“I remember the first community engagement events we had two years ago for this building,” reflects one member of our tour group.
“And now it’s great to see those ideas being put into action.”
She is talking about Limelight, a new community hub and extra care scheme, being built by Willmott Dixon Partnerships in Old Trafford, a stone’s throw from Manchester city centre.
The £18m scheme has seen Willmott Dixon demolish an existing community centre on the site. It will be replaced by 81 extra care apartments and community facilities including retail, a library, healthcare facilities, a pharmacy, an optician and a nursery.
Willmott Dixon Limelight 1
The tour group for today’s Open Doors visit includes members of the local community, who have been turning up all week to see their new community centre coming together.
“We’ve had fully booked tours all week,” reflects community manager Beth Modder.
The scheme has been split over two phases, with Willmott Dixon building a new church – St Bride’s – and a new rectory for the first phase.
The community centre and extra care apartments form the second phase of the project, which is due to complete in September this year.
Willmott Dixon Limelight 3
Ms Modder says that local engagement has been a key part of the scheme, with 30 people recruited from the local area to work on the project.
Limelight has also seen 50 apprentices pass through the scheme so far.
As senior build manager Neil Rowbotham shows us around the site, the local visitors are clearly excited about what will hopefully be a thriving community hub for their area.
Project: Limelight, Old Trafford
Contractor: Willmott Dixon Partnerships
Client: Trafford Housing Trust
Start date: January 2016
Completion date: September 2017