Greswolde Construction

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CEWS, Elmdon Trading Estate, Solihull


An eagerly awaited Centre of Excellence, being built by Greswolde at Elmdon Trading Estate in Solihull, will bring together services, expert help and access to new equipment under one roof for the very first time. 

People with disabilities from across the borough will soon be able to access the state-of-the-art £900,000 drop-in centre for professional support and to try out the latest equipment aimed at helping them to maintain their independence. 

“This is a really exciting opportunity and it is great to be able to promote something which is adding such value to the community and responding to a local need,” says Mark Swingler, Manager of Community Equipment and Wheelchair Services (CEWS) at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC). 

“It is a project that has been two years in the pipeline, finding the right site and getting to this stage.  To see it taking shape now is fantastic and the level of excitement building is huge.” 

Work to refurbish the old seventies’ warehouse includes the construction of a mezzanine floor to create meeting rooms, offices and a large demonstration area. 

Mark reveals: “We have already had practitioners and service users saying Solihull’s crying out for a facility like this and this is ideally situated between the north and south of the borough. 

“We’re answering a real local need and will have a great deal more scope in this new building with the range of services and facilities we can provide. 

“We are setting the bar high calling it a Centre of Excellence, but this drop-in facility really will offer a huge range of services and will be in multi-use seven days a week.” 

Aside from offering a new base for CEWS, the Centre will be staffed with experts and rooms kitted out with a range of new equipment to choose from. 

Clinics and assessments, centred on health and wellbeing, will also take place on site. 

Architect David Davies says a crucial part of the design was in the construction of the steel mezzanine floor. 

“As this warehouse is leased, any construction work will be stripped out at the end of the tenancy, hence the floor needs to be free-standing,” he explains. 

“This presented a dimensional challenge as the steelwork had to be made very precisely to fit closely inside the walls of the warehouse, but not actually touching it. 

“The steel was beautifully fabricated and fitted precisely.  Everything has come together very well and should be ready for handing over by early June. 

“I am very pleased with the Greswolde people on site who have come up with some good ideas during the process.  This has been a real team effort.”