Westgate Ward Social Club
Sports and Recreation
Built in 1920, Westgate Ward Social Club in Ipswich is a multi-functional venue for weddings, parties, local community meetings, sports clubs, dog training, baby groups, school events, corporate events, and even film shoots. The venue is highly popular and offers a great place for socialising and community events, however unfortunately it was plagued by anti-social behaviour from a small minority in the community.
It nestles in the centre of a Victorian Conservation area. The car parks and sports field attached to the building were surrounded by concrete slab fencing and dilapidated boundaries. The opaque construction of these boundaries allowed anti-social activities to continue by using these walls as cover from the Community Safety CCTV System that had been installed to help protect the community. Whilst concrete is a durable material, the combination of these concrete products created a visually dull and uninviting background. In addition, being an inflexible material, gaps that form over time between the concrete slabs from weathering and ground shifts create a security and safety risk. Gaps in the fence create a ladder effect meaning it is much easier to climb, whilst also creating a finger trap hazard for guests - including children - innocently attending events at the club. Angle iron posts and barbed wire strands had previously been installed above the fencing to counteract any climbing, resulting in the appearance of the fencing becoming even more gloomy. The eco-credentials of concrete are also low, which is an important consideration within modern construction projects.
Suffolk Police Design Out Crime Officer (DOCO), Lucy Mures, discussed these concerns with Jacksons Fencing. It was clear that this important hub of the community needed improved designed perimeter protection that would provide the required security, increase visibility and remove areas that could offer cover from the Community Safety CCTV. Any solution also needed to take into account and conform to the Victorian Conservation area requirements.
At Jacksons, we specialise in offering physical security solutions which are not only secure, but also incorporate the preferred aesthetics. With the right combination of quality materials and fixings, the correct design, exceptional installation, sustainability and longevity assured by lengthy guarantees, it is possible to have anti-climb and vandal resistant security fences/railings that also look good. Whilst a secure perimeter is necessary for more and more businesses today, considering aesthetics in the design and specification process is essential to ensuring towns and cities don’t become overrun with hostile spikes and uninspired, distasteful fencing.
The social club worked with Suffolk Police and the Council to secure planning permission and funding via The Home Office Safer Streets Fund initiative, which enabled Jacksons to forward a design to ensure the future security and improve the kerb appeal of this important hub of the community.
We were tasked with creating a secure yet welcoming environment for guests and protecting the site from vandalism, climbing, and trespassing, we installed 48m of our Barbican Imperial® railings and 101m of EuroGuard® Flatform fencing, as improving visibility was key at the venue to reduce any anti-social behaviour and increase awareness of external risks. Barbican Imperial® railings with their welded pale-through-rail construction have no visible bolts that can be removed and utilise hidden internal panel-to-post connectors to eliminate a common weak point of metal railings. With pale tops cut to 45 degree angles and protruding through the top rail, the railings are heavily resistant to climbing. In addition, the client chose our LPS 1175 A1 rated (previously known as SR1) version of the railings which have been independently tested by BRE and certified by LPCB to that security standard and are also approved by Secured by Design (SBD). The railings were provided with an architectural grade polyester powder coating in black RAL 9005 which on top of the hot dip galvanisation process provides a highly durable finish.
Around the sports field, we installed 101m of EuroGuard® Flatform fencing which was polyester powder coated green RAL 6005. The posts are hot dip galvanised and the panels are Galfan® zinc alloy coated – a premium coating designed for smaller gauge metal like mesh fencing to improve flexibility and corrosion resistance.
The installation included the removal of 150m of concrete slab fencing and walls, CAT scanning the site for any utilities and hazards, and the installation of the new railings, mesh fencing, and gates.
Wendy Crafton – Club Secretary, commented: “All the work completed to make the area more secure and open by the Police an the Council has certainly made a big difference in providing a safer neighbourhood”.
All products came with a 25 year Service Life Guarantee, increasing the sustainability of the development. This is the standard guarantee offered by Jacksons on our steel products.