The first demolition at MOD Ashchurch, Tewkesbury, took place this week marking a significant milestone for the Army’s Vehicle Storage and Support Programme (VSSP)
The demolition of the first building signals the beginning of a two-phase programme that will deliver modern, sustainable, and effective storage and maintenance solutions for the British Army’s vehicle and equipment fleet.
The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is delighted to be part of this development project.
Stephen Bunce, DIO’s Principal Project Manager, said:
We are delighted to have awarded this multi-million-pound project to Skanska to meet the enduring requirements for the Army’s fleet of vehicles. The Vehicle Storage and Support Programme is a project which will bring significant new infrastructure to the site in the form of storage, maintenance, inspection and office buildings.
The Project delivery team consisting of Skanska, Mace and DIO worked together to achieve the customer required contract award date of end May 22. Although very early into the project, it is evident that the entire project team are working with the customer and all parties to deliver the project and address any issues that may arise.
As well as delivering CHE vehicle storage for military vehicles, VSSP will also provide dedicated inspection and maintenance spaces. All buildings will adhere to the latest sustainability standards and the DREEAM (Defence Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) Excellent is the sustainability target for the programme. Construction of new infrastructure is expected to start in February 2023.
Solar panels will be installed on site that will provide a large portion of the site with electricity meeting the sustainable energy requirement and contributing to the drive to be carbon neutral as a site.
Belinda Lunn, Senior Responsible Owner for VSSP, said:
I am delighted to be present for this demolition which marks the start of the works at the Ashchurch site. It is well known that several buildings are in poor condition, and I look forward to working with our partners to deliver the Vehicle Storage and Support Programme that will return the site to full operating capability.
This important work will provide vehicles with Controlled Humidity Environment (CHE) storage, reducing maintenance costs and unnecessary deterioration caused by extreme drops or rises in temperature, ensuring that our fleet is operationally ready at all times.
Skanska will deliver the construction and mechanical and electrical engineering for the complex programme that will see demolition of 58 buildings, construction of 12 new buildings and refurbishment of one existing facility, plus renewal of site wide infrastructure.
Katy Dowding, Skanska Executive Vice President Skanska UK said:
We’re excited to begin demolition on this significant project, as from this point forward, we are on the way to transforming the site into a facility that will protect and futureproof the British Army’s vehicle fleet – and we’re really proud to be a part of that.
Steve Holbrook, Managing Director for Skanska UK’s construction arm, was also on hand as the demolition got underway. He said:
Sustainability will be a guiding principle in how we deliver this project, and we will be looking at how we can use modern methods of construction, plus a green site set up approach and productivity monitoring to drive down carbon emissions.
The project signifies a joint approach to providing better opportunities for Defence and the local community. Having previously engaged with Tewkesbury Borough Council, there is a real optimism about what this represents. The local region’s support to the Armed forces continues and this investment into Ashchurch ensures a long-lasting relationship that will continue to strengthen.