Doncaster Civic and Cultural Quarter


1 day (annual works)


Doncaster Civic Centre



For Doncaster Civic Office, the client required rope access works for an assignment that didn’t fall under our usual remit.

The brief

Smart window solution company TechnoShade asked us to help with the inspection and maintenance of automated roller blinds at Doncaster Civic Office.

Accessing the blind and motors was going to be difficult so the client decided to commission rope access techniques to reach the blinds located in the ceiling of the council building, on the sixth floor over an atrium.

The building

The new Doncaster Civic Office was opened in 2013, consolidating numerous council offices into one energy-efficient building. The five storey rectangular tower block was built in glass and steel at a cost of £20 million.

The work

We accessed the 20 blinds, motors and tensioning cables to conduct a full visual and tactile inspection, both while turned off and while in motion. We also tightened the tension of any loose guide cables.

Access was awkward because the blinds were located inside a fully operational, open plan office.

This was inspection and maintenance work that was different to our regular projects. From our position at height we were able to advise, direct and be the eyes and ears of a third party engineering company on the ground.

Benefits to the client

Rope access proved to be the only hassle-free solution to a logistical headache. Without rope access expertise, the client was unable to reach the blind and motors to complete the inspection and maintenance work.

By sharing our expertise we were able to collaborate with the client to complete the work to their safety specifications, with minimal disruption. Rope access techniques on an operational site don’t cause the mayhem associated with scaffolding and MEWPs (mobile elevating work platforms).

We were able to assist the third party engineering company by remotely showing them what we could see and the work we were doing.

Benefits to people who use the building

Workers and visitors to the site were able to use the building as normal while we carried out the work. This was particularly important in a council building that is busy with workers and members of the public.


We were introduced to a project at Doncaster Civic Centre some 3 years ago where a number of automated shading systems has been supplied and installed by another company. The issue the client had was that they couldn’t get anyone to carry out an annual service on the 17nbr very large blinds installed to the underside of roof glazing. Maintenance was essential as the blinds provided both shading from glare and significant heat reduction for the wellbeing of the large number of Council staff within the building. Understandably the main issue was access to the blinds as they were installed some 20m from floor level and with only a very small ledge below them at roof level for access. The client had previously had to pay to have purpose built scaffolding to allow access – which was not only very costly but also extremely time consuming. I asked Julie and Matt at Orb Rope Access if they could help. Matt and his team not only devised a safe and effective solution for access to carry out the maintenance following some initial training on the systems provided. A thoroughly professional and technical approach to the work needed – culminating in being able to swap a motor at roof level within a couple of hours when previously the work would have taken a full weekend with a large cost for scaffolding. Our client is extremely happy with the service he now receives and of course the significant reduction in annual costs to the Council. I would strongly recommend Orb Rope Access for any project you have requiring safe access at height.  With their high level of professionalism and positive approach to every task facing them with a real can do attitude they make it look easy.
John Deegan
Owner - Technoshade Ltd

Get In Touch

At Orb Rope Access we are very proud to be an IRATA Member Company and hold Safe Contractor status. If you are looking for a trusted partner to assist with projects that require working at height or confined space, please get in touch for a no-obligation quote or by calling 0781 333 9064.