Stirling experts grant gold accreditation to public building in world first

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The University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) has awarded its internationally recognised dementia design Gold accreditation to a new community hub facility in Warrington – the first public building in the world to receive the award.

The DSDC has made the award to the Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub - which encompasses leisure, library, health, and cultural facilities for people of all ages under one roof. 

The DSDC is an internationally renowned centre of knowledge and expertise, dedicated to improving the lives of people with dementia. Drawing on research and practice, from across the globe, it provides comprehensive and up-to-date resources on all aspects of dementia.

The Warrington-based project, designed by Walker Simpson Architects, constructed by BAM Construction, and operated by LiveWire, involved an extensive addition, refurbishment, and partial change of use to the existing community sports complex. Additions included a public library, pharmacy, health consulting rooms, wellness suite, café, conference spaces, meeting rooms and offices.

People using the new Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub

Picture credit: Daniel Hopkinson

An expert team from the DSDC visited the site and were impressed by the project partners’ commitment to achieving the highest quality of dementia and age-friendly design in the new facility.

Martin Quirke, architect for the DSDC, said: “The Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub provides a ground-break example of how public organisations, businesses, and the construction industry can make meaningful contributions to maintaining and improving public health and social inclusion within communities.

“They have been bold in their approach to this project and have tackled several issues which affect wider society – including public mental and physical health, generational and cultural differences, and sustainability. Doing so within the context of shrinking public resources only further underlines the scale of what they have achieved.

“Warrington Borough Council and LiveWire have set a new standard in dementia design quality for public buildings. We hope that this project is an example which other organisations strive to follow.”

More information about DSDC’s expert full audit service and the associated Dementia Design Audit Certificate, as well as the Design Audit Tool can be found at