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From new jetties to nurseries - a year in Defence infrastructure

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It has been another busy and varied year for DIO. As well as marking annual events, like last month’s Sanctuary Awards, which you’ll know all about if you’ve been reading our blog, we have also celebrated important milestones like the 25th anniversary of the Ministry of Defence Guard Service (MGS). The last 12 months has also seen major contracts being awarded and the completion of key infrastructure projects. Our staff continue to do a great job in a huge range of roles and fields of expertise.

Project Success

One of the greatest success stories for us this year was the completion of  £100m of infrastructure work at HMNB Portsmouth to prepare it for the arrival of the first of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth. This has been a huge project for us and has taken nearly a decade from start to end. It was successfully completed in time for the first arrival of the ship in August.

We’ve seen the opening of new accommodation we built for military medics at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and three new nurseries for military families in Cyprus.

Commander British Forces Opens Nursery at RAF Akrotiri [MOD 2017]
Opening of nursery at RAF Akrotiri by Major General Illingworth OBE, Commander of British Forces Cyprus and Group Captain Blackburn MA, BSc, RAF [MOD 2017]
We also completed work on what has been known within DIO as ‘Project WINFRA’ – or ‘Wildcat infrastructure’ – upgrading the infrastructure at RNAS Yeovilton so it can be the base of both Royal Navy and British Army Wildcat helicopters. It was a lot of work to get Yeovilton ready for 30 new helicopters and 750 extra people!

Runway resurfacing at RAF Akrotiri, the front line of RAF strikes against Daesh under Op Shader, was completed in March. The team had to work around the requirements of the RAF as it operated at its highest tempo for 25 years.

In a similar vein, we continue to work at RAF Marham, along with colleagues from Defence Equipment and Support, to prepare it for the arrival of new F-35 multi-role combat jet. This is another wide-ranging major project including resurfacing the secondary runway, installing new vertical landing pads, building headquarters for 617 Squadron, refurbishing a dozen 1980s Hardened Aircraft Shelters and more besides.

We’ve seen great progress on our work to convert Worthy Down into a tri-service Defence College of Logistics, Policing and Administration, including the handover of the main college building and the Catering, Retail and Leisure facility.

Contract Awards

Major contract awards included a £250m contract awarded to Lovell to build 917 new houses on Salisbury Plain for military families moving to the area under the Army Basing Programme.

Working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, we appointed six companies – AECOM, Atkins, Mott MacDonald, Ramboll, Ridge & Partners LLP, and WYG – to an overseas principal support provider framework. This framework will allow the companies to provide multi-disciplinary design and project management services, advisory services, construction technical services, specialist surveys and clerk of the works duties on various overseas projects.

In October, we awarded a £43m contract to VolkerSteven construct a jetty at Thankes Oil Fuel Jetty, which provides fuelling facilities to HMNB Devonport, along with associated firefighting facilities.

A summary of some of the bigger DIO success stories from year. [Crown Copyright/MOD 2017]
A summary of some of the bigger DIO success stories from year. [Crown Copyright/MOD 2017]
These are just a few examples of some of the more high-profile work we’ve done in 2017. There’s plenty more, from working to reduce energy use to managing military accommodation, providing facilities management and utilities and managing the training estate.

As we look ahead to another busy year, we can be proud of what we’ve achieved this year.

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  1. Comment by Alan Ardron posted on

    There are 4 new early years settings in Cyprus. The setting at RAF Akrotiri was opened on 17 October by Major General James Illingworth, Commander British Forces Cyprus (BFC), and Mike Cooper, Director of Directorate of Children and Young People (DCYP). The other three facilities were constructed at Ayios Nikolaos Station, Dhekelia Garrison and Episkopi Garrison.

    Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Major General Illingworth was keen to congratulate all those involved in seeing the project through to completion. He said “I am delighted to be here alongside our colleagues from the Directorate for Children and Young People, to officially open this fantastic early years facility. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work and demonstrates our commitment to early years learning here in Cyprus. Investing in early years education is very important, and I have no doubt that the children of our military and civilian personnel based here in Cyprus will reap the benefits of this wonderful facility for some years to come.”

    DCYP director, Mike Cooper was equally enthusiastic and echoed CBF’s comments by adding “the importance of education, even at an early age, cannot be overstated. These fantastic new settings in Cyprus offer an excellent foundation for lifelong learning and support the government agenda for extending access to high quality childcare. They also provide great employment opportunities for spouses seeking a skill that will be valued on their return to the UK.”


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