Down town school gets top marks
Charlestown School, Salford City Council
Charlestown Primary School – in a deprived area of Salford was closed in 2011. Salford has a rich industrial heritage and suffered during the 70s and 80s with closure of manufacturing. Regeneration programmes have injected a swathe of high profile schemes including development of the media city and the Lowry art centre.
The Client was interested in securing a number of sites in a more efficient and effective way than traditional security. Salford City Council decided to use this property as a trial run for Ad Hoc. As part of an ongoing rationalisation of its education estate Charlestown Primary School required a robust protection regime, situated in a high crime area, and a potential magnet for beakins, vandalism and degradation of the asset.
An enthusiastic team of Ad Hoc Guardians was recruited, placed at the visible and vulnerable parts of the property to highlight occupation of the building as a deterrence to criminal activities. A welcome spin-off has been the cultivation of what are now thriving allotments on previously disused ground. Ad Hoc still currently manage this site and the Guardians have been responsible for preventing numerous theft and break in attempts as well as identifying various maintenance issues that could have caused serious damage if gone unnoticed. Additionally, Ad Hoc installed a wireless fire alarm system to comply with Fire Safety Regulations and a temporary shower unit into the site.
The programme has become a beacon of success in an otherwise depressed area and featured on the BBC’s One Show.
“I have worked with Ad Hoc for the past couple of years, installing guardians for the first time in a vacant school in July 2011. That building is still being protected by Ad Hoc. A new and innovative concept can be difficult to introduce into a local authority setting, and there has been some learning curves. The scheme has been extremely successful, resulting in expansion by a further three school buildings, and the first measure to be considered when we are planning on closing a property.
Our vacant property budget for security and vandalism has been slashed to virtually zero, and the buildings have been kept in a good standard, whilst we make decisions about the future of our estate. Contact with Andy and Daniel is excellent, and any problems are dealt with immediately to good effect. I would not hesitate to recommend Ad Hoc as a modern and forward-thinking method of securing buildings, to enable them to be used positively in the future by refurbishment, or reduce and prevent crime whilst waiting for demolition.”
Deborah Keelan MSyI Dip
Project Manager (School Security and Premises)