Heavy Duty Inset Locker for Manchester City Council

Heavy Duty Inset Locker for Manchester City Council

Following rigorous product testing in Manchester 900 Helmsman Heavy Duty Inset Lockers have been installed by Manchester City Council in a publicly funded school.

The requirements
The provision of lockers for school children is important to Manchester City Council, more so in recent years with the ownership of goods with re-sale potential such as iPods and mobile phones. With such items not allowed in lessons, the lockers were being broken into and the contents stolen.

Two other main problems were vandalism and the use of the lockers as a modern day ‘test your strength’ game.

Manchester City Council interior designer and furniture consultant Rik Perkin explains:

"Decorative signage on the existing lockers was being ripped off – numbers, handles, plaques etc. – resulting in holes, which were both unattractive and tempting for those who wished to poke things through them such as lit matches. The lockers were also the recipients of single punches as children pitted against one another to see who could cause the biggest dent. If all this wasn’t enough, the bottom lockers were frequently dealt a swift kick as the children walked past. When we added up the cost of fixing these sorry, beaten-up lockers it was exceptionally high in terms of both cost and time. It simply couldn’t continue."

Faced with a locker problem that had to be solved, Rik started to research the locker industry to see what options were out there. Rik explains; "I found that Helmsman was extremely willing to talk through the issues and they understood the problems." Over a period of time, Rik and Helmsman worked together to come up with a locker design unique to Manchester City Council’s needs.

Testing the lockers
After more than one month of design, a prototype was produced at no charge to Manchester City Council. Helmsman understood that if the locker design wasn’t successful it wasn’t useful so the organisation was pleased to invest their time, as they were confident that their experience, together with Rik’s, would find the solution.

Firstly, the locker was placed in the Council’s ‘Building Schools for the Future Test Bed Centre school, Cedar Mount High School on the eastern side of the city. Located in a classroom, the locker showed no signs of damage but, given the environment, Rik felt the locker had perhaps had an easy trial.

"Our second test was in another school in the south of the city," adds Rik. "It was placed in a corridor with lots of passing foot traffic and no CCTV. If it was going to meet a grisly end, that’s where it was going to happen. We left it to its fate!" However, the locker not only survived but also appeared unscathed.

Whatever it had been objected to, it didn’t leave its mark. Rik was delighted, as were Helmsman.

The locker design was then approved and recommended by Manchester City Council. 900 Helmsman Heavy Duty Inset Lockers are installed in a soon-to-open publicly funded school and both Rik and Helmsman will be monitoring its success.

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Helmsman Lockers

Helmsman has been trading for around 250 years. The company is a leading manufacturer and supplier of personal storage and changing room equipment. Helmsman was acquired in 2008 by Sperrin Metal Products who offer a comprehensive range of shelving and...
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