Hercules, the Kier/Balfour Beatty joint venture, has formally started work on its £121m contract to transform a former RAF airbase into a new Armed Forces training facility for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.
Start of works was marked yesterday with a sod-cutting ceremony at the former airbase attended by defence minister Dr Andrew Murrison.
Hercules is providing new single living accommodation for military trainees and purpose-built training facilities for more than 1100 trainees and 800 staff from the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. This is the first time in the UK that training provision for all three services has been delivered in one location. The facilities include a large outdoor training area as well as a museum for the Army’s Corps of Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers.
Phase one of the work is expected to be completed by the autumn of 2015, when staff and students will start to arrive at the college.
At construction peak the project will employ 900 people, including a number of service leavers and injured ex-military personnel. Hercules has committed to working with the Forces Career Transition Partnership, which helps military personnel get jobs on leaving the forces, and Enterprise Works, an organisation that helps injured ex-servicemen and women into work, as well as others with a disability.
Hercules construction manager Richard Collin said: “Working with the DIO and the team of services stakeholders, our objective is to provide best value new and refurbished assets employing sustainable construction methods and whole life solutions. Hercules’ commitment to sustainability will include our approach to maximising localism in terms of both local procurement and engagement with the local community.”