‘We’re moving in together’: Work to begin on shared use Forum building

The Forum - Hemel Hempstead's new shared use services building.
The Forum - Hemel Hempstead's new shared use services building.
  • Start date for The Forum shared use service quarter building is announced
  • It will be the new home for council, police and library services
  • Voluntary groups will also be based inside the new energy-efficient town centre building

Work will start later this month on a new shared services hub in Hemel Hempstead’s town centre.

Dacorum Borough Council is joining forces with public and voluntary sector partners to replace several inefficient and outdated buildings with a single modern, purpose built and energy-efficient base.

The new 70,000 sq ft multi-purpose building will house various voluntary groups, the police’s safer neighbourhood team, the registration service, a state-of-the-art library and a cafe, as well as the council’s own services.

Hoarding is going up around the site on the corner of Coombe Street and Marlowes and initial works, on drainage, digging trenches, levelling, foundations and piling will start on Monday, April 27.

The magistrates court and library will be the first buildings to be demolished and the hub - called The Forum - opens to the public in early 2017.

Until the opening day, the library is making a temporary home in the current Civic Centre in Marlowes.

Corporate director of housing and regeneration at the council Mark Gaynor said: “Moving in together means that we can improve services, achieve savings and encourage regeneration all in one go.”

The council will save around £300,000 in running costs each year through the move - the existing Civic Centre would require £5 million to refurbish it plus significant further ongoing investment.

Private sector partners Endurance Estates and R G Carter are working with the council to deliver this next phase of the Hemel Evolution town centre regeneration programme.

A residential scheme on this site has also been granted planning permission, which includes a £41 million private investment in 200 new town centre flats.

A privately funded £17 million leisure complex is also planned on neighbouring Market Square.

Director at Endurance Estates Tim Holmes said: “The borough council’s proactive approach in coordinating this scheme – linking together community services, private housing and leisure developments – is acting as a significant catalyst to revitalize Hemel Hempstead’s town centre.”

For more information visit www.dacorum.gov.uk/hemelevolution