Interserve appointed contractor to £11m Walsall business and sports hub

CONSTRUCTION giant Interserve has been appointed as the main contractor for Walsall College’s new £11m Business and Sports Hub.
Interserve, which trades and operates in more than 40 countries, was chosen as the main build contractor for the scheme following a competitive tendering process.

Drilling operations, which started in May, have been successfully completed to ensure that pockets of limestone under the surface were filled in; improving conditions of the vacant land on Littleton Street West. A team of contractors and sub-contractors will soon move onto site to begin the estimated 12-month construction process.
The state-of-the-art three-storey new build will sit adjacent to Walsall College’s main £64m Wisemore Campus and is expected to open in September 2015. The project forms part of Walsall Council’s long-term £400m Gigaport initiative, which will create business and office development along the ring road corridor, creating thousands of jobs.
The WBSH will include a business incubation centre for start-up businesses, sports hall with badminton courts to Sport England standards, dance and fitness studios, sports training and injury clinic and a fine dining restaurant.
Walsall College and the local authority will work closely with Interserve to maximise the opportunities arising from the development, for both local suppliers and residents.
Deb Rajania, Director of Operations and Resources at Walsall College, said: “A lot of hard work has been put in to get to this point so we’re delighted to confirm that our Governing Body, with support from our Chair of Corporation Brian Lowe and Principal & Chief Executive Jatinder Sharma, has approved the award of the main build contract to Interserve which has an impressive track-record in delivering major new build projects right across the country.
“We are looking forward to creating a unique venue where the business community and budding entrepreneurs will take advantage of its incubation facilities and training and corporate event opportunities and the wider community will have greater opportunity to get involved in sport and physical activity.”
Simon Butler, Divisional Director for Interserve, said: “Interserve is thrilled to have secured this contract to deliver Walsall College’s vision to promote a healthy Walsall and give entrepreneurs the support they need to kick-start the businesses of the future, creating a thriving economy for all.
“These state-of-the-art facilities for both students and the wider community will energise people in sport and physical activity and give businesses a platform from which to grow and prosper. Walsall is an historic town, in the heart of the Black Country, and we are really pleased to be part of its ongoing transformation.”
Cllr Adrian Andrew, portfolio holder for regeneration and transport at Walsall Council, said: “I’m delighted that another development, creating businesses, jobs and opportunities for the future, is being delivered in Walsall.
“It’s another piece in the jigsaw and shows that the council is delivering regeneration and job creation within the borough. I’d like to congratulate the college for securing this investment.”

The appointment comes as Interserve announces a 28.7% increase in first half revenues.

The company accrued £1,374.8m (2013: £1,068m) in the first six months, with pre-tax profit up 36.4% to £50.2m (2013: £36.8m).

It said winning a contract to build a new £55m sports centre for the University of Birmingham and the development of Resorts World Casino at the NEC had played a part in the success.

The company has also completed the handover to Jaguar Land Rover of its new £0.5bn engine plant at the i54 site near Wolverhampton.

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