SLL set up all the required project management systems for the project to progress, in partnership with HDC, between October and December 2013, and work commenced in January 2014. This include a Project Board and Project Steering Group; meetings were planned on the same day to best use all project resources and ensure the reporting line for the project fed into Council meetings in a timely manner to ensure all decisions could be made effectively.
A detailed Project Plan was developed, setting out all the key tasks and project timeline, as well as key milestones. A Risk Register was also developed and monitored throughout the project process.
The project was developed on the basis of separate, but linked procurement processes for the construction and operation, with the appointment of the operator planned for 12 months prior to the opening of the new facility. This meant that the appointed operator would run the two existing facilities for Year 1 of the contract, and then Year 2 would see the closure of the existing Hart Leisure Centre, and the opening of the new Hart Leisure Centre, with the contract period spanning a total of 11 years with a 5-year option to extend.
HDC officers worked closely with SLL, Wilmott Dixon(WD) and GT Architects to develop the facility mix, design and layout of the new facility, reflecting a previous SLL feasibility study, but also the significant population growth in the District, and specifically the demand for additional water space.
WD worked in partnership with GT Architects to develop the scheme finishes and appearance, within the defined capital cost envelope.
During this process, we met regularly with Members to share ideas and discuss options, including the detailed configuration of the water space. SLL developed detailed revenue modelling to illustrate and test the various options; this demonstrated that a three-pool offer would deliver better against the Council’s identified outcomes, than would a 50m pool.
SLL looked at a number of new facility developments and contract arrangements to inform the procurement process, so we had a view of the financial return the Council wanted to achieve, plus the arrangements it wanted to secure in terms of risk etc.
SLL drafted market testing documents, based around an introduction to the project, the Council’s Vision and objectives and a series of questions. SLL contacted a large sample of market operators both by email and telephone to invite them to respond and talked them through any queries / observations they had.
SLL then developed all the required procurement documentation i.e. Advert, PQQ, ITT, Evaluation matrix and the service specification, financial submission document, together with all appropriate supporting appendices. HDC legal officers provided procurement and legal advice on behalf of the Council, working closely with SLL. The PQQ attracted 16 submissions, which were shortlisted to 6. 4 Companies submitted at ITT stage, following a period of clarification questions, site and facility visits, and a Bidders’ Day.