Worcester City Council
In line with Worcester City Council’s ambition to support local residents to more easily access council services, the council made the decision to bring their customer services back in-house and required a new customer reception and telephony hub. ONE was commissioned to re-purpose an area of the Guildhall for a new Customer Services Hub.
The Council’s Customer Services Hub provides one point of contact for council related enquiries and in recent years this has been situated in The Hive, Europe’s first joint university and public library.
The decision was taken to move this facility to the High Street location of the Guildhall to an area of the building previously occupied by the Kiln that provided hotdesking and coworking desk spaces.
The design for the refurbishment focused on a roving support approach rather than a fixed reception desk for enquiries, so that visitors could be guided to and assisted with the payment portals and other online services. The design also had to consider confidential enquiries and provision was made for 1-2-1 discussions with meeting pod and a waiting area.
This work also opened up the possibility for evolving access options to the Guildhall itself, and the use of the Hub as a permanent reception facility for the entire building.
The project was handed over to the City Council on the 23 March 2020. This was during the COVID-19 Pandemic which provided some additional challenges, however, these were overcome with a business as usual commitment from all involved with the appropriate safety precautions which meant no face to face contact at all between the parties and a virtual handover. The local contractor, Total Build, completed their works and their inspection. An inspection followed from the Council and then from ONE. The three parties held a teleconference and followed all the appropriate mandated processes and successfully discharged the project to the client. This will mean when the social distancing and Stay at Home directive is lifted after the Pandemic, that the Customer Service Hub is ready and waiting to receive those who will need support to access vital services.