Every project we’re involved in inevitably features the same key ingredients: a finite budget, a tight timescale and an expectation of quality far greater than you might typically associate with the costs. This time, however, those expectations came from ourselves.
Since Evolution launched in 2011, we’ve been operating out of a small industrial unit in Thornton, Lancashire which we converted to office space. It’s about 600 sq ft, and it’s been bursting at the seams for some years now, limiting our ability to bring in new members of staff because we’ve simply not had anywhere to put them.
Our new location has, until recently, been a 1,300 sq foot shell on Avroe Crescent in Blackpool. The new facility sits in an Enterprise Zone, which presents immediate benefits, but is also just five minutes from the nearest motorway and similarly close to Blackpool Council’s offices, for whom we continue to refurbish, renovate and maintain much of the town’s social housing stock.
Key to the new development was staying in control of the budget and not letting a lengthy wishlist of ‘nice-to-haves’ send the project spiralling out of control. That’s a challenge when you have all the skills to build virtually anything in-house – but restraint was important, not least because the fit-out of the new HQ had to happen in addition to our existing commitments.
So, as with every project we manage, we established some milestones to ensure the project remained on track, reviewed our progress regularly, and entrusted the work to a team we trust to deliver on time and on spec – our own.
Key to the design was exploring not only the facilities we need now, but how those needs will develop over the next five years. It’s for that reason we’ve ensured spaces are adaptable, with open plan banks of desks which can be rearranged to accommodate more staff, and additional power and telecoms points to ensure there’s room not only for the people we have, but for the people we anticipate will be joining us over the coming years.
The UK’s fastest internet connections
The site uses shielded CAT 6 cabling to take advantage of a new fibre optic cable currently being laid on site. Once installed, the Enterprise Zone will be capable of enjoying internet speeds faster than anywhere else in the UK and some of the fastest in the world. By installing the shielded cabling now, we’re ready for it.