Council committed to Five Acres regeneration despite cost increases due to inflation and global price rises

Forest of Dean District Council provides the following project update regarding the construction of the new leisure, enterprise and education facility at Five Acres in Berry Hill. 

Chief Executive Officer for Forest of Dean District Council, Nigel Brinn said:

“We had originally hoped to be on site at this stage but as with the construction of any large facility such as this, the Council must ensure that the development is affordable and remains financially sustainable going forward.   

“Unfortunately, costs have risen substantially since the Council was successful in its Levelling Up Fund bid, due to rising global costs of materials and the impact of high inflation.    

“We would like to reassure the community that Forest of Dean District Council is committed to working with partners and key stakeholders to deliver a project that provides real and long-lasting benefit to the people of the Forest of Dean, within the budget available to us.” 

Since August 2023, the Council has been working with its appointed Design and Build contractor BAM to refine proposals for the construction of the community and leisure facility at Five Acres. 

The community and other key stakeholders have previously been consulted on designs and the future uses of the site to ensure the facility meets the needs of residents. 

In October 2023, the design team submitted a planning application (ref: P1435/23/FUL) to redevelop the site and planning consent was granted in February 2024. In accordance with the agreed programme, at which time design and build contractor BAM sought updated prices from the market for each element of the construction project. 

The project team is currently reviewing each element of the work and looking at options for how we could reduce costs to remain within budget. 

An update on construction commencement and anticipated completion will be provided once designs have been reviewed and agreed, which can be fully funded with the budget available.  

The site’s development is currently phased with the renovation and conversion of the Speedwell building and the construction of the Sports Hall in Phase 1. Phase 2 is the construction of the 3G pitch and subject to planning approval is likely to start part of the way through Phase 1 construction. 

Full details for the Five Acres site redevelopment, as well as documents including designs, and comments and questions from previous public forum events can be found at the link below: 

Contact Information

Forest of Dean Communications Team

[email protected]