Willmott Dixon has been appointed preferred bidder by Milton Keynes City Council to deliver the landmark Agora regeneration scheme in Wolverton, which has received €40.4m (£36m) of investment by the City Council. Working alongside developer TOWN, Willmott Dixon will review and finalise the design for the new development on the former site of the disused Agora Centre and adjacent car park. The scheme will provide 115 new two- to four-storey homes across six residential blocks, nearly a third of which will be affordable housing and which incorporates a co-housing community for over-50s alongside family homes for rent.
Also known as the Love Wolverton project, it is set to elevate the local environmental and social sustainability of the area through an inclusive mix of housing, nine ground-floor commercial units and a designated community space to inject life into the local economy. Sustainable elements of include energy-efficient buildings and a smart renewable energy microgrid to generate around two-thirds of the annual energy required for the scheme. There will be several car-free streets, as well as a sustainable mobility hub including a car club and bike hire facilities. This is the latest in a series of town centre regeneration for Willmott Dixon. The company is also involved in the Spindles development in Oldham town centre, Upperbanks development in Rochdale and Stockport Interchange.
Michelle Cotterill, director, at Willmott Dixon, said: “The Agora regeneration scheme is a pivotal project that will breathe new life into the local area of Wolverton. As one of the most environmentally ambitious regeneration schemes in the UK, we are proud to have been appointed to deliver a project that is set to offer such value to the area, both in terms of its sustainable benefits and social value potential. We look forward to working alongside the City Council and TOWN to ensure the scheme is one that stands out on the national stage and that the benefits promised to the community are fully realised.”
Councillor Rob Middleton, Cabinet Member for Resources at Milton Keynes City Council, said: “We’re thrilled to have Willmott Dixon on board to deliver the Wolverton regeneration and the award-winning Love Wolverton scheme. Wolverton is a historic railway town with a real sense of community, brilliant independent businesses, and endless potential. This community-led regeneration will provide a real boost for the town, and I can’t want to see the plans come to life.”? ?
Ben Jones, regional manager at Pagabo, said:“It’s great that our Major Works Framework was able to support Milton Keynes City Council (MKCC) in appointing a contractor for this landmark regeneration project. Willmott Dixon were selected following a further competition process which ensured complete compliance and best value for the client’s investment. We’re so happy to be continuing our strong relationship with MKCC and proud to play our part in a scheme that will bring so many benefits to the local community.”
Guy Rochez, Associate Director at TOWN, said: “This is an important milestone in a long-awaited project and continues the momentum behind the project following on from completion of the demolition of the Agora building last month.”