Trusted advisor key to success with City of Wolverhampton Council

Nick Moore
A trusted advisor is one of those phrases that is used often in the construction consultancy industry but what does a trusted advisor look like and why do consultants strive to achieve this status with their clients?

What is a trusted advisor?

Having the relevant expertise to advise clients appropriately is the starting point but it goes much deeper than this. A trusted advisor has an in-depth understanding and interest in their client’s business and always acts in their best interests, giving advice based on anticipating the client’s needs. They want what is the best for the client in the long-term, even if this come at a cost to the consultant’s own short-term gains.

Client benefits

At Faithful+Gould we look to develop this level of relationship with all our clients. An example of this is our relationship with the City of Wolverhampton Council (CWC). We have been working with them since December 2015 delivering services including cost management, project management, employer’s agent, health and safety and move management in diverse sectors including office accommodation, carparks, schools, public buildings and highways. We’ve developed strong links with their procurement and delivery teams and over time, our relationship has moved from a transactional relationship to a partnership, with CWC valuing our flexibility and ability to adapt and meet challenges to set deadlines.

This level of relationship has enabled us both to enjoy project successes.

A trusted advisor wants what is the best for the client in the long-term, even if this comes at a cost to the consultant’s own short-term gains.

Joint successes

In 2016 we commenced work on the £25m capital programme of essential repairs and maintenance, with the objective of delivering significant ongoing savings, of Wolverhampton’s Civic Centre and have helped regenerate the 40-year old building into a landmark for the city of Wolverhampton and the Black Country. The programme was completed in April 2018 and now acts as a modern technologically equipped environment from which to welcome potential investors and partners from the UK and overseas, attracting investment to realise the city's aspirations and deliver their regeneration ambitions. The refurbishment has also enabled the authority to house all its services into one building making it the focal point for the local community.

The project was shortlisted in the regeneration category of the 2018 West Midlands RICS Awards.

Our most recent success has been winning the Service Transformation award at CWC’s annual Star Awards 2018. Myself and two of my colleagues were seconded into the council’s FutureSpace Team to set out the agile working principles for the council and rolling them out in accordance with a strategic delivery plan, with the rationale behind the plan to make ongoing savings of £500,000 per year.

Former Managing Director of the council Keith Ireland complimented the team for delivering the complex construction works whilst enabling public access to the building throughout and minimising disruption to council services. The legacy of the project will be a rationalisation of the council’s operational assets, and an extended life for its key headquarters building.

Service teams are nominated by the client themselves so being a part of the winning team was a huge honour for us.

The future of our relationship with CWC is also looking bright. As a result of our strong client relationship, we have been working directly with the regeneration team to develop the masterplanning of Wolverhampton city centre through the delivery of Westside Link public realm scheme. The project aims to give the streets ‘back to the people’ by removing cars and making them more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists. It will also create links between major development sites creating a stronger environment to allow retail, food and beverage, entertainment venues and leisure to thrive. This in turn will support the council’s ambition to transform Wolverhampton into one of the UK’s top 20 cities and a leading city in the West Midlands.

Currently, with over £3.7bn of investment, Wolverhampton is one of the top ten growing economies in the UK, the future looks very exciting for this city and we’re proud to be partnering with our client to shape its future.