Inspecting the completion of piling work at Staffordshire Council’s new Tipping Street development are, from left, Stoford Director Tony Nash; Staffs County Council Tipping Street Project Manager Tim Reeve; Cabinet Member for Assets, Performance and Organisation County Councillor Mark Winnington; and VolkerFitzpatrick Project Manager Keith Miller

Work on Staffordshire County Council’s flagship Tipping Street development in Stafford town centre has moved a major step forward.

Birmingham-based national developer Stoford and building contractor VolkerFitzpatrick have completed work in challenging ground conditions on the ‘piling’ which will provide vital support to the structure.

The team created approximately 450 concrete piles, starting 23 metres below ground level, which will hold the weight of the buildings.

The state of the art office and retail space is on schedule to open for business in September 2011.

The building will provide the main focal point for county council services for the people of Staffordshire. It will also be the base for more than 1,700 members of staff from across 170 separate teams.

It will also play a vital role in regenerating Stafford town centre, both in the short term and the long term.

Stoford is using local labour and resources wherever possible during construction and the retail part of the scheme will create new jobs in the future.

Tipping Street will also attract visitors to the town centre which will, in turn, boost the existing retail centre in the heart of Stafford.

The new development will be built to the highest standards of energy efficiency and its heating fuel demands will be met by using biomass from the county council’s own forest resource.

It will drastically reduce the authority’s carbon emissions by over 1,750 tonnes per year – this equates to the average annual emissions of nearly 50 households and will save thousands of pounds.

Tony Nash, Stoford Director, said: “We are delighted that one of the most technically challenging aspects of this project has been completed on cost and budget, and we are looking to identify further savings through the project to the benefit of Staffordshire.”

County council employees who are currently based in 18 outdated buildings across Stafford will move in to the Tipping Street offices. These buildings would have cost £43 million to maintain over the next 30 years and are the least energy efficient.

This will enable the local authority to provide a more modern, responsive and integrated operation which will deliver top quality services for residents of Staffordshire.

County Councillor Mark Winnington, Cabinet member for Assets, Performance and Organisation, said: “It is great to see the hive of activity that is taking place at the Tipping Street site. The area is dotted with piling rigs, tower cranes and excavators – it really is quite exciting to see this future Stafford landmark taking shape.

“The flagship Tipping Street development will be a real asset to the residents of Stafford generating jobs for local people and employment opportunities will also be created from the retail space on the ground floor of one of the buildings.

“This is all part of the county council’s 100% commitment to the local economy – we want to see Staffordshire thriving and have every confidence that it will do so in the future.”

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