The Alhambra Shopping Centre in the heart of Barnsley Town Centre, is a community hub with around 40 leading retail brand units and an annual footfall of over 6 million visitors.
Following its formation in 2018, The Alhambra was the first contract won by Q3, and was mobilised in November 2019. Q3 originally delivered cleaning services to the centre, with security added through a separate tender in 2021.
Like most retail shopping centres, the Alhambra is a seven-days-a-week operation, serving the public on every day except Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.
In the retail shopping centre sector, great presentation is vital because competition is fierce. Providing high standards of cleanliness and a secure, welcoming environment, are both key to making visitors feel at ease, and for attracting and retaining customers.
The onsite Q3 management team oversee two teams, including 10 cleaning operatives and 11 security staff.
The cleaning team looks after the whole of the centre’s mall, the large car park and underground service area. The security operation provides a constant presence in the centre to reassure the public and is responsible for opening and shutting up the centre, dealing with alarm calls, and helping with any incidents in the centre. This team includes two customer service operatives who manage change orders, oversee a copying and printing service for the shopping centre tenants and administer the process for authorising free parking for registered disabled visitors.
The outsourcing contract relies on a high level of trust between a client and provider to ensure a smooth operation. Managers meet every Monday to address any concerns that have arisen during the period and the Q3 team is given licence to investigate potential issues and rectify them.
During the Covid pandemic, five “essential” shops remained open in The Centre to serve the public and Q3 responded by introducing a programme of special measures to manage and control potential infection. Sanitiser stations were installed at entrances and at points throughout the mall and notices were erected reminding the public of Government guidance on personal hygiene, social distancing and the importance of wearing masks. Hot spot areas were regularly disinfected using a “fogging” system and hourly cleaning regimes were implemented on vulnerable touch points. Public toilets had to remain open throughout this period, so visitor numbers were restricted to reduce risk of contact and a more frequent and rigorous cleaning programme introduced.
Over the period of the contract, Q3 has introduced a number of innovations, including the installation of a new sustainable hand-wash solution to the public toilets. Soap2O is made from biodegradable materials and its unique design allows for the hand-wash solution in powder form to be mixed on site with water from the wash basin. This eliminates the use of single-use plastics, as well as drastically reducing packaging and waste and transportation costs usually associated with conventional, ready-mixed, handwash solutions.
Also in the public toilets, traditional toilet rolls have been replaced with an eco-friendly alternative manufactured in the UK from 100% recycled tissue paper. This significantly reduces the carbon footprint because the original virgin toilet paper is generally imported from oversees.
Q3 has also streamlined the range of floor and hard surface cleaning and disinfecting chemicals deployed across the centre. Using products like “Toucan,” cleaners can now carry out virtually all functions using just a handful of non-aggressive, water-soluble, eco-friendly products.
Members of the team have been commended for the professional way they responded to a difficult incident involving a member of the public in 2023.
The contract is currently enjoying a twelve-month extension.
Q3 is a great business to work with and to work for. We were set up by a group of people motivated by experience to create a very different type of Facilities Management company. Here you’ll find out more about us and how we work. If that’s not enough, contact us
Q3 looks after the people and properties from some of the country’s leading brands, spanning many sectors and geographies. Here is a selection
It’s been a fantastic journey so far and we have collectively achieved so much. Personally, I have learned a tremendous amount about the Q3 team and continue to do so.
Best of luck Q3! You are an exceptional partner to us, so much so we don’t see you as a separate business and we treat your people as ours.
If the client wants us to dress up in clown outfits and hand out balloons, that’s alright with me!
I just wanted to send in my thanks to Emma, who helped me on Saturday when my Mum passed out in front of TK Maxx. Emma was very friendly, calm and efficient, I don't know what I would have done without her. She was so professional and knew exactly what was needed I couldn't believe it when screens turned up and a wheel chair, all organised by Emma without making myself or especially my Mum feel stupid or an inconvenience. Please can you pass on mine, my Mum's and family's thanks to Emma, she is a star and a very kind person.