It’s not often you have to install catering areas for surfers in the UK, especially inland, but that’s exactly what Spennymoor-based Howell Cummings Catering Equipment was faced with for its latest project.
Billed as the first ever inland man made specialist surfing lagoon, Surf Snowdonia is located near Conwy in north Wales. Howell Cummings was initially approached to be involved in the £200,000+ project in November 2014, when Bob Seger of the Manchester-based construction and cost consultant WCP Associates was looking for a catering specialist to be involved with the design and delivery for the venue’s owner, Conwy Adventure Leisure.
Howell Cummings’ MD Paul Surtees recalled: “We had successfully worked alongside WCP Associates in delivering Youth Zone projects in the North West and they knew we would be reliable and able to design and deliver a quality project.”
However, when the distributor was engaged to carry out the order, the project was already underway, which limited what it could do with the design. “We had to develop the catering facilities around the existing footprint of the building being constructed by main contractors HH Smith & Son,” detailed Surtees.
“As well as incorporating the existing constraints of the proposed structure and layout, we also had to meet and exceed the client’s requirements and expectations. Several designs and options were considered during the design development stage until a concept was agreed with the client and design team.”
The works carried out by Howell Cummings included the design, supply and installation of the extract ventilation and main canopy, stainless steel and hygienic wall cladding, catering equipment and server counters to the main kitchen, bar, servery, and food courts.
There were a few adjustments during the project, as during the design stage, the initial layout was changed to meet the end user’s preferred ‘customer flow’ to the servery counter and relative to the finalised seating area layout of the restaurant. At the same point a bar area was introduced, which meant Howell Cummings had to reconfigure the warewash area and layout to accommodate the change. [[page-break]]
The final scheme agreed saw the main kitchen area, main cafe and servery area sited within the hub building onsite, while the bar area and a smaller snack bar were located within the adjacent family activities and amenities building.
During installation, delivery sizes and loads had to be kept to a minimum due to restricted access road loadings. To achieve this, Howell Cummings’ loads and deliveries were coordinated off-site to minimise the amount of deliveries brought to site.
The distributor’s project manager Mark Robson commented: “I found this project both challenging and rewarding. The key to the success of the project was the close working relationship developed with the client and design team.”
From initial engagement and design development to project completion on site was a total of 8 months, with the outfit beginning in early June. Work progressed on site to meet the demands of the construction programme and completion was achieved on time and on budget to meet the official opening of the scheme on Saturday 1 August.
David Raistrick, Howell Cummings’ sales consultant detailed: “Regular on site meetings with the client, both pre commencement and during construction were key to developing a mutual trust and good working relationship of the client’s requirements.”
Surtees added: “Through detailed pre planning and coordination, potential problems were discussed and resolved at pre installation stage. As a result of this there were no major difficulties encountered during the project,”
He believes that one of the most significant highlights of the scheme was to be involved and develop this ‘world first’ facility, which altogether represented an investment of £12m. “We pride ourselves on working closely with contractors, consultants and clients, and this was displayed at Surf Snowdonia completing on time, to budget and to a high quality,” he said.
As a result of the work carried out at Surf Snowdonia, Howell Cummings has secured other works in Glasgow and Leeds for the same design team and contractor.