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Wed November 25 2020

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Balfour Kier JV wins £121m RAF Lyneham development

9 Dec 13 A joint venture of Balfour Beatty and Kier Construction has won a £121m contract for the first two-year stage of work on the new Defence College of Technical Training at the former RAF Lyneham airbase in Wiltshire.

RAF Lyneham
RAF Lyneham

The 50:50 joint venture, called Hercules, was awarded the contract by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which manages and maintains land and property for the Ministry of Defence 

Hercules will deliver new single-living accommodation for military trainees and purpose-built enhanced training facilities including a large outdoor training area. It will also build a museum for Corps of Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (REME), whose headquarters will be at the base from 2015.

The refurbished college will provide training facilities in one location for all three Armed Forces for the first time in the UK. It will bring together more than 1,100 trainees and 800 staff from the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

Much of the redevelopment will consist of the upgrade and refurbishment of existing buildings. The JV will refurbish approximately 73,000 square metres of existing building stock and construct 56,000 square metres of new-build. This will comprise detailed design and construction including demolition, the construction of new buildings, refurbishment of existing buildings and landscaping.

The first phase of the development is scheduled to start early next year, and will be completed by the autumn of 2015 when the first staff and students will arrive at the college.

Hercules has committed to working with the Forces Career Transition Partnership, which helps military personnel to secure permanent work on leaving the forces. It will also work with Enterprise Works, a Swindon based organisation that helps injured ex-services personnel to get work.

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At construction peak, the project will employ 900 people including service leavers and injured ex-military personnel.

When the DIO put the contract out to tender last year, its initial estimate for the job was £180m to £230m – significantly more than Kier/Balfour Beatty’s winning £121m price.

Balfour Beatty chief executive Andrew McNaughton said: “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."

Commodore David Elford, commandant of the Defence College of Technical Training, said: "This is the first stage of the development of the Defence College of Technical Training at Lyneham, which will provide a home for the Corps of Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers when they move from Arborfield and Bordon in 2015.  The move will provide more modern facilities for staff and students, adopting modern teaching methods combined with traditional military training to enhance and reduce the training experience for the trainees."

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