04 November 2020

Transformation of Plymouth’s Crownhill Court gathers pace

Work is progressing well in the transformation of a landmark office building in Plymouth as part of a major property investment by Plymouth City Council which will secure hundreds of jobs for the city.

Midas Construction is completely refurbishing the Crownhill Court building which was acquired by the Council to provide new premises for the Valuation Office Agency, safeguarding the future of the agency in Plymouth and leading to the tripling of their workforce to more than 300 civil servant jobs in the city.

Council Leader Tudor Evans OBE and Cabinet Member for Finance Cllr Mark Lowry visited the site to see for themselves the progress being made and meet with Midas staff and apprentices working on the project.

Council leader Tudor Evans said: “It’s great to see an empty office building coming back to life and to see young people getting hands-on and paid experience.

“By investing in this property, the Council is helping to keep hundreds of civil servant jobs right here in Plymouth. 

“But long before anyone is sitting at a desk here, this project is providing opportunity for young people, steady incomes for construction workers and of course, the suppliers. Our recovery programme Resurgam aims to protect existing jobs as well as create new opportunities, so while 2020 has not been an easy year, to see this project doing so well is really heartening.”

The refurbishment is due for completion later this year and will see a complete fit out of the existing building to provide a high-quality modern workspace. Ongoing work includes improvements to the mechanical and electrical systems, new partitioning as well as floor, wall and ceiling finishes.

Mike Borkowski, Business Development Director at Midas Construction, said: “We were delighted to welcome Council Leader Tudor Evans to site to see the progress of the refurbishment and to meet the team, including some of the apprentices, who have been working on the project.

“This project really does showcase the breadth of construction expertise in Plymouth and between Midas, Ward Williams and Plymouth City Council, we estimate to have kept over 90% of the project spend in the local area.

“As a locally based business in Plymouth we are proud to work on such an important initiative for the city, that, once complete, will provide a new home to the VOA and a significant number of job opportunities here.”

Midas Construction is committed to providing social value and leaving a positive impact in the communities it works in. On this particular project, Midas already has three apprentices working on site who will soon be joined by others and is working with City College Plymouth to arrange placements for construction students as well as looking to arrange construction careers events with the college. Midas also has plans to create new employment for local people as well as providing training opportunities and qualifications for staff working on site.

Plymouth City Council is also dedicated to providing skills and employment opportunities for those living and working in the city. Resurgam: Plymouth’s Covid-19 Economy Recovery Plan has launched Skills 4 Plymouth which is working to understand what skills businesses need to enable the city’s economic recovery. The programme is looking to help people to become work ready to help get them back into meaningful employment and achieve positive skills outcomes.

The Valuation Office Agency employs more than 3,200 staff who are responsible for compiling and maintaining lists of council tax bands for 26 million domestic properties and the rateable value of more than two million commercial properties for business rates. Crownhill Court will form one of its two customer service centre hubs in the UK.

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