Delivering state-of-the-art entertainment through expert project management

construction site workers looking at plan
Date Published

22/07/2021

We’re bringing big-screen entertainment to Blackburn by supporting the local authority with the design and construction of a new multiscreen cinema in the town centre. With a skilled and motivated team delivering best-in-class project management, we’re ensuring this new leisure facility is built to a high-quality standard.

As part of their plans to transform part of Blackburn town centre into a new cultural and leisure quarter, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (BwDBC) decided to build a new multiscreen cinema. The council identified that they needed an experienced partner to help deliver this high-profile project and, knowing our expertise in managing construction projects quickly and effectively to get the maximum benefit from local authority budgets, they asked for our help.

Working closely with BwDBC we assembled a team of highly experienced professionals who could lead and advise on critical phases of this project, including:

  • Landscape and building architects
  • Acoustic consultants
  • Mechanical and electrical services experts
  • Fire prevention engineers
  • Budget advisors
  • Construction health and safety professionals.


By offering expert design services and advice across a range of disciplines throughout the concept design and developed design phases (RIBA stages 2-3), we developed BwDBC’s designs to final concept stage, enabling contractors to quote for development.

BwDBC then reaffirmed their confidence in our ability by appointing us as the quality monitor for the project. We assigned a team of building surveyors and mechanical and electrical engineers to make regular visits to the site to confirm all works were compliant.

We were also responsible for the internal fit-out of the auditoria and proved our agility in accommodating additional requests beyond the original scope of the brief for this element, which included VIP seating, a VIP lounge area, and upgraded external landscaping elements.

Managing unforeseen challenges

Capita and BwDBC needed to adapt to a series of unforeseen external events during the project – a period of prolonged bad weather was followed by a series of Covid-19 lockdowns which caused disruption across the UK’s leisure sector. The pandemic also caused delays to materials and meant time on-site was reduced alongside fewer labour resources being available – these unprecedented events ultimately led to an extension to the project being granted.

Despite these setbacks, first-class project management by the Capita team resulted in BwDBC cutting the ribbon on their brand new 8-screen cinema, complete with a retail unit and underground parking, in May 2021.

During the post-project review, BwDBC awarded us the highest score (10/10 – ‘totally satisfied’) for health and safety implementation and overall delivery in line with the project brief, and 9/10 for value for money.

Taking a joined-up approach

Our ability to assemble a centrally managed team with the right range of skills, knowledge in various disciplines, and experience in delivering projects of this scale sets us apart. From the council’s perspective, working with us meant they had fewer points of contact, making it quicker to get an update or speak to those in charge of a specific aspect of the project.

Keeping everyone in the loop

With multiple stakeholders involved it was clear that good communication was critical for the success of the project. To ensure the various construction, client, and design teams knew what was happening when, the project team implemented Multivista project monitoring software, to enable visual documentation sharing and remote monitoring of the progress of the works, providing complete transparency for everyone involved.

Providing peace of mind

Working in partnership with BwDBC representatives, a Capita budget consultant and health and safety advisor monitored activity throughout the construction phase to ensure the project was delivered in line with the designs and current regulations and legislation. This emphasis on proactive monitoring helped to minimise risk and delays beyond what was inevitable due to the pandemic.

A glowing performance review

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council awarded Capita the highest possible score for our health and safety implementation and overall delivery of the project to the specifications in the brief.

Focusing on continuous improvement

We are committed to learning from the work we do with our clients. As part of our review process, we identified that having deputies assigned to each key person in the project team would have provided greater continuity given the lengthy pandemic-related delays. We’ll be using valuable insight like this to inform our plans for similar projects as we look to continuously improve our services.

Find out more about our best-in-class property asset services

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