Caddick Construction has secured the contract to reconfigure and refurbish Kendal Town Hall and South Lakeland House on behalf of South Lakeland District Council.

The £4.5million project will create new, modern town centre offices to support the Council’s Customer Connect Programme as well as workspace for other businesses, including MintWorks2 to boost business start-up and growth of small and medium sized enterprises.

As well as upgrading working facilities, the refurbishment will increase the range of events which can be accommodated at the Town Hall, provide disability access, open up more meeting room space for community groups and provide a joint reception area. The refurbishment will be sympathetic to the Town Hall’s listing and will enable greater use of the building by the public.

Designed to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability credentials of these buildings, the works will include improvements to insulation and windows and a green roof, solar panels and motion sensor LED lighting will be installed where appropriate to provide further efficiencies.

Planning permission and listed building consent have been obtained. Work will commence next month and is set to complete in September 2021. The Caddick Construction team will manage the work programme to minimise disruption to those who work in and visit the buildings.

Mark Walker, Contracts Manager at Caddick Construction said: “It is fantastic to secure such a high profile project. This is a further boost for the Caddick Construction’s new Kendal office. The team recently completed the JLR dealership in Kendal as well as Beehive Business Park in the Furness Peninsula where we are also on site building the Blue Light Hub.

“The refurbishment of Kendal Town Hall and South Lakeland House further strengthens our commitment to the Cumbria region and its supply chain. These projects will help to secure the future of the Town Hall and deliver vibrant, healthy workspace designed to improve productivity which will appeal to modern businesses. We look forward to delivering these schemes for the benefit of local residents.”

South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC’s) Cabinet approved the work following a buildings review as part of the council’s ‘Customer Connect’ innovation project.

The review looked at how the council could best use its buildings to support objectives to transform and modernise the way SLDC works and provides services for its residents and businesses.

The review concluded that the option that gave best value-for-money for the taxpayer would be to re-model South Lakeland House so around half the office space would be available to let to other organisations, with the main reception areas for the public moving to Kendal Town Hall.

The business case shows that the cost of the scheme would be fully repaid through savings from a more efficient building, reducing business rates and maintenance costs and additional income from letting out surplus office space, and would generate total savings of £450,000 over 10 years.

SLDC Leader Councillor Giles Archibald said: “This scheme will deliver significant social benefits as well as supporting business growth and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the council’s services.

“Doing this now will future-proof this council and the services it provides in the most cost-effective way for our residents. This is about making the best use of these buildings, safeguarding the future of the town hall and vastly improving accessibility for the public and putting the council at the heart of the high street.

“The investment will enable more activities for community groups to take place in the town hall and move main reception areas for the public to the front of the town hall to make visiting the council much more accessible and user-friendly, especially improving disabled access.’’

Lambert Smith Hampton undertook market assessment into demand requirements and Lambert Smith Hampton and Blue-Sky Interior Designers Ltd produced concept and developed design options for the project.

South Lakeland District Council undertook consultation regarding the proposals in 2019.