Wigan Joint Service Centre
Location: Wigan, UK
LeighFisher was Lead and Technical Adviser to Wigan Council for the development and procurement of the £50 million Wigan Joint Service Centre (JSC). The Centre provides a community of spaces around a central organising hub, helping revitalise the town’s civic centre so our infrastructure advisory services played a key role. The project involved the redevelopment of Council-owned sites to provide a contact facility, a One-Stop-Shop centre, Information and Learning Zone, (including a new public library), Neighbourhood Zone, and Healthy Living Zone (including a new swimming pool). The Centre is a one stop shop for all health and social care services and is a contact point for the Council, its housing and leisure partners, the police, the National Health Service, the fire service, and community and voluntary groups.
The JSC was a multi-stakeholder scheme that included the Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust; Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust; Wigan & Leigh Housing Arm's Length Managment Organisation; voluntary organisations; and the Police and the Fire Service.
The project was funded as a Public-Private Partnership and LeighFisher took a lead role in preparing the Outline Business Case, developing the procurement strategy, providing technical and cost advice, infrastructure planning, and specifying the detailed requirements in consultation with stakeholders. We prepared the successful Office of Government Commerce Gateway reviews and led the dialogue with government during its scrutiny of the business case. We advised on the governance structure supported by Project Management Methodology (PRINCE2-based) procedures and provided project management and procurement advice.
This advice included proposal development meetings with the bidders and stakeholders to ensure that the Council’s requirements were properly understood providing government procurement advice and constructive feedback on proposals. This resulted in high-standard proposals from the bidders that met the Council’s aspiration for a civic flagship facility.
We provided specialist risk management advice, developed a project risk register and a quantified risk analysis to determine the contingency provision, and facilitated risk workshops to identify and quantify the key risks.
The financial crisis occurred during the preferred bidder stage, which led to a withdrawal of bank finance for the project. We responded quickly to support and work with the Council and other professional advisers to continue engagement with the preferred bidder while they sought alternative sources of finance. By developing a sustainable infrastructure design with contract documentation, we maintained momentum so work could commence as soon as agreement was reached. While there was a delay, once alternative finance was agreed, the scheme progressed rapidly to financial close.
- A leisure, health, learning and information complex that includes a one stop shop for all public services
- We were lead and technical advisors throughout the procurement
- We supported the client in securing Private Finance Initiative funding and throughout the process of securing new sources of funding in a difficult financial environment