Cheshire West and Chester Council has taken possession this month of the new administrative and customer-facing building in Ellesmere Port. The Council has been working on the development and construction of the building under the Government’s One Public Estate programme.
All staff and elected Members were invited to suggest a new name for the building in line with some key naming principles, (it should be short, distinct, memorable and should not cause confusion with other similarly named buildings or places in the town).
Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said, “I’m delighted to announce the name of the new building is The Portal. Over 50 names were proposed and shortlisted by our Chief Executive, Andrew Lewis and Graham Pink, Director of Commercial Management and Delivery.
“The new name references the name of the town often referred to as The Port whilst also being an entrance and a building bringing a range of partners together to deliver services, help and support.
Clare Hayward, chair of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, said, “It is really exciting to see the huge amount of investment, including for The Portal, coming into Ellesmere Port.
“The town is going from strength to strength at the moment and with HyNet receiving Government backing earlier this year to potentially bring hydrogen production plants to Ellesmere Port, the future is bright.
“We are pleased to be able to support projects such as The Portal in the area and look forward to it opening in the new year.”
Construction of the building by Vinci Construction UK continued throughout the pandemic to be delivered on time for a handover on 9 December. The building has been constructed with many environmentally friendly elements including solar panels, air source heat pump and Electric Vehicle charging points.
Starting in January the building will transfer to ADT Workplace for internal fit-out and furnishing prior to an expected opening in Spring 2022.
An important part of the project was the construction of the new bus facility on Civic way which opened earlier this year with new modern shelters and real-time bus information. The Portal was then built on the site of the former bus interchange. The Portal and bus interchange are part of a 15-year vision for Ellesmere Port.
The building provides the most cost-effective solution to the provision of council and partner services in the town when compared with the alternative of refurbishing Civic Way offices which will be demolished as part of the wider masterplan proposals. This space will then be made available for redevelopment as part of the wider plans to regenerate the town centre.
There are plans for a formal opening ceremony, including unveiling of the public art installation and associated artwork in spring 2022.
Added Councillor Gittins, “The new building is part of the huge regeneration taking place in Ellesmere Port, this construction generated £5.3 million local spend, provided 27 local jobs, 106 apprentice weeks and opportunities for local schools and colleges to learn more about the construction industry.
“When it opens this Spring, The Portal will be a base for local public and third sector organisations such as Citizen’s Advice, Job Centre Plus and the Work Zone.”
Main image: Ellesmere Port Bus Interchange.