A £150 million project to turn Beacon Barracks into a major hub for the UK's armed forces has marked 2 significant construction milestones.
The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is redeveloping the barracks in preparation for the return of troops to Stafford from Germany. Hundreds of new homes for military personnel based at the barracks and their families are also being built on land adjacent to the main site.
DIO is working with the Army, Lend Lease and Lovell Partnerships Ltd to deliver the project and VIPs from each organisation came together to celebrate 2 landmark events: the laying of the first internal block within the combined mess building at the barracks and the unveiling of a foundation stone to commemorate the start of construction work on the soldiers’ homes.
DIO’s Chief Executive Richard McCarthy was joined by Brigadier Greg Wilson to officiate at both events. The first of the 2 ceremonies was hosted by DIO contractors Lend Lease and signified the completion of structural work on the mess. Once finished, the mess building will provide dining and leisure facilities for senior non-commissioned officers and officers.
The redevelopment programme for Beacon Barracks will also provide new workshops, single living accommodation, offices, garages, a junior ranks catering, retail and leisure facility, training, sports and medical services.
Following the event at the mess, the VIPs unveiled a commemorative stone to celebrate the first foundations of the 346 homes which will be used by soldiers and their families who are based at Stafford.
The homes, which are being provided for DIO by Lovell Partnerships Ltd, will provide high-quality, modern living accommodation for personnel. Lovell will begin handing over completed homes on 30 April 2015, with the final one being handed over the following September.
Mr McCarthy said:
I am delighted to join with colleagues from the Army, Lend Lease and Lovell Partnerships to celebrate 2 significant events in the progress of this project. The achievement of these important milestones exemplifies what can be achieved through successful partnership working and I am greatly looking forward to marking many more in the coming months.
The redevelopment of Beacon Barracks will help us achieve our aim of providing a better estate for the armed forces, but will also help put Stafford on the map as a major hub of the UK’s armed forces.
Brigadier Wilson said:
The Army is delighted to mark these 2 significant milestones in the development of Beacon Barracks as a major Royal Signals hub in Stafford.
Working closely in partnership with DIO, Lend Lease and Lovell Partnerships Ltd we look forward to taking over our new barracks buildings and family housing next year and welcoming the soldiers and their families from both 1 and 16 Signal Regiments who will join 22 Signal Regiment, which is already based in Beacon Barracks.
We enjoy very strong links with the local authorities, employers and people of Staffordshire and are extremely grateful for the continued support and assistance we receive from the community.
Gordon Ray, Lend Lease Director, added:
Lend Lease is proud to be involved in this major redevelopment project to create a centre of excellence for the UK Royal Signals. We have achieved a significant landmark in our challenging construction programme that will provide essential operational, living and welfare amenities at Beacon Barracks.
Our team is working closely with the Army, DIO and our supply chain partners to ensure that we deliver high quality facilities on schedule, without compromising on health and safety, which will help to improve the well-being of our armed forces personnel for many years to come.
John Leary, Lovell Project Director, said:
Working on this prestigious and important scheme is a real privilege and we continue to enjoy rising to the challenge of building 346 homes in a little over a year.
The laying of this first foundation stone signifies the start of an intense period of work over the winter, and from the end of April we will see an average of 3 houses being completed every day.
Despite working to a very tight schedule, we are determined that our quality will remain at the highest level and we will provide outstanding new homes for our armed forces personnel and their families.
The redevelopment of the barracks is part of the Army’s Borona programme which will see the closure of Elmpt and Herford Stations in Germany and troops relocated to Stafford.
The arrival of 2 new regiments will help establish Stafford as one of the major concentrations of the UK armed forces in the future.
Published: 3 October 2014