When the Basildon Sure Start Programme was set up, it quickly identified a need to provide community and childcare facilities in a residential area of the town where a large number of young families lived.
The programme team and a group of parents set about identifying the ideal accommodation for their needs, and visited community facilities around the UK. From these investigations the team came up with a design for their new centre and put the work out to tender. The team needed to find a supplier that could provide comprehensive facilities on budget - and to a tight deadline.Solution :
A modular building solution was chosen to minimise disruption to the school site where the new facilities would be located - and Portakabin was chosen as the preferred supplier. The SureStart team was impressed by the quality of Portakabin buildings and the way the company's Lilliput nursery buildings had been designed completely around the needs of children.
The new Northlands Park Children's Centre incorporates facilities for children and adults, and includes a 50-place nursery, a community café, creche facilities, training rooms, a medical room, interview and counselling rooms and a large community room for group activities and after-school clubs. The building was finished off with a brick outer wall and a pitch roof to blend in with the nearby school buildings.
"We had a lot of very specific requirements that Portakabin had to meet. We wanted a durable building that would still look good in years to come. We wanted a supplier that understood the needs of children and could design the facilities around those needs. We wanted comprehensive facilities that would give the community a valuable new resource that they would want to use.
"We are really delighted with the new building from Portakabin - and it has been a real hit with the local community. Entries in the comments book at the official opening included 'it's beautiful, well planned and spacious beyond belief' and 'it's a real asset to the local community'. The building has a wonderful, welcoming atmosphere and a spacious feeling, which everyone really appreciates."
Maureen Longley, Basildon Sure Start Programme Co-ordinator