Woodhead complete biggest DWP collaborative co-location scheme

Lincoln’s new Public Services Hub – creating a one-stop-shop of vital services and organisations – is being officially unveiled today after Woodhead completes complex refurbishment works.

As well as being the home to City of Lincoln Council, City Hall will now be the new base for the Department for Work and Pensions’ JobCentre Plus. This brings together two key services to provide an improved experience for customers, creating the biggest DWP and local authority co-location project in the country.

The city council’s customer services and property shop operations will now be delivered from City Hall’s first floor east wing, with the JobCentre Plus situated on the first floor west wing.Alongside these services will be Lincolnshire Credit Union and Voluntary Centre Services, who will be joined shortly afterwards by The Network.

Angela Andrews, the city council’s Chief Executive, said: “The city council has been working for some time on a plan to bring together key services in one place. The arrival of the Department for Work and Pensions turns that plan into a reality.

“Customers will now only have to visit one building to access a range of services. This will be much more convenient for them and provide us with a more cost effective way of delivering services.

“We’ve worked hard to ensure minimal disruption while works to City Hall have taken place to accommodate this move and are grateful to everyone who has helped us make this happen.

Graham Sheppard, Jobcentre District Manager said: “This is a very exciting time for us and we are thrilled to be able to build stronger relationships with our colleagues at the local authority.“The new Public Services Hub will provide joined up services for the local community in a single building, enabling closer working with local partners, while offering a more comprehensive service to our customers and making significant savings for the taxpayer.”

Works to transform City Hall have been carried out by Robert Woodhead Limited. Juliet Slater, Team Leader for Woodhead, said: “The success of the refurbishment project at City Hall has been down to effective planning in partnership with the team at City of Lincoln Council.

The project, procured through the empa ii Minor Works Framework resulted in exceptional local spend results.  79.6% of spend was within 10 miles of the site and 97% of waste from the complex project was recycled.  The aim of empa, which was formed by local authorities in the East Midlands and is managed by Scape, is to improve the procurement and delivery of construction projects and property maintenance for public sector bodies saving time and money for them and in turn for council taxpayers.  Whilst on site the construction team had to work around the office users and visitors whilst maintaining a safe environment.

“We planned the programme carefully to make sure the impact on the services was kept to a minimum while the changes to City Hall took place.

“This partnership working, together with the empa procurement process has enabled us to deliver a much improved, more modern facility which works for the services and the customers who use it every day.”