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Posted: 5 May, 2020

On 8th May 2020 it will be 75 years since millions of people took to the streets to celebrate the end of the war in Europe. Despite the current social-distancing rules, we can still join together as a nation to reflect on the enormous sacrifice and courage of those who saw us through these dark times and to celebrate as people did 75 years ago, the arrival of peace in Europe. Focus is proud to have been involved in projects across the military sector that were vital to preserving stories and artefacts from these times. Working with clients such as...

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Posted: 9 Apr, 2020

  The impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented and it is uncertain at this time how long the impact will last. All sectors have been affected and already national, regional and local funding agencies have put in place funding to support organisations at this difficult time. We have developed a brief overview of the funding opportunities available through the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England to organisations within the arts, culture and heritage sectors. Should you require any assistance in applying for funding and / or supporting your organisation at this time we are ready and...

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Posted: 7 Apr, 2020

Work is underway on site for a £840,000 project, providing a new community building for the Village of Ropsley and surrounding settlements. Focus Consultants has been appointed as contract administrator and quantity surveyor on the scheme to provide cost management and advice, quality control and project management. The scheme is being undertaken by the Ropsley New Hall Steering Group on land adjacent to the existing Ropsley Memorial Hall. The existing hall, constructed in 1949, was deemed no-longer fit for purpose and unsustainable in 2014 and has required significant and regular maintenance over recent years. Due to open in Autumn 2020,...

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Posted: 31 Mar, 2020

Focus Consultants cultural services consultant, Laura Summers, has become a Trustee of a new charity which has been formed to save heritage buildings across Nottingham city. The Trust will also have an important role in helping communities across the city to manage their historic buildings. The City of Nottingham Historic Buildings Limited (CoNHBL) has been created to preserve buildings which are in poor condition, and many of them are considered to be at risk by Historic England. The charity’s remit also covers parks and archaeology. The CoNHBL is one of the mechanisms designed to deliver the objectives of the Nottingham...

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Posted: 25 Mar, 2020

Focus Consultants has continued its role as one of the leading consultants in the museum exhibition sector with key appointments at the V&A London and its sister museum in Dundee. Focus was the lead consultant on Cars: Accelerating the Modern World and Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, which are both currently running at the V&A South Kensington in London. We also carried out a similar role for the V&A Dundee’s successful Hello, Robot. Design Between Human and Machine which has recently finished, and which featured the iconic R2-D2 from the Star Wars films. The Focus London team are now also working...

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Posted: 19 Mar, 2020

Like you, Focus Consultants has been addressing the complex and evolving challenges created by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Following events and escalation over the past few days, we wanted to update you on our current status and approach. The safety of our staff and customers is paramount, therefore having reviewed the advice from trusted sources including the NHS, UK Government and World Health Organisation we have adjusted business operations to both reduce the likelihood of individuals being affected by COVID-19, and to ensure that essential business services are maintained. These actions include: Reminding staff and visitors that at this time they...

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Posted: 17 Mar, 2020

Focus Consultants has been appointed to project manage the development of a new collections centre at one of the UK’s leading art galleries. Focus are carrying out the role at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, which houses one of the best collections of modern British art in the country. Wright & Wright Architects has been appointed to design the new collections centre following the recent acquisition of a 19th Century Coach House. The new collections centre in the Coach House will better preserve the gallery’s internationally celebrated collection of Modern British art. Existing spaces will be transformed to enhance the visitor...

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Posted: 4 Mar, 2020

Focus Consultants are teaming up with Aston University to evaluate the Smarterials programme – a project to help promote and advance the use of functional materials in manufacturing. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the project began in September 2018 and runs until July 2021, and provides innovation aid for small and medium-sized enterprises across Greater Birmingham and Solihull, and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas. Focus has been appointed by Aston University to evaluate the results of the £1.4 million investment in the Smarterials programme. It is the second evaluation contract awarded to Focus Consultants...

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Posted: 20 Feb, 2020

We’re shining a spotlight on some of the favourite pastimes enjoyed by members of the Focus Consultants team. Here accounts manager Caroline Jenkins skips us through her dancing calendar for the past year…. My 2019 Dance Year When I’m not crunching numbers in the accounts department, I can be found having a great time on a dance floor somewhere in the UK at least 3 times a week! Having done various different styles of dance over the last 25 years (not Ballroom though) it wasn’t until I discovered the partner-led dance known as Ceroc in 2011, that my passion for...

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Posted: 30 Jan, 2020

For more than 20 years, Focus Consultants has been involved in supporting community schemes and village halls across the East Midlands and beyond. The company’s role has included project management, building surveying, funding advice, contract administration, principal designer, quantity surveyor, business planning, feasibility work, BREEAM assessor and more. “We took the opportunity during the recent Village Halls Week to review some of the village hall and community schemes that Focus has been involved in,” said Focus Consultants joint managing partner Keith Butler. “We were delighted to see just how many village hall and community projects the company had undertaken in...

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Posted: 16 Jan, 2020

Our experts have put together a bulletin setting out the main changes proposed in the consultation document in respect of Approved Document Part L – which includes an approach to support the UK’s net zero greenhouse emissions target for 2050 by looking to decarbonize our homes. The bulletin identifies from within the consultation how the government hopes to reduce CO2 emissions, future proof, improve air tightness and overall build quality compliance to safeguard building performance. Focus is running a series of seminars about the proposals for clients. If you’d like an update, please get in touch with Focus partner Jason...

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Posted: 13 Jan, 2020

Focus Consultants has completed a project management role for a major conservation scheme at Auckland Castle, the former home of the Prince Bishops of Durham. The 900-year-old Castle has just re-opened as part of The Auckland Project visitor destination following a three-year conservation project.  It uses art, architecture and historic interior design, combined with interactive animation, soundscapes and audio-visual displays, to tell the untold stories of power and faith from some of the most influential men in British history. Focus Consultants, was strategic project manager for the conservation scheme and also quantity surveyor for the project manager for the fit...

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Posted: 10 Jan, 2020

Following a successful bid for a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, construction work is now progressing at Ely Museum, with RG Carter recently starting the strip out works required. The construction work will be followed by an exhibition fit-out contract to allow the refurbished museum to be relaunched to the public by the end of 2020. Focus Consultants provided Ely Museum with project management and business planning support during the development phase, which led to the museum being awarded a £1.66 million National Lottery grant. Now Focus is providing project management services for the delivery stage of the Unlocking the...

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Posted: 6 Jan, 2020

Focus Consultants have calculated that the £126 million invested in Leicester and Leicestershire through the Local Growth Fund Programme could bring huge economic benefits to the area. Focus estimates that the potential Return on Investment generated through the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Limited (LLEP) investment for the local economy could be over £28 for every £1 invested by the Enterprise Partnership.  This equates to a total impact of £3.5 billion. Focus was appointed by the LLEP to undertake a Mid Term Evaluation of their Local Growth Fund which aims to drive growth across the area by providing additional funding and...

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Posted: 19 Dec, 2019

Work is underway on site for a £4 million project which will restore and rejuvenate an historically important parkland. Focus Consultants has been appointed as quantity surveyor on the Staunton Country Park: A Regency Landscape Revealed project to provide cost management and advice from the initial stages of the scheme through to completion. The scheme is being undertaken by Hampshire County Council at the parkland which formed part of Sir George Staunton’s estate in Havant, Hampshire. It involves a range of improvement work, including the transformation of a Victorian coach house and stable block to provide a visitor welcome and...

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Posted: 19 Dec, 2019

Focus Consultants is celebrating a bumper year for its clients after several won a clutch of awards and accolades between them – including the world’s largest and most prestigious museum prize. In addition, many other schemes were shortlisted as finalists in awards ….making it a super successful year for Focus and its clients. “We are proud to work on some incredibly high-profile, high quality, innovative schemes, and this year we have been delighted to see how many of them have been recognised as award winning,” said Focus Consultants joint managing partner Jason Redfearn. “Congratulations to our clients who have been...

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Posted: 11 Dec, 2019

Five years after launching a service to provide air testing for new and refurbished buildings, Focus Consultants has marked its 5,000th air pressure test. Since Focus set up the offer in 2014, demand has increase year on year, and from what started as a service specifically for the East and West Midlands region, it now operates on a national scale to service clients all over the country. Jason Redfearn, Managing Partner at Nottingham-based Focus Consultants and overseer of Focus ASSESS, said: “It truly is wonderful to see the service grow from its humble beginnings five years ago. We’ve accomplished a...

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Posted: 28 Oct, 2019

Focus Consultants has been appointed to a key role on a scheme that aims to boost Hull’s rich maritime heritage. Focus has been awarded the role of NEC contract administrator on the major development, which has just been awarded £13.6m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Following the success of the UK City of Culture, Hull is using the momentum to transform its heritage and become a world-class visitor destination. The £27.4m heritage-led regeneration scheme affects the entire city, creating a new sense of place, identity and belonging, and will include exciting changes at the Grade II* Hull Maritime Museum, the...

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Posted: 9 Oct, 2019

Two projects that Focus Consultants has been involved in have won awards in the Architects Journal Retrofit Awards 2019. The £12m overhaul of Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery in West London by Jestico + Whiles and Julian Harrap Architects took the top prize in the listed building over £5m category. Focus Consultants provided project management support on the exhibition and interpretation at the Grade I-listed manor, which was built between 1800 and 1804 as a country retreat for architect Sir John Soane and his family. It re-opened in March 2019 after a heritage restoration project which included gallery refurbishment, a new restaurant and an event space...

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Posted: 3 Oct, 2019

Focus Consultants has announced a string of promotions with six members of staff being appointed to new positions. Jessica Bullers, in the Environmental Services team, and James Garner, in the Building Surveying department, both move from senior consultant to associate. Jessica joined Focus 12 years ago, while James has been with the company for more than seven years. Fran Yuill, who joined Focus nine years ago, and who works in the Building Surveying team, has been promoted from consultant to senior consultant. Meanwhile George Jones, Kenny Lampard and Adam Revill have all been promoted from graduate to consultant. George works...

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Posted: 3 Oct, 2019

Focus Consultants, once again, held their annual Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on Monday 23rd September. The Admin team with contributions from other members of staff, planned, organised and delivered a fantastic coffee morning full of delicious, freshly baked cakes and treats for all the staff to enjoy, raising a brilliant £101.65p. As always, we aim to top that again next year! Thank you for all the hard work and the efforts of everyone involved and all those who contributed towards this very worthy cause. Focus Consultants hope to continue supporting the outstanding work carried out by Macmillan Cancer Support...

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Posted: 23 Sep, 2019

A scheme project managed by Focus Consultants which will breathe new life into a Grade II* listed church has been awarded confirmed funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for £1.45 million towards its restoration. The project will create a centre for music, art and culture at St Mary’s Church – the oldest building in Walthamstow and the centrepiece of Walthamstow’s ancient village in north east London. In 2017, the church was awarded initial support by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and after two years of work in which the church obtained all its required permissions, it has been awarded...

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Posted: 16 Sep, 2019

Focus Consultants has been appointed to help improve the energy efficiency of scores of historic almshouses in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Focus is undertaking an evaluation of the almshouse estates run by The Richmond Charities to determine how the charity could make energy efficiency improvements to the houses. Nottingham-based Focus’s role includes undertaking measured surveys of a sample of properties across eight of the charity’s almshouses estates, modelling these properties in industry-recognised energy assessment software, and carrying out a feasibility study on potential improvements to the properties. The charity owns and manages 130 almshouses spread over nine...

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Posted: 12 Aug, 2019

Focus Consultants has been appointed by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board for the construction industry, to evaluate a suite of grant-funded projects worth nearly £3.5 million. There is a recognised shortfall in trained vocational qualification assessors within the construction sector and the industry is facing significant skills gaps and shortages. Grant funding has been awarded by the CITB to thirteen projects across England, Scotland and Wales that address these issues, and which are working to develop the training infrastructure within their sector. Projects that have been funded include the setting up of vocational qualification assessment...

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Posted: 12 Aug, 2019

Senior building surveyor at Focus Consultants Darren Booker came to the aid of a local National Citizen Service (NCS) community action group by helping them with their project to clean up a small section of woodland in the community area of Bracebridge Heath, near Lincoln. The group of young school leavers assisted by two NCS leaders cleared out the brambles to form a new pathway ready to lay stone chippings and then created a small seated area with a bench and planted this up with flowers and other vegetation. Focus Consultants provided pro-bono services to help with quantifying the material required...

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Posted: 5 Aug, 2019

Nottingham-based Focus Consultants is celebrating the news that a key heritage project in Nottinghamshire has been awarded a £1.9 million National Lottery Heritage Fund grant. Focus is project managing the Leaves of Southwell project – a scheme to protect, interpret and better present the late 13th Century stone carvings of plants, animals and green men that decorate the Chapter House at Southwell Minster. The carvings are regarded as the finest example of 13th Century naturalistic carving in the UK and have long been a source of inspiration to artists and writers. The project aims to enable more people to visit...

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Posted: 22 Jul, 2019

An independent assessment and evaluation of the work of the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University – undertaken by Focus Consultants - has forecast the creation of more than 150 jobs and the generation of nearly £20 million gross added value (GVA) for the West Midlands economy over the next two years. Focus Consultants was appointed to work with the team at EBRI to understand the impact of the team’s Business Investment in Research Project on both local SMEs and also the wider West Midlands economy. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the project helped small...

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Posted: 15 Jul, 2019

Focus was delighted to send representatives to this year’s Association of Independent Museums (AIM) conference. Held at the National Civil War Centre in Newark, Nottinghamshire, which opened as a new museum in 2015, the conference looked to build on recent research by TripAdvisor showing a growing desire for cultural experiences and bookings for cultural attractions rising sharply, with a 45% increase in 2018 compared to 2017. The theme of the conference was how to be a ‘great destination’ and looked to offer delegates some fresh ideas on creative place making, becoming a great destination for the community, understanding audiences and...

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Posted: 10 Jul, 2019

The team at Focus Consultants is celebrating the news that St Fagans National Museum of History in Wales has won the world’s largest and most prestigious museum prize. Focus project managed an eight-year redevelopment scheme at St Fagans, which was completed last year. The Nottingham-based team provided a range of services including bid work for a Heritage Lottery Fund application, business planning, quantity surveying and project management. Now St Fagans National Museum of History has been awarded the title of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019 – winning a £100,000 prize. Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director and chair of...

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Posted: 3 Jul, 2019

Focus Consultants has been appointed by Rochdale Development Agency to create the business plan for the £16 million redevelopment of the iconic Rochdale Town Hall. The project, which had a successful bid for £8.9 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is now underway, with the development work to inform the Stage 2 submission to the NLHF due in early 2020. Although the stunning neo-gothic town hall was once at the heart of civic life, the town hall is now primarily used for functions. “A key consideration of the business planning work is therefore to carefully consider how the Town...

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Posted: 25 Jun, 2019

Focus Consultants Associate Mike Lee recently took part in the Great Nottinghamshire Bike Ride, successfully completing the event for the fourth time. Mike chose the 50-mile Friar Tuck route, which headed south out of West Bridgford and meandered through the countryside, taking in places like Ruddington, Keyworth, Cotgrave, Harby, Redmile, Cropwell Bishop and Radcliffe on Trent. He finished four and a half hours later. The Great Nottingham Bike Ride first took place in 1982 with 250 riders and has grown over the years to be a major cycling event for people of all abilities and has raised significant funds for...

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Posted: 25 Jun, 2019

Community facilities for Trent Basin are expanding after a new free school was given the go-ahead by the Government. Focus Consultants is part of the team that is delivering hundreds of energy efficient homes at Trent Basin, the sustainable neighbourhood currently being built beside the River Trent in Nottingham. Focus is currently the project manager, employer’s agent and sustainability advisor (HQM) for phases two and three of the scheme, having previously acted in a similar capacity for phase one. It has now been announced that the Department for Education has given permission for Greenwood Academies Trust to open a new...

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Posted: 24 Jun, 2019

Focus Consultants has recently completed another preliminary ecological appraisal (PEA) for a client looking to develop a site in The Meadows, Nottingham. The survey area, an urban brownfield site now colonised by vegetation, may not be seen by some as requiring a PEA due to what seems like negligible ecological value. However, this is not the case and great care should be taken to fully assess such sites - just as greenfield areas would also be. Formerly known as ‘phase 1 habitat surveys’, preliminary ecological appraisals are widely recognised as the first step in assessing a site’s ecological value. A...

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Posted: 10 Jun, 2019

Focus Consultants is celebrating the news that Phoenix in Leicester is to receive £4 million of National Lottery money invested by Arts Council England towards its expansion and development plans. Phoenix 2020 will create a two-storey extension to the current building in Midland Street in the city’s Cultural Quarter, to include two new cinemas and a better, more accessible digital art gallery with an atrium. The café bar area will be extended, additional toilets added, and improvements made to some existing spaces at the venue. It will also have a green roof terrace. Focus Consultants is the project manager for...

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Posted: 4 Jun, 2019

Focus Consultants has been instrumental in a scheme to extend and refurbish one of the busiest on-call fire stations in Cambridgeshire. Focus was the designer and building surveyor, as well as contract administrator and CDM advisor, on the project for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service at Chatteris. It involved transforming one of the service’s older stations into a building suitable for a high-performing modern community fire station. Senior building surveyor, Darren Booker, said: “Focus Consultants has undertaken work for many blue light and public sector organisations, but this was our first project for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and we...

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Posted: 28 May, 2019

Focus Consultants and Maber Architects have been appointed by Chesterfield Borough Council to explore the feasibility of establishing a Rail Innovation Centre at Barrow Hill, Chesterfield. The proposals for the Centre will enhance an already thriving centre of railway maintenance and engineering at Barrow Hill Engine Shed. In November 2018, Spanish Train Builder, Talgo announced that it planned to develop an Innovation Centre at Chesterfield as a focus from which the company’s ‘All Britain’ strategy will be developed. Now Focus Consultants and Maber have been appointed by Chesterfield Borough Council to investigate the feasibility and opportunities offered through the development...

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Posted: 16 May, 2019

Focus Consultants has staged a string of fund-raising activities to support Stonebridge City Farm in Nottingham, after the community charity launched an urgent appeal in January to raise £30,000 to keep the farm going through the winter months. Staff at Nottingham-based Focus came up with some fun Easter activities to raise much-needed cash, which was topped up by the partners at the firm, Focus has handed over a cheque for more than £270. Stonebridge City Farm is a community charity which has been an important part of Nottingham life for the past 40 years and is described as a small...

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Posted: 15 May, 2019

Liam Reidy and Amar Toor are taking a break from their studies at the University of Nottingham to join Focus Consultants as part of the Nottingham Internship Scheme. The students are undertaking a two-week placement amongst Focus’ experts in the art of strategy, funding, project development and delivery. Focus is offering the undergraduate spring internships for the first time, giving local students the chance to gain hands-on experience of working in pairs on a short-term market research project. The interns follow a long line of young people who have enjoyed work experience at Focus, who once again show a willingness...

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Posted: 30 Apr, 2019

Two of Focus Consultants’ museum clients have been named as finalists for this year’s Art Fund Museum of the Year, the world’s largest and most prestigious museum prize. Focus project managed an eight-year redevelopment scheme at St Fagans National Museum of History in Wales, which was completed last year. The firm provided a range of services including bid work for a Heritage Lottery Fund application, business planning, quantity surveying and project management. In addition, Focus has been undertaking project management and quantity surveying roles at the V&A Dundee for their programme of temporary exhibitions, the latest of which, Videogames, opened...

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Posted: 29 Apr, 2019

Focus Consultants has been appointed by South Holland District Council to carry out a multi-disciplinary consultancy role including employer’s agent, principal designer, clerk of works, and CDM advisor on a Lincolnshire housing development. The project consists of the demolition of ten existing bungalows and the development of 34 units comprising a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom properties, including hardstandings and landscaping areas, at a site at Small Drove, Weston, near Spalding. The project which is partially funded by Homes England, offers a mixture of affordable rent and shared ownership houses and bungalows. It is due to be completed in...

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Posted: 26 Apr, 2019

Focus Consultants has been appointed by South Holland District Council to carry out Quality Inspections of three Section 106 sites being developed by Ashwood Homes Ltd. The sites, which are based in Moulton, Cowbit and Donington in Lincolnshire are due to be completed throughout 2019 and 2020. South Holland District Council will take ownership of 18 units across the sites out of the total 174 being built. These will be for affordable rent and shared ownership. Focus will also be carrying out snagging and de-snagging inspections to ensure the homes are to a good quality. Representatives from Focus, which is...

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Posted: 24 Apr, 2019

Focus Consultants has been appointed to develop a new business plan for The Wilson Art Gallery & Museum in Cheltenham. The company joins leading heritage and conservation specialist Purcell and interpretation experts Image Makers to draw up a feasibility study for the art gallery and museum to unify its gallery buildings and maximise the use of the triple-fronted museum. Focus Consultants is creating the business plan for the development project, which aims to provide a better experience for visitors, engage more with the community, develop its audience base and increase support. The Wilson has an important part to play in...

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Posted: 12 Apr, 2019

Focus Consultants has been appointed as quantity surveyors on a £5.5m project to restore Coventry’s Grade II* listed Drapers’ Hall in time for the city being UK City of Culture in 2021. The building in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter will be used as a centre for educating young musicians from Coventry schools and for the performance of professional classical music. The project is being led by Historic Coventry Trust and managed by The Prince’s Foundation. The development of Drapers' Hall represents one of The Prince’s Foundation’s 7 for 70 projects announced in 2018 to coincide with The Prince of Wales’s 70th birthday. The Prince’s Foundation launched...

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Posted: 2 Apr, 2019

Focus Consultants is delighted that the Confetti Digital Media Hub in Nottingham has been named as the Sustainable Development of the Year winner at the East Midlands Bricks Awards. Focus Consultants was the BREEAM Assessor and the BREEAM Accredited Professional for the scheme, providing the design team with expert advice on built environment sustainability, environmental design and environmental assessment. Built by Stepnell for Nottingham Trent University at NTU’s Creative Quarter Campus, the £9.1 million hub is one of the city’s most environmentally sustainable buildings. Senior sustainability surveyor at Focus Consultants Jessica Bullers said: “The Digital Media Hub, which connects the...

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Posted: 28 Mar, 2019

Sustainability experts at Focus Consultants have welcomed Nottingham’s decision to aim to become the first carbon neutral city in the UK by 2028. Focus, has provided professional support and expertise on sustainability issues on many new-build projects in Nottingham, including the recently opened five-storey building at the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies at Nottingham Trent University’s Creative Quarter Campus and the main site of the Confetti Institute. Focus is also part of the team that is delivering 250 energy efficient homes at Trent Basin, which has set the bar for community energy schemes with the installation of Europe’s largest community...

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