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Riverside – Chapel Court

J Tomlinson was appointed to undertake a comprehensive refurbishment scheme across Riverside’s 41-bed Chapel Court retirement living scheme, based in Ormskirk, Liverpool.


Refurbishment and remodelling of the entire 3-storey building, including asbestos removal, full decoration, installation of new carpets, lighting, fire doors, handrails and balustrades.






April – December 2019

Summary of works

• Refurbishment and remodelling of communal areas across an occupied, 3-storey retirement living scheme
• High level of resident engagement
• Excellent feedback from client, consultants and residents

Project Background

The Riverside Group is a major provider of affordable housing, care and support services across England and Scotland, with over 52,000 homes in management.

J Tomlinson was appointed to undertake a comprehensive refurbishment scheme across Riverside’s 41-bed Chapel Court retirement living scheme, based in Ormskirk, Liverpool.

The project involved the refurbishment and remodelling of the entire 3-storey building, excluding resident apartments, with key works including asbestos removal, full decoration, installation of new carpets, lighting, fire doors, handrails and balustrades. The scheme remained fully occupied throughout the scheme.

J Tomlinson's Approach

Live retirement living scheme

As works took place across a live retirement living scheme, J Tomlinson’s approach was centred around minimising disruption and protecting residents, staff and visitors. This was achieved through:

Phased working – Works were undertaken in phases, working downwards from the top floor. We ensured residents were able to move around the home as usual, with work areas clearly segregated and supervised by operatives to help prevent accidents/incidents, including contact with asbestos.

Open and transparent communication – J Tomlinson held weekly meetings on site, where we notified residents and retirement living staff of upcoming works and provided an open forum for airing and addressing questions and any concerns. A dedicated Resident Liaison Officer worked between residents and the site team, helping to ensure the smooth running of the programme.

Days out – As well as organising weekly coffee mornings, J Tomlinson arranged several events for residents including a meal at Bramley Farm in Altringham, a bingo trip, and an opening event to unveil the scheme’s newly-refurbished main communal area.

Resident and community engagement

Towards the end of the project, we held an event to celebrate the opening of the scheme’s main communal room, which we combined with a charity fundraiser to raise money for Bernado’s Young Carers. Residents organise a raffle each year, but do not usually raise more than £50 each time. J Tomlinson wanted to lend its support and by working closely with our supply chain partners and the wider project team to hold a raffle and a bake sale, we ended up raising £364 for the charity.

Identification of design issues

During the design planning stage of the project, J Tomlinson identified that the new fire doors that had been selected for installation would be too narrow to accommodate wheelchair use. After notifying the client and the wider design team, J Tomlinson amended the designs to ensure the new doors would be able to fully accommodate the use of wheelchairs, sourcing an alternative product at a lower cost and faster lead-in time, providing client savings of 9%.

Managing client-led changes

Per the client’s request, J Tomlinson converted the scheme’s laundry room into a scooter store to help the scheme better accommodate resident transport and mobility. Following approval of planning permissions, J Tomlinson created a new bin store in Crescent Court’s garden area.

High quality workmanship – meeting and exceeding targets

J Tomlinson’s professional and efficient approach saw us achieve the following results whilst working across Chapel Court:

Customer Satisfaction – 94%: respite care including days out for elderly and vulnerable tenants (across both sites) was a vital in our success to achieving customer satisfaction.

Actual Completion – 100%: effective sequencing of work and forecasting of resources with timely scheduling of material deliveries ensured we had continuous flow of work for our tradesmen, allowing us to achieve on-time completion.

Time in Property – 95%: intelligent programming and sequencing resulted in timely supply and installation of goods including FENSA-accredited windows and FD30-approved fire doors.

1st Time Handover – 96%: Quality Checks holding points, whereby the site manager inspected work against a bespoke snagging checklist. Joint snagging inspections were held with residents, confirming satisfaction of workmanship.

High quality finish

Following completion of the scheme, the whole building has improved in terms of aesthetics, energy efficiency and functionality, and has dramatically improved, gaining commendation from the client, consultant and residents alike.

Project Achievements

ENERGY EFFICIENCY – LED lighting with integrated time-delay motion sensors was installed throughout the building to help Riverside lower its energy bills and reduce carbon emissions, supporting the client’s sustainability and environmental targets by mitigating wasted lighting energy.


LOCAL SUPPLY CHAIN – Local suppliers and subcontractors were utilised throughout the scheme, contributing to the local economy and local employment in the Liverpool area.


HIGH QUALITY, ON BUDGET COMPLETION – The project was completed to an excellent standard, and in line with the client’s budget. The entire building benefits from a modern, aesthetically pleasing finish, gaining commendation from residents and the client alike.


RESIDENT ENGAGEMENT – A people-based business, J Tomlinson worked hard to engage residents throughout the project, organising coffee mornings and day trips to help encourage interaction and prevent loneliness.


COMMUNITY FUNDRAISING –  Whilst working at Crescent Court, J Tomlinson held multiple fundraising initiatives utilising the support of our trusted supply chain partners. During the 8-month scheme, we helped raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care, Bernardo’s Young Carers and Children in Need.