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A big day for DIO as new Head Office is officially opened

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Estates, Sustainability, Working at DIO
General Sir Nick Carter, a white man wearing a black military uniform with gold braid, stands in front of a glass wall. He is holding a sheet of paper as he makes a speech.
General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, making a speech at the opening of the new DIO head office, St George's House. [Crown Copyright / MOD 2021]

Some of us at DIO had a memorable morning yesterday with the official opening of our new head office by the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter.  

This has been a few years in the planning and we have now moved from our old head office in Sutton Coldfield to a purpose-built, state of the art building at Defence Medical Services (DMS) Whittington, in Staffordshire. The new building is called St George’s House and can accommodate more than 550 staff, working flexibly, who have relocated to the site following the closure of our former home in Sutton Coldfield.  

A parachutist comes in to land on a large open concrete area with buildings behind. He has a dark parachute and a union flag flies from him. Another parachutist has already landed nearby.
The Royal Logistic Corps' Silver Stars parachute team displayed for the attendees and presented a flag to DIO Chief Executive, Graham Dalton. [Crown Copyright / MOD 2021]

The Royal Logistic Corps’ Silver Stars parachute display team provided the "wow" factor, before handing over a flag to DIO Chief Executive Graham Dalton. The assembled staff and dignitaries listened to General Sir Nick Carter give a speech on DIO’s support to military operations, and Graham Dalton talked to us about the rationalisation of the Defence estate. Peter Homa, Director General DMS Whittington, then welcomed us to the DMS Whittington community.  

The result of years of work 

This opening is the culmination of a lot of work by a large number of people. The planning started several years ago, with our contractors Kier starting work in January 2020 and completing the building in August 2021. The £12m project covered the demolition of an existing building, construction of the new headquarters as well as a new secure car park with 230 additional spaces.

In the foreground is a grassy area and a large oak tree. Behind is a two storey modern building of brick and glass.
St George's House has a wellbeing garden and an oak tree dating back to 1969. The tree is thought to have come from an oak spring which in turn came from a tree planted after the Battle of Dettingham in 1743. The Cheshire Regiment saved King George II from capture and he gave them an oak sprig in gratitude. [Crown Copyright / MOD 2021]

I am personally proud and privileged to be part of the project team that has delivered this from the “twinkle in the eye” at initial design, through to a build and then onto a fabulous fitout that supports a flexible and agile, post-pandemic workforce. DIO is leading Defence by delivering a sustainable and innovative Head Office. 

Sustainability in action

The new building not only offers a modern working environment, but has also been designed to reduce carbon contribution through the use of renewable energy, low water usage systems, improved insulation, low energy lighting and electric car-charging points. An area outside has been planted with wild grasses to encourage natural wildlife. 

Three men in suits stand around another man in black military uniform with gold braid and a hat. They stand in front of a large flag with the DIO logo on it, which is being held by a number of men in parachuting suits. Behind them is a large building with text on the side reading "Home of the Defence Medical Services".
Left to right: Mike Baker, MOD Chief Operating Officer; General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff; Graham Dalton, DIO Chief Executive; and Peter Homa, Director General Defence Medical Services, are presented with a DIO flag by the Silver Stars parachute display team. [Crown Copyright / MOD 2021]

All of the building’s energy requirements come from renewable energy sources, with half provided by rooftop solar panels. The panels generate enough electricity to power five houses and will reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 29,000kg annually, the equivalent of eight flights from London to New York. Overall, these and other measures are predicted to reduce building running costs by £18m over the next 25 years.   

Huge congratulations to the fabulous team that has got us here; they have left us a legacy that we can be proud of. The new DIO Head Office will help us to deliver against our mission to work as One Team, providing Excellent Advice and Outstanding Delivery for our military customers.  

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  1. Comment by Nigel Hoyle posted on

    Good Afternoon - 

    I am seeking guidance from Coiln Boynton  (DIO)  regarding the above planning application.

    I note that Colin has made a comment within the application responses, and I would now like to issue the prescribed form regarding notifying the MOD (who own a portion of the land).

    Unfortunately I am unsure of the correct address/department to issue the document to.

    Could you please forward this email to Colin and ask if he might furnish an address/email address?


    Nigel Hoyle    [phone number deleted]   

    (For the applicants)


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