King’s Lynn estate to hold Open Doors event

Hillington Square, Feb 2015 ANL-151202-120044001

Hillington Square, Feb 2015 ANL-151202-120044001

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The builders behind the £30 million renovation of Hillington Square in Lynn are throwing open the doors to the public next month.

Lovell is inviting one and all to come on to site and view progress on the latest stage of the landmark project.

Lovell will hold guided site tours on March 6 and 7 as part of the national Open Doors event.

The special weekend will see high-profile building projects across the UK enabling visitors to go behind the scenes, talk to construction professionals and discover more about career opportunities in the industry.

As well as going on a site tour, the Open Doors event at Hillington Square will allow visitors to find out about construction careers – including apprenticeships and other opportunities to gain work experience – and talk to the site team about the construction programme.

Open Doors is organised in conjunction with the national training body CITB, and other industry bodies.

Work on the Freebridge Community housing estate began in summer 2013 on the four-year transformation programme at Hillington Square which includes kitchen and bathroom replacements for the 320 flats, as well as window and door renewals, insulation work and other improvements such as external cladding, rebuilding of balconies and walkways, construction of new staircases, installation of secure entrances and new lifts and remodelling of garages.

Among those having an input into the transformation of the estate is Wayne Hemingway, who is a consultant on the project.

The ambitious programme celebrated a major milestone at the end of 2014 with the phased return of residents to the newly-completed Millfleet Court, marking the end of the first stage of work.

Lovell recently began work on the second phase of the Hillington Square regeneration at Valentine House and Thompson House which includes the refurbishment of 48 flats, the demolition of the walkway which joins Chestnut to Thompson House, the demolition of one stair core and the creation of two new staircase/lift cores.

Lovell regional director Tony Tann says: “Opening up the project to local people and extending its benefits to the wider community has been one of the most important aspects of this major regeneration programme.

“The Open Doors initiative is a great way of doing this, allowing the public to view the latest progress on site and find out more about the ongoing transformation.

As well as making a difference through the building work, we’ve been keen to create opportunities for local jobs and training.

The Open Doors event will enable anyone interested in a career in construction to talk to our team about the industry in general, as well as work and training opportunities locally.”

Colin Davison, director of property at Freebridge Community Housing, said: “The regeneration of Hillington Square is a very exciting project in the heart of King’s Lynn. 

“Many people, including residents and the local community are keen to understand the improvements that have been made.

“The Open Doors event not only allows access to the site, but will also demonstrate the varied range of careers that are on offer in the construction industry.  We look forward to welcoming people there.”

Hillington Square as it consists today was built in the 1960s to offer accommodation for the many people moving to Lynn as part of the London overspill project.

It replaced streets that were considered to have become slums.

But conditions went downhill and amenities, such as a children’s play area with equipment, were removed to prevent the vandalism considered to plague the estate. Now the regeneration aims to restore the estate to its best.

Lovell is offering one-hour supervised site tours at Hillington Square on March 6 and 7. To book your place, please visit www.opendoorsweekend.co.uk