First steel frame erected for new facility to protect and preserve Army vehicles

First steel frame erected for new facility to protect and preserve Army vehicles

A steel frame measuring more than twice the size of Wembley football pitch is nearing completion at a new facility to support the British Army’s vehicle and equipment fleet.

The Vehicle Storage and Support Programme (VSSP) at the Ministry of Defence site in Ashchurch will enhance the Army’s operational readiness and future capability, through delivery of modern sustainable storage and maintenance solutions for its vehicle and equipment fleet. The two-phase VSSP will provide vehicles with Controlled Humidity Environment (CHE) storage, reducing maintenance costs and unnecessary deterioration caused by extreme drops or rises in temperature. The facility will also include dedicated inspection and maintenance spaces, as well as essential office space.

The construction of a steel frame measuring 165m x 99m – and roughly the height of two London double decker buses – is well underway for one of 12 new buildings at the site. The final two bays for the frame were erected on Tuesday 13 June, with the installation being witnessed by representatives of the Army and Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) VSSP delivery team, Skanska UK and Mace.

Belinda Lunn, Senior Responsible Owner of VSSP said:

I am delighted with the pace of progress to deliver this exceptional facility for the British Army: it is fantastic to see the first new buildings beginning to take shape. This event has also given us an opportunity to mark the revalidation of the Gold award for Skanska UK under the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme: this accolade pays testament to the successful partnership approach between the delivery teams, and our shared commitment to improving working infrastructure for Service personnel here at Ashchurch while supporting the Army’s operational capability.

Warren Webster, DIO MPP Programme Director – Army said:

Installing the first steelworks marks a significant milestone for this complex project, as it transitions from design and demolition into construction. This has been achieved thanks to the collaborative effort and dedication of the DIO, Army, Skanska UK and Mace delivery team and their supply chain working together. I look forward to the continuing development of this impressive facility, which will meet the enduring requirements for the Army’s fleet of vehicles while supporting sustainability ambitions for Defence.

In addition to the construction of 12 new buildings for VSSP, Skanska UK is demolishing 58 existing buildings and renewing site-wide infrastructure. All buildings adhere to the latest sustainability standards and support the Army’s contribution to government targets for Net Zero by 2050, with provision to generate solar energy on site and a rating of ‘Excellent’ under the Defence Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (DREEAM). The project will employ up to 400 people – including job generation for the local community – and will support 10 apprenticeships.

Adam McDonald, Executive Vice President, Skanska UK, said:

It’s exciting to see the team reaching this significant milestone as we collaborate to transform the site. I’d like to thank them for the huge amount of care in their work to get us to this point. We’re proud to contribute to this landmark project to enable the British Army’s vehicle fleet to be at a greater state of readiness and deployability. We’re also proud to support the DIO’s challenge to drive greener solutions: with sustainability as a guiding principle, we’re using modern methods of construction and productivity improvements to drive down carbon emissions.

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