Sewell Construction work through the night to create new home for major retailer

A new home for leading high street retailer TJ Hughes has been created at Kirkgate Shopping Centre in Bradford in another project working on behalf of long-term client Workman.

Workman is the largest, independent commercial property management and building consultancy firm in the UK, managing over 3,500 properties.

Sewell Construction was appointed to complete the refurbishment and remodelling work to transform four existing shops into one large retail unit, ready for another team to complete the fit-out for TJ Hughes.

Work was completed across five floors and the project offered a significant challenge due to noise restrictions set out in the tenants’ lease agreements and by the centre management team, which saw the team adapt to work throughout the night.

Limited space, restricted deliveries, high footfall and predominantly pedestrianised areas outside the centre also added further complexity to the project. A new stockroom was created in the existing basement service yard, with a new lift shaft and staircase leading up to the main shopping unit on the ground floor, while a new glazed shop front was installed to identify the base as one single retail outlet.

Lead Site Manager Carl Hurdus said: “It was an unusual place for us because it was a partial phased handover and we worked alongside the fit-out company when they started their work.

“The majority of the noisy work had to be carried out overnight and we managed the programme accordingly. It was a great team effort and fantastic to work for a long-term client whom we have built a very strong positive relationship with over the years.”

Attracting 15 million visitors each year and situated in the heart of Bradford’s City Centre, Kirkgate is a key part of Bradford’s core retail market.

Bill McCormack, Operations Manager at Kirkgate Shopping Centre, said working with Sewell was a positive experience.

He said: “I am very grateful for the way everyone in the team conducted themselves and worked with us to enable these works to be completed.

“It’s not easy having to action these works with a shopping centre that is still in operation and taking deliveries constantly throughout the day and night.

“Sewell has probably been the best contractor I have had to deal with in the 17 years I have worked here where we have had work done on our shop units.

“The tenants have a quiet enjoyment clause in their lease and contacted us if they had a problem with noise.

“These issues and others when raised and passed to your team were always dealt with and a compromise was always found.”

Previous projects Sewell Construction completed for Workman include converting two existing units into one 1,300 sqm unit for a major kitchen, bathroom and furniture retailer on a Hull retail park, with the space eventually becoming the company’s first showroom to feature all of its ranges.

Two other projects of note included forming three Victorian buildings into one unit, creating a home for a high-end restaurant at the popular Victoria Quarter in Leeds, and a 504sq m extension to an existing commercial unit in Seacroft, Leeds, providing additional warehouse space.