Following the appointment of our construction partner for Phase 1, Spotlight talks to Ardmore representatives, Alan Edgar and Eilish Kwai, both of whom will play a hands-on role on the delivery of the Wornington Green regeneration project.
When we spoke to Alan, he was keen to stress the ways in which Ardmore is different from many of its competitors. “Unlike so many other contractors, we do not sub-contract large parts of our projects. We handle as much of it as possible internally so that we keep tight control over budget and timescales,” he says.
Strict control over its supply chain is another factor that improves performance on projects and with its own sources of materials (metalwork, joinery, fittings), Ardmore reduces the risk of hold-ups due to delayed deliveries. A central storage unit in Enfield also allows Ardmore to schedule weekly deliveries, thereby reducing the amount of trips made and generating less site traffic.
Alan also believes that Ardmore’s history as a private, family- run business promotes a culture of accountability. “We operate a flat management structure so the directors involved in each of our projects report into the owners of the business on a daily basis. This short chain of command means that when problems arise, they tend to be resolved quickly,” he says.
During his time with Ardmore, Alan has worked on a number of large-scale residential projects and is a firm believer in the role communication has to play in the process. “Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to hide the fact that construction is a noisy and disruptive business,” he admits. “But we will always do our best to tell residents what to expect and to explain the reasons why certain things have to be done in a certain way.” To that end, Ardmore will be appointing a full time Resident Liaison Officer to help this flow of information and will be hosting a series of open days and sessions with the Residents’ Steering Group to explain the process and highlight peaks in construction activity.
The main peak in activity for Phase 1 is expected to take place in April/May when the concrete frame will be put in place, external works will take place and the interior fit-outs will be underway. More details of these activities will follow in future editions of Here & Now and at www.yourhereandnow.co.uk
Stressing the importance of the Wornington Green project, Alan comments: “This is a flagship project of its kind and so we want to work hard and impress here. We have a responsibility to both the client and the tenants to make sure this is a success and hope to remain involved over the long-term.”
Working alongside Alan, Eilish is Ardmore’s Employment and Skills Manager with responsibility for working within local communities to deliver training and employment opportunities. Having worked on projects in Boroughs such as Enfield, Hackney and Lewisham, Eilish has a strong track record in delivering opportunities for young people.
Ardmore currently has around 50 apprentices working across all its sites, all of whom have come from relationships with local schools, colleges and community groups. Eilish will initially work in conjunction with Construction Skills (www.cskills.org) to hold interviews for apprenticeships in key skills such as carpentry, plumbing and painting and decorating. After undergoing a programme called Be Constructive, which offers an insight into careers in construction, the apprentices will be selected.
A local resident has already started working for Ardmore and with Eilish’s help there will be more to follow. 16 year old Jalen is currently working with the fit-out team on the show flat at the Information and Sales Centre.
Aside from apprenticeships, Eilish hopes to work with local schools and colleges offering career advice and valuable work experience opportunities. Recent initiatives on other Ardmore projects have included working with colleges to give students a flavour of life on a construction site and offering them the chance to gain a Construction Skills Competence Scheme (CSCS) card, which are increasingly demanded by employers as proof of occupational competence.
Eilish takes her role very seriously and is convinced of the long- term benefits these initiatives offer. “We have a responsibility to generate employment opportunities and help young people gain access to vital training. My role is to ensure that we leave a good legacy which lasts long after the final brick is laid,” she says.
More detailed information on specific employment and training opportunities will appear in future editions of Here & Now and online at www.yourhereandnow.co.uk
If you want to find out more about Ardmore you can visit the website: