The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which manages and maintains land and property for the Ministry of Defence, granted the contract to the joint venture of Balfour Beatty and Kier Construction, named Hercules, which competed against Skanska.
The first phase of the development is expected to start at the beginning of next year, and should be completed by 2015 with the arrival of the first college staff and students.
According to the contract, Hercules will build new single-living accommodation for military trainees and purpose-built enhanced training facilities including a large outdoor training area. Additionally, it will also oversee the construction of a museum for Corps of Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (REME), whose headquarters will be at the base starting from 2015.
The renovated college will be the first in the entire UK to provide training facilities in one location for all three Armed Forces. More than 1,100 trainees and 800 staff from the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force will be working in it.
The major part of the redevelopment is the upgrade and refurbishment of existing buildings. The JV will renovate approximately 73,000 square metres of existing building stock and construct 56,000 square metres of new living space. The scheme includes detailed design and construction including demolition, the construction of new buildings, refurbishment of existing buildings and landscaping.
The project requires employment of around 900 people including service leavers and injured ex-military personnel.
Despite the DIO’s initial cost estimate of £180m to £230m for the development, Hercules is expecting it to be in the region of £121m.
Balfour Beatty chief executive, Andrew McNaughton, commented: “Over the last five years we have completed defence sector contracts totalling approximately £500 million demonstrating our position as a leading provider of defence related infrastructure for our armed services. We look forward to working with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and Kier Construction to deliver a great facility for the MoD.”
Kier Group CEO, Paul Sheffield, said: "We are delighted to be working on this exciting project to provide state-of-the-art facilities for the MoD. The contract will bring together Kier and Balfour Beatty's strong construction expertise and create a large number of jobs in the local area."
DIO project leader, David Holme, said that the contract award was “an important milestone in the development of the new college”. He said: “ This state of the art tri-service facility will help us support the Armed Forces by achieving our aim of providing the best possible training facilities as they prepare for operations."
Photo: Construction Index