19 September 2019

John Lewis Cheltenham
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Project Details

Customer: Blackrock Investments & John Lewis PLC

Value: £14 million

Duration: 63 weeks

Completion Date: Feb 2018

Contract Type: JCT Design & Build 2011

Procurement Type: Competitive tender - 2 stage

GIFA: 14,600m²



  • Finalist – ‘Best Large Commercial Project’, 2018 LABC West of England Building Excellence Awards
  • Average CCS score 39
  • BREEAM Very Good
  • Supported three graduate trainees
  • Diverted 99% of waste from landfill


Project Summary

Customer Brief

Creation of this two-storey flagship John Lewis store involved the BREEAM Very Good refurbishment of Beechwood Place shopping centre in Cheltenham. Situated in a prominent position on the high street, the project aimed to significantly boost the area’s retail market.


Midas completed shell and internal works, with customer Blackrock Investments and under direct appointment from John Lewis, to provide over 157,000ft² of retail space and enable their fit out.


This design and build contract included soft strip and demolition works, installation of lifts and escalators, construction of a roof light with atrium roof covering, and refurbishment of the car park and arcade entrance. The new store features a double height glazed façade with etching, stone detailing and metalwork.


Midas met the sustainability requirements through use of an energy efficient, low carbon building design constructed from responsibly sourced, durable materials.



  • The shopping mall is in a busy town centre location, with a restricted site and limited access.
  • The project included major demolition works to the front of the building, facing the pedestrianised high street.
  • The shopping centre remained open at the beginning of the project with the surrounding commercial and retail units open and trading throughout.



  • Midas managed this challenging location through regular communication with the occupied centre and adjoining units, providing an introductory letter to the area supplemented with regular updates via social media. The project manager regularly met with commercial neighbours, attended a monthly meeting of the Cheltenham Town Centre Coordination Group (CTCCG), and visited the local commercial properties on a weekly basis.
  • The site team completed two major demolitions of the atrium and façade to the high street during the busy Christmas and New Year shopping period, closely coordinating and supporting works between contractors resulting in minimal impact to local businesses. The team selected specialist plant to prevent the spread of dust or debris, completing sections of the demolition by hand to reduce the risk and providing scaffolding protection over the nearby businesses for additional protection. Due to the limitations of equipment to access the centre, the team used specialist plant including spider cranes to install structural steelwork.
  • Midas erected solid hoarding around the site supplemented with plastic hoarding and mesh gates secured with DigiLocks, and an internal dividing wall to separate shoppers and centre staff from the site. The team implemented a bespoke Traffic Management Plan with deliveries timed to avoid peak periods, preventing simultaneous deliveries and keeping within planning hours to avoid disturbing nearby residents. Midas met regularly with stakeholders for CTCCG to coordinate works and managed several party wall agreements through close liaison with the customer and all affected parties, addressing any issues ahead of works.


Added Value:

The project achieved BREEAM Very Good through provision of secure cycle storage; an energy efficient, low carbon building design constructed from responsibly sourced, durable materials; diversion of over 99% of waste from landfill for reuse or recycling; and implementation of a travel plan that encouraged car sharing and the use of public transport.


The team engaged with the community, issuing regular newsletters, using a local labour agency and sending a site representative to attend local Cheltenham Task Force meetings. The site displayed a community notice board and gave free advertising space for local businesses and the Cheltenham Festival on the site hoarding. Midas coordinated our works with local sites, businesses and developments whilst keeping to programme and gave site tours to members of Constructing Excellence Gloucestershire and Women In Property. The site supported local education and promoted careers in construction by delivering a presentation, site tour and Q&A sessions for students and lecturers from RICS Matrics Gloucester.

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