The Harbour is a new build 154 bed adult inpatient mental health facility in Blackpool delivered for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (LCFT) in January 2015.

LCFT had initially engaged a design and construction team through the ProCure21 framework and developed a design for 143 bed facility at a cost of £74m. The scheme was considered unaffordable at this cost, while the Trust had also wished to increase bed numbers to 154.

As the Trust’s Strategic Estate Partner, Ryhurst provided resource and expertise through our capital projects team. Employed as site supervisor on the project by LCFT under NEC3 Professional Services contract, Ryhurst worked with the Trust’s Project Lead and design and finance teams including Aecom and Deloitte Real Estate to reduce delivery costs and make the scheme affordable, as well as ensure the project delivered the number of beds required by the Trust. 

Working in partnership with the Trust’s Project Lead, Ryhurst rationalised the proposed non-clinical space (multi-functional rooms and shared administrative areas) by increasing flexibility for clinical service provision and redesigned internal layouts to provide the required increase in bed numbers.

The design footprint was reoriented to lessen the impact of the site topography and geological conditions, which helped to further reduce the cost. Ryhurst provided a further detailed review of the design specification and materials with value engineering recommendations, including moving from a steel frame to block work.

The negotiated changes contributed to a reduction in capital cost from £74m to £56m.

The efficient delivery of the Harbour was based on robust end to end project management processes established from previous PFI and LIFT projects experience and a reporting structure agreed with the Trust at the start. Strong working relationships were established during the design phase which encouraged information sharing and a firm understanding of the Trust’s requirements.

The three key elements to the successful project management were:

  • Good communication
  • A well-managed project programme with a clear critical path
  • Developing good working relationships

Our capital projects team developed a project programme which included a detailed schedule of all meetings, site briefings, approval dates and milestones. This was agreed with the Trust’s Project Lead and the whole supply chain to ensure all parties were prepared and working in synchronicity.

We insisted upon staff continuity from the supply chain at the outset and during each development stage. This meant that information and learning throughout the project was captured and understood, and it reduced the potential for misunderstanding and delay.  

“You come in here and it is light and airy, and the staff are friendly, and it feels therapeutic. There are people who will come in here broken, and leave feeling well.” Alistair Campbell MP, opening of the Harbour

Ryhurst takes a flexible and transparent approach to managing cost to deliver projects with a clear risk and reward profile. On the Harbour we delivered:

  • Transparency in cost build up, through open book accounting
  • Fixed fee for delivery of the scheme
  • Cost certainty by accepting overrun risk
  • Incentivisation for delivering savings
  • End to end financial management and payment of the supply chain

Through the NEC3 site supervisor role, Ryhurst also had responsibility for managing the delivery, installation and placement of the main Fixtures, Fittings and Equipment (FF&E) between the end of December 2014 and throughout staff inductions in January 2015.  

Developing a clearly understood critical path and risk management process was vital to delivering to the Trust’s challenging timetable. The project was delivered on time and to budget.

Ryhurst provides working capital for new projects on a case by case basis as agreed with our partners through the New Project Approval Process. We are able to offer internal funding for development work to Financial Close.

On the £56m Harbour project, Ryhurst cash-flowed £1.9m of working capital. To maximise income generation and funding available for investment in capital projects we will consider both revenue and capital sequencing as part of the Partnership Plan and critical path.

Our approach to securing funding for delivery of new capital projects is based on a robust investigative process managed by our Finance Team.

It is important to understand the risks that each funding source brings and the likely positives and negatives to be considered.

Red Rose Corporate Services, a Strategic Estate Partnership (SEP) between Ryhurst and Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for the management of Property Services across LCFT’s estate, including the delivery of Hard and Soft FM services at The Harbour.