The former St John’s Ambulance premises in the heart of Stamford, which has stood empty for around five years, will still be refurbished and turned into office space, the Peterborough Telegraph reported.
South Kesteven District Council, which owns the building, is behind the proposals and councillor Kelham Cooke explained why the project is still set to go ahead, despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and more people around the country working from home.
“The demand for office space in Stamford currently exceeds supply, and while this is a relatively small refurbishment scheme, we are confident that this new office provision will be in demand from new and growing Stamford businesses,” he asserted.
The intention is to convert this currently disused building into an open-plan office space suitable for around 15 people.
Councillor Cooke added that there has been steady demand for offices in Stamford’s town centre for the past three years and that this demand hasn’t been diminished by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The open-plan design will provide the flexibility needed to ensure the refurbishment meets current and future needs,” he concluded.
As the news provider pointed out, the former St John’s Ambulance building is in a conservation area within the town, which means the refurbishment will be carried out sensitively to ensure it is in keeping with the rest of the area.
Planning permission for the refurbishment was granted in May this year and a contractor has now been approved to carry out the work, the news provider reported. The new offices are expected to be completed within three months of work starting on the site.
Another refurbishment project that is already underway is the £13 million scheme to renovate Whitby Community Hospital, the Gazette Herald reported. The project started in March, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
The refurbished Tower Block at the hospital will consolidate the clinical service and support services in the same building, with this part of the renovation work expected to be completed by summer next year.
Michele Moran, chief executive at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, commented: “We are thrilled to see the progression of the refurbishment go ahead as planned and we are looking forward to the next stages of the development.”
The whole project is due to be completed by the end of 2021, the newspaper noted, with the renovation including external work to the building as well as internal demolition of ceilings and floors as well as the removal of roofs.
Once it’s finished, as well as consolidating the hospital’s services, it will deliver an extra care facility, an ambulance bay with drop-off facilities and a new car parking area.
NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group accountable officer Amanda Bloor told the publication that the staff at Whitby Community Hospital are doing an amazing job. “Every part of the NHS is working incredibly hard to overcome the challenges presented by Covid-19 – and renovating a hospital is a major project and no easy task at the best of times,” she asserted.
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