Saving on running costs, generating income and maximising use of space via office consolidation

Slyne Road and Moor Lane Mills, Lancaster

Background

Site: two office buildings: Slyne Road no longer fit for purpose and with structural issues; Moor Lane Mills in good repair but with long-standing vacant space.

Customer/stakeholders: Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust (UHMB)

NHSPS representatives: Kayley Riley (Senior Portfolio Optimisation Manager), Alistair Newman (Senior Property Manager), Kerry Carruthers (Facilities Management Coordinator)

Customer feedback

“Many thanks to all involved, the move went very well. The working environment/conditions are far superior to that at Slyne Road and the staff seemed to have settled in quickly. Many thanks again for your assistance progressing this.”

Nicola Crierie, Community Facilities/Admin Manager, NHS University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust (UHMB)

Challenge

The site at Slyne Road had long standing issues, that made it no longer fit for purpose to accommodate UHMB offices. UHMB faced increasing health & safety concerns, and so urgently required a relocation.

Meanwhile, nearby Moor Lane Mills - in much better repair – had approx. 600sqm of long-standing vacant space, being paid for by the CCG, which needed to be filled.

However, moving from one site to the other was complicated by a potential deficit in funding for UHMB, due to a lack of subsidy contributions from the CCG for Slyne Road in previous years.  

Solution

Moor Lane was identified as the most appropriate relocation site for UHMB, and so work began to understand all current occupancies on site. This helped us to best judge how to move and consolidate teams, creating sufficient space for UHMB.

We prepared a financial viability study for the proposal to help the CCG make an informed decision, and worked with the CCG and UHMB to come to an agreement on a subsidy to enable this move.

We then ran minor works at Moor Lane Mills to best accommodate UHMB, and worked with them to establish timelines, furniture deliveries and handovers for the move. NHSPS funded the relocation costs for UHMB also.

Once this was all agreed, we worked with the CCG to ensure the soon to be vacant Slyne Road site was declared surplus to healthcare requirements, so we could begin the disposal process.

Impact

Moving UHMB into Moor Lane Mills will make better use of NHS space and budget, enable substantial savings, and generate additional revenue for reinvestment.

It will enable a saving of £45,000 in running costs per annum on Slyne Road, negate the need to spend upwards of £1 million on backlog maintenance, and – once Slyne Road is sold – generating much needed funds to reinvest in the NHS. For context, over a five-year period these savings will equate the salaries of 72 healthcare assistants and the carrying out of 1,003 tonsillectomies. Ensuring that Moor Lane Mills is fully occupied will also remove the vacant space issue, which had a liability of £159,000 per annum.

Beyond financial benefits, moving services into a fit for purpose property has of course been a priority for the local health system for years – UHMB will now benefit from better accommodation in a high quality, modernised and long-term held property. The co-location of various NHS organisations and teams will improve service delivery for patients and encourage collaborative working. Finally, the lease at Moor Lane Mills can now be renewed and formally documented with subtenants which will provide clarity and security of occupation.