Billed as Manchester’s premier entertainment destination, The Printworks opened in 2000 having been created through the redevelopment of what was once Europe’s largest newspaper printing facility.
Its amenities include 14 bars and restaurants, an IMAX cinema, escape room, gym and adventure golf course. A Tenpin bowling centre joined the line up in 2020, extending the Printworks’ footprint to a neighbouring two-storey unit.
In normal trading conditions, The Printworks attracts annual footfall of 8m with a planned £9m refurbishment set to ensure the venue remains a centrepiece of Manchester’s vibrant night-time economy.
The Printworks required a reliable and robust two-way radio system that would enable it to efficiently manage security and health & safety operations.
In implementing a highly resilient radio solution, free of deadspots, Avoira faced quite a technical challenge, as security and cleaning manager Blaine Bradbury notes.
“It’s very much a labyrinth, quite challenging” he says of the 385,000 sq.ft complex which spans four floors.
He wanted to add to that challenge, requiring not just dependable, crystal-clear radio communications, but GPS tracking and report generation. “I challenged Avoira to find me a system that would monitor all the officers in possession of a radio, to see exactly where they are and that they are completing necessary daily health & safety checks. I also wanted to interrogate that system online, so management didn’t need to be there to conduct those checks.”
In 2007 we recommended one of the first UK deployments of Motorola Solutions’ digital MOTOTRBO systems. In 2020, with that system ageing and the site footprint extend by the Tenpin bowling centre, to ensure site-wide coverage we advised upgrading to MOTOTRBO IP Site Connect and introduction of a second SLR5500 Repeater.
To help deliver Blaine’s tracking requirements, we recommended GPS and beacon-enabled Motorola DP4601E and DP4801E portable two-way radios.
Our network design incorporated beacons at the top of the 18 stairwells to which fire exits from every Printworks unit channel. “Service agreements demand the condition of the stairwells is checked daily. The system tells us our officers have been to the top to check that fire extinguishers and everything else is fit for purpose,” reports Blaine.
Beacons at every exit and entry door also confirm security officers followed the recommended route and checked each door is secure.
By integrating voice and data communications over a standard IP network connection, MOTOTRBO IP Site Connect can overcome the site’s physical barriers. Automatic site roaming further aids seamless delivery of voice and text communications, eliminating the need to change channels.
Automatically generated reports provide audit trails to evidence service delivery.
“The beauty for me is it produces daily reports of exactly which locations have been visited,” explains Blaine. “If we get any challenges from a service charge perspective, I have proof that checks have been completed.”
In addition, our flexible, feature-rich and highly scalable solution incorporates call recording, alarm and escalation options and external calling over SIP. Staff safety – a paramount concern – is aided by lone worker and man down functions.
The Printworks also benefit from our specialist maintenance and support services which Blaine marks as “very good.”