The £10m project, procured through SCAPE, will create a two-storey structure on designated open space off Belsize Road to house a new community centre on the ground floor, including a dedicated garden, creche, hall and various spaces for classes, as well as a state-of-the-art healthcare centre on the first floor.
The building’s design will use brick, timber and glass to ensure it complements its surrounding green open space, which will be carefully landscaped and include a new play area. The scheme will be targeted to a BREEAM rating of Excellent, and its unique timber glulam façade will be manufactured using offsite engineering.
The works form Phase Two of a wider regeneration programme currently being spearheaded by the council — The Abbey Area Masterplan — which aims to bring 241 energy-efficient homes, including new council and affordable homes, and revitalised community facilities to Camden.
The new facility on Belsize Road will provide a new, merged site for the existing Abbey Community Centre and Belsize Priory Medical Practice into a new community hub. Their current sites will eventually be demolished to make way for new affordable and private homes in Phase Three currently in design.
Wates has already played a large part in delivering the wider Abbey area regeneration, with the firm completing Phase One in February 2019 — which saw the demolition of an underused multi-story car park to deliver the first 141 new homes and additional commercial space.
Phase Two is the latest Wates build to be delivered through SCAPE Construction, a direct award framework designed to drive collaboration, efficiency, time and cost savings on construction projects. The contractor is already working on similar regeneration projects for Incrementum — Warrington Council’s housing development arm — and Burlington Close in Hounslow
As a SCAPE project, ensuring it delivers a positive lasting legacy is key to delivery, and Wates will be targeting local supply chain partners to support the build, as well as providing training and employment opportunities for students in the area.
Planning has been approved with final completion expected April 2022. Other delivery partners include Ikon Consultancy, CBRE, architects AHR, landscape architects Fabrik, engineering partner Stantec and building services engineers Norman Bromley Partnership.
Richard Shroll Regional Managing Director for London Residential at Wates Construction, said: “The Abbey area regeneration is a landmark investment for Camden and Phase Two is a vital part of its success. The brand new community hub and medical centre will be the cornerstone of the entire project — offering a place for locals to socialise, exercise and receive wellbeing support for years to come — as well as providing vital learning and employment opportunities throughout its build.
“As we’ve already worked with Camden on the delivery of Phase One, we have a strong working relationship with the Council and fully understand the importance of regenerating this iconic area of London. We look forward to starting on site, and completing this exciting, ambitious build for the borough and its residents.”
Councillor Danny Beales, Cabinet Member for Investing in Communities, Culture and an Inclusive Economy, commented: “This decision is a milestone in the Abbey Road development, and it brings us a step closer to delivering much-needed, essential and modern community facilities to Kilburn — all funded through our innovative Community Investment Programme.
“While funding from government for new council homes and community facilities has continued to run dry, Camden has remained committed to investing in community infrastructure that supports residents most in need and that helps to reduce inequality in Camden.
“This is important now more than ever. Throughout the pandemic we have all been reminded of the need for a good home, the vital role our healthcare services play, and the difference community facilities can make to people’s lives.
“At Abbey Road we have worked closely with residents to bring this all together; 66 new council homes are already providing Camden families with more space and a better standard of living, upgraded high-quality health facilities will be there to provide care for all residents, a modern community centre will offer an abundance of social and essential services, and residents will have access to invaluable green and play spaces.
“These are facilities that the local community can be proud of and that will remain an asset to the community for years to come.”
Mark Robinson, Group Chief Executive of SCAPE, said: “The pandemic has brought the value of local services and facilities sharply into focus, placing a renewed importance on the health and unity of communities. The new community and health centre, and vital outdoor space that is going to be delivered, rises to the community’s evolving needs.
“With the support of our framework, London Borough of Camden and Wates Construction are set to accelerate the delivery of a significant phase of the regeneration masterplan and, in turn, provide a modern community asset that has the people of Camden at its heart. A successful economic recovery will start from the ground up and be driven by communities — this project is helping to lay the groundwork for that.”