Warwick Road Roof Project - Coventry
Warwick Road URC, being a Grade II Listed church, was one of the first churches in the most recent round of the West Midlands Quinquennial Inspection (QI) Surveys. The QI report was completed in September 2013. A large part of that report highlighted urgent lead and slate repairs on the roof and associated rainwater goods.
Listed Places of Worship
As we considered the implications of the QI report a national government source of grant funding presented itself for urgent roof works. Applications for funding from the Listed Places of Worship (LPOW) fund were invited in early December 2014 with a closing date for applications of 30 January 2015 – a very short timescale given that the Christmas and New Year holiday fell during that period.
Appointment of Architect
Our immediate action was to appoint an architect as the key project leader for all technical aspects. We decided to appoint the architect who had carried out and produced the QI report.
The Application Process
A project team of church officers and the architect was quickly established and a series of regular meetings were hastily arranged so that we could pull together the requirements of a very comprehensive application. The closing date was met and the application was hand delivered to the London Office of the LPOW.
The Project Cost
The total cost of the project was £137, 236. The largest component of funding came from the grant from the LPOW fund which amounted to £85,100.
The balance of £52,136 was funded through church operational budgets, congregation donations, Synod Grant and recoverable VAT.
The Work Programme
After the formal approval of our LPOW grant in April 2015 we carried out a tendering process and following evaluation of three tenders we appointed the preferred contractor (Midland Conservation Ltd).
Our original plan was that the project would take 18 months to complete but in practice we moved quicker. The contractor started on site in November 2015 and all work was completed in January 2016 – a period of 13 months. The reason we were able to work smarter and therefore quicker was largely because of excellent communication between the Project Team and the contractor. There were very few operational problems.
A Committed Team – The team responsible for the development of the grant application has the skills, knowledge and experience required to deliver acute deadlines and then see the project through from start to finish.
Select the Right People – It is essential to appoint a good architect and excellent contractor.
Openness to Challenge is Crucial – The team culture encourages flexibility about how outcomes might be achieved. As an example we saved significant expenditure on rainwater goods by using aluminium pre-coated material rather than the initial specification of cast iron. This is a good illustration of challenging – constructively – the expert opinion. The team contained experts who were prepared to be challenged about their particular fields of expertise.
Relationship Building – The creation of good relationships with key Officers of Listed Places of Worship (LPOW) was crucial in the early days of developing the bid in a very short timescale. Relationship building with LPOW carried on throughout the project. These ‘softer’ issues are fundamental to the project success.
Before, During and After