The Challenge:

Although Trago Mills Chairman Bruce Robertson decided back in 1994 that the site of the former Heolgerrig Brickworks in Merthyr Tydfil was the ideal opportunity to bring their brand of discount retailing to Wales, it was nearly 20 years before it got off the ground.

A planning application was approved in 2005 followed by a programme of reclamation and ground stabilisation works costing over £12m. Kier was appointed as preferred contractor in 2008 and, after a 7-year pause, negotiations were re-commenced and significant effort undertaken to reach financial close and begin the project.

The Solution:

From the start of the 18-month build programme, the team worked collaboratively with Trago Mills and the design team to value engineer the project to keep it within the client’s budget without ever compromising the vision and bold ambition of Trago Mills' founder.

The 200,000 sq ft building's design is based on the Trago Mills signature design, formed of towers and mansard roofs. In addition to 11 retail units and leisure facilities in includes retail warehousing, ancillary buildings, subsidiary services and first-floor offices. The work also included roads around the complex, car parking and site works.

A distinguishing feature of Trago Mills is the architecture of the buildings, which have an almost castle-like appearance, with tall towers clad in white with black framed windows. Averaging 20m tall, 17 modular cladding kits were factory fabricated offsite in fully finished condition, ready to be shipped to site for fast-track hoisting and fixing to the primary steelwork structures around the building’s perimeters. The Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) rainscreen cladding simulates a variety of features with stone banding, vertical quoins and lead roll roof. The modular fibreglass moulds are lightweight, factory finished, strong, durable, and quick to site assemble.

The Impact:

This is one of the region's most significant retail destinations, with 38 departments serving 200,000 products stacked either side of a yellow coloured boulevard that extends half a kilometre from one end to the other (or 61 football pitches!).

This has been a strategically important scheme for the town and its economy, creating valuable employment and training opportunities. More than 200 people have been employed directly on the park.

Trago Mills, Merthyr Tydfil
" Kier’s experience and local knowledge is invaluable to meet the high standard required by Trago and its customers. The cooperation we’ve had with Kier has been first class. "
Bruce Robertson Chairman Trago Mills

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