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FIRS FARM COMMUNITY CENTRE – Help Build this much needed Hub

Firs Farm Modular Building Expressions of Interest May 2022-FINAL

The Trustees and Friends of Firs Farm, (charity No. 1177069) are seeking to appoint a contractor to undertake final design and build of a modular building. This will serve as a community centre with café adjacent to the Firs Farm Wetlands and Sports Fields in Winchmore Hill, North London. Access to the site is from Firs Lane, London N21 2PJ.

Situated on metropolitan open land, owned by Enfield Council, the site on a derelict car park adjacent to the wetlands and sports fields, is leased from Council. Planning permission has been granted, with final designs to be submitted for approval of conditions on the appointment of a contractor.

Since the wetlands (a sustainable urban drainage scheme SuDS) were constructed, commencing in 2016, the site managed by the Friends of Firs Farm in conjunction with the Parks department and Thames 21, has matured into an award-winning wetlands. It attracts not just local residents and sports players, but also schools & other educational establishments; organisations involved in the environmental sector and companies wanting to support environmental & socially responsible projects.

Currently there are no facilities at Firs Farm, so this new community hub represents a majority opportunity to further our environmental objectives and help to create a revenue stream to secure the long-term future of the wetlands.

Funding for the construction of the community hub has been raised by The Friends of Firs Farm, with support from the London Borough of Enfield (LBE), Thames Water, Sports England and other partners.

Description of the contracting body
Friends of Firs Farm is a registered charity that is a focus for group of volunteers with a common goal of improving Firs Farm Playing Fields. It was founded in August 2013. The overall objectives of the Friends, which are charitable and for the benefit of the inclusive public, is to preserve, improve, maintain, protect & promote, Firs Farm for the benefit of all, for present and future generations.
The Friends work in partnership with the London Borough of Enfield (‘Council’) in spirit of co-operation in accordance with the Parks Friends Agreement with a view to:
• Improve Firs Farm to meet the needs of users through community engagement which includes local residents, existing and potential new park users, community groups, schools, parents, people with Autism or Dementia, and carers, wheelchair/buggy users, young mums, young people, local business e.g. local care in the community providers, local hospices, Over 50s, and local sports clubs and other groups.

• Determining the future development of the Park.
• Considering the Park’s impact on its local environment and vice versa.
• Enhance Biodiversity including wildlife habitats.
• Improve Access and Facilities for All – ensuring that Firs Farm is the ‘Go To’ place to bring our inclusive community together for recreation, education (bringing the classroom outdoors), conservation, biodiversity, wildlife, and sports for all.
• Promote activities and facilities in Firs Farm to encourage people to come together outside, discourage social isolation, ‘Get Active’ which in turn may improve health and reduce obesity, isolation, and give our young people something to do in Enfield in a safe and convenient location
The contract will be awarded and administered by the Trustees on behalf of the Charity. Day to day management of the project will be the responsibility of a working group of selected Trustees and volunteers, including a client-side project manager to whom the contractor will report principally.
Nature of the contract

The proposal is to provide a temporary building to house the Firs Farm Wetlands Community Hub. FoFF is aiming to provide a safe, sustainable, welcoming vibrant community hub, for an array of activities that will bring the community together, empower people and actively engage those isolated within the community.

The development will comprise a range of community facilities using a timber-framed pre-fabricated building. The accommodation will provide a total of 198.0 m2 floorspace and an outdoor decked area approximately 3.2m x 11.4m (approximately 36.5 m2). This temporary arrangement will enable these facilities to be provided at a reasonable cost that is affordable for the local community, and will provide revenues for the provision of a permanent facility, including changing rooms, at the site in the longer term.

The current proposals comprise:

  •  A multi-function room and indoor seating area.
  • A café/kitchen area, servicing both indoor and outdoor seating areas.
  • A storage facility for use by the local community.
  • A sensory room, providing a therapeutic space with equipment that will provide children with special needs personalized sensory input to help calm and focus themselves so they can better interact with others
  • Male and female WCs, including facilities for disabled people and the first “changing places” toilets in an Enfield green space. Separate WCs will be able to be accessed from both inside and outside the building.

The modular building is intended as a temporary solution for up to ten years; to be sold on once there is funding for a permanent structure.

The groundworks to provide utilities connections (water, wastewater, foul sewer and electricity) and padstone foundations for the temporary building, will be provided by London Borough of Enfield Council, who are partners to the Charity in delivering the proposal. These works will not form part of the contract relating to this call for expressions of interest. The successful contractor will be expected to liaise closely with Enfield Council officers to ensure the co-ordinated delivery of the proposal.
Detailed material finishes are yet to be agreed with the Council, but the proposal currently includes a “Blue” roof, with rainwater capture that will irrigate “Green” walls on the east and west facades of the building. Timber cladding is likely to be specified for the north and south facades, in keeping with the setting of the building.

Window shutters and vandal proof security for doors, with external security lighting in keeping with the building’s setting, and minimising impacts on neighbours are likely to be required.

The Trustees of Firs Farm will appoint a subcontractor to provide catering and to manage the day to day running of the community centre. The kitchen will be designed in close conjunction with our appointed caterer. However, we would like our contractor to provide costings for the erection of the modular structure & also installation of utilities.
Expressions of interest
At this stage the Trustees of Firs Farm are drawing up a shortlist of companies who could be interest in bidding for this project. The project will be managed by the Trustees of Firs Farm, (several of whom have relevant design & construction experience) in close conjunction with Enfield Council.
At this first stage we would like you to provide the following information,
o Contact details.
o Description of company, which may include financial information.
o Relevant experience and technical capacity, in particular experience in working with local authorities, with short case studies of similar projects.
o Type of construction that your company would recommend.
o Indicative cost, including range of payment options
o Timescales for delivery.
o Staff experience and availability.
o References from 2 previous customers, preferably local authorities or third sector.
This will be a high- profile project providing our supplier with exposure to many leading environmental groups, including Thames Water, Thames 21, Zoological Society of London, Sports England.
Additional information is available from the contact given below.
Please response with expression of interest by Friday May 20th.
Toni Guiver
Chair of the Trustees of Firs Farm
07956 537974

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