ACTIVITY CENTRE & CLIMBING TOWER
Project: Activity Centre with Climbing Tower, Mess Room & Bunkhouse
Client: Gresham’s School
Services provided: Planning Application, Project Management, Quantity Surveying
Contract value: £325k
Gresham’s is an independent co-educational boarding and day school in Holt, Norfolk. The project to build an outdoor activity centre in the grounds at the school was initiated by the Trustees of a charity closely connected to Gresham’s, the London Children’s Camp. Their primary function is to provide outward bounds holidays to less fortunate inner city children.
The new activity centre, located in woodland within the school campus will enable the Charity to provide holidays at Gresham’s for the disadvantaged, but also offer opportunities for pupils and visitors to the school to learn outdoor pursuit skills and undertake physical activities in a natural setting.
The centrepiece of the activity centre which includes high ropes, low ropes and assault courses together with a mess room and bunkhouse, is the 25m high Bourdillon Tower, one of Britain’s tallest climbing towers. The climbing tower, which also provides access to the high ropes course and a 200 metre zip wire, is named after Old Greshamian mountaineer, Tom Bourdillon.
The design of the centre is sensitive to the surrounding natural environment. There is no utility provision to the site. Visitors to the centre will stay in an ‘off grid’ bunk house without mains electricity. Access to the centre will mainly be on foot. There is no car parking or vehicular access. Deliveries are made by off road quad bikes.
Daniel Connal Partnership worked hard with North Norfolk District Council to achieve planning permission which included obtaining ecology & arboricultural reports, a visual impact assessment and woodland management plan. DCP negotiated a contract and payment schedule with the specialist contractor to ensure the charity’s interests were protected and provided project management and quantity surveying services for the scheme which was built by Rope Course Construction Ltd.
Robert Dale, Senior Partner with Daniel Connal Partnership, said; “This was an exciting project for us and in some ways an unusual one, but the challenges we experienced on this scheme, obtaining planning permission, statutory approvals and ensuring development was achieved on budget in a sensitive environment, were typical of many projects we manage.”