cklip. They praised the professionalism and attention to detail exhibited by the cleaning team and commended their ability to overcome challenges efficiently.
The Yard project served as a testament to Cklip Commercial Cleaning’s expertise in providing comprehensive cleaning services for large-scale construction projects. The successful completion of this assignment further solidified their reputation as a reliable and quality-driven cleaning service provider in the Sunderland area.
Review: Hand Over
Upon completion of the cleaning tasks, Cklip Commercial Cleaning organised a final walkthrough with Brims to ensure client satisfaction and obtain sign off for the project. During the walkthrough, Cklip’s team demonstrated the work completed, showcasing the cleanliness and attention to detail in every area.
The client, Brims, expressed utmost satisfaction with the quality of work delivered by Cklip Commercial Cleaning. They were particularly impressed by the professionalism, efficiency and dedication displayed by the cleaning team throughout the project. Brims acknowledged the successful completion of the assignment and signed off on the work, indicating their approval and satisfaction with the cleaning services provided.
The Yard project served as a testament to Cklip Commercial Cleaning’s expertise in delivering high-quality cleaning services for construction projects. The successful handover and sign-off of the project reinforced their reputation as a reliable and professional cleaning service provider in the Sunderland area. Cklip’s commitment to meeting client expectations and maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene further solidified their relationship with Brims and paved the way for future collaborations.