Fortem have been delivering projects on behalf of Chesterfield Borough Council since 2017. Works to the Grangewood Estate and Markham Court are two current schemes which are part of a wider scope of work to deliver innovative refurbishment projects across the town.
Markham Court is one of five sheltered accommodation blocks Fortem are refurbishing, with a combined contract value of around £10m – an investment that is improving the lives of more than 100 older and vulnerable residents, as well as offering long-term efficiency savings.
The Grangewood Estate is a £4.8m estate regeneration project consisting of various elements including significant external landscaping improvements to the area which contains 17 blocks of flats. This is a joint effort set to improve the lives of more than 155 Chesterfield residents.
Both Markham Court and Grangewood were progressing at full speed prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Following several discussions with the client, and in line with government advice and the Construction Leadership Council's Site Operating Procedures, it was agreed by all parties that Fortem would proceed with the schemes as safely as possible.
Both sites have been adapted, additional welfare has been provided, subcontractors have revised working methods and materials have been sourced from various places, including the client providing Fortem with pallets of plaster from their own stores to allow the work to progress.
Stuart Witty, Health, Safety and Environment Manager at Fortem said “The Fortem site teams have done their upmost to implement new standards to achieve social distancing onsite including additional health and safety procedures, canteens, one way systems etc. They have also set high cleaning standards to ensure that the works can safely continue. The team in Chesterfield have introduced ‘Sound your presence’ before entering areas across projects. These are all good practices that have not only reassured the health and safety team but the contractors continuing to work throughout this time.”
Markham Court was due to complete in May, but will now be completed in July to allow safer working practices. Grangewood is due to finish in July, and the team are pushing to achieve this date despite the difficulties faced.