When selecting a construction partner, Mill Farm Ventures (MFV) the developer of Mill Farm Sports Village met with several different companies before finally choosing Warden Construction, a local family firm from Kirkham, based just two miles from the new development.
David Haythornthwaite, Chairman of MFV said: “It was really important to us to work with a local company if at all possible. We were impressed with the Warden team from the very first meeting and have found them great to work with since construction began in March this year.”
Here we catch up with Adrian Atkinson, Commercial Director for Warden Construction…
Adrian Atkinson admits he is enjoying taking a ‘hands on’ approach on a local project that holds a special place in his heart.
Commercial Director Adrian, who lives locally on the Fylde Coast, is one of the key men behind the scenes at the Mill Farm development.
“It has been a very interesting project to work on,” said Adrian, who has worked for Warden for over 15 years.
“I am from the Fylde Coast, so there is an added interest for me personally to be working on something of this size so close to home.
“The amount of feedback I have had from other colleagues in the industry, plus family and friends has been fantastic. Everyone is keen to know what’s happening and to see it coming along.
“My main role in the project is to coordinate the design team. Normally I would be involved in the procurement and the financial side, like budget control, however on this occasion I’ve been taking more of an active role with the designers.
“We found out about the development and tendered for it initially, going through a few rounds of interviews and cost adjustments before being awarded the contract.
“Everything is going to plan so far and the project is now well underway. The design is still evolving, but that is normal for this kind of project. We have two dates to hit next year – one for the main stand opening in May and for the pitch to be complete in June and we are still targeting to be ready on time.
“This is on par with the biggest projects we have undertaken, but it’s certainly the biggest we have taken on in the sports and leisure industry.
“We have new developments and alterations all the time so my job is to relay this to the designers and make sure everything goes smoothly. There is lots of toing-and-froing, ironing out problems in design and ordering materials.
“We are now building the south stand as an add-on and this was something that was only finalised recently. So even though this may lag behind the rest of the project, we are pushing on to try and get that designed and constructed as soon as possible.
“The weather always plays a part in construction and that has been no different on this occasion. Thankfully, we actually started the project early, with the intention of getting the infrastructure sorted while the weather was fine. All the roads were completed a good couple of months ago which has made accessing the site a lot easier.
“The rain doesn’t affect us too much – the biggest problem is the wind. The site is very exposed and a lot of the operations we are carrying out at the moment require lifting from cranes and they can only operate when the wind speed is down to a certain level.
“We are all very excited to see the completed job and I think it will be a fantastic pull for the area.”