Project Allenby/Connaught

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s Project Allenby/Connaught is the largest infrastructure PFI contract ever let by the Ministry of Defence and has one simple mission – to make life better for nearly 19,000 soldiers (20% of the trained British Army) by providing modern, high quality, fully serviced, purpose-built living and working accommodation including 12,500 single ensuite bedrooms, and providing a wide range of support services. The 35-year contract for this landmark project was awarded to Aspire Defence, a joint venture between Carillion and KBR, in 2006.

Allenby/Connaught is a strategically important project. The Army will continue to be based on its core estate, including the Allenby/Connaught garrisons on Salisbury Plain and in Aldershot, and it will be vital to ensure that the living and working conditions are maintained to the highest quality. Soldiers who used to share rooms and communal washing facilities in poorly maintained buildings are now in accommodation of a standard which they deserve. Crucially, they are maintained throughout the life of the contract to 2041. All of this supported by a vast range of support services, from stores management to tailoring, from the provision of transport to catering, in fact everything needed to run a military garrison.

The massive 8-year construction programme, which commenced in 2006 has virtually completed. It is perhaps fitting that the last major asset was delivered here at the home of the British Army – Montgomery House, the new Headquarters building for Army Support Command in Hammersley Barracks. In all 130 new or refurbished buildings have been handed over to the Army ranging from high quality single living accommodation and messes and sports facilities, to state-of-the-art training and resettlement facilities, as well as a new Primary Care and Rehabilitation Facility. To make way for all this, in excess of 140 demolitions have been completed. The last of these demolitions was the Aldershot Military Power Station in St Omer Barracks.

However, this is not the end of the story: a programme to convert four of the communal rooms in each of the 36-man Junior Ranks Single Living Accommodation blocks into single en suite bed spaces is well underway, providing much needed additional capacity. But that is not all. The Army’s Rebasing Programme is going to see further changes to the footprint here in Aldershot, with an additional battalion to be based here. These changes will also see significant further redevelopment including more living accommodation, a new Physical & Recreational Training Centre, and building and garaging to accommodate Mastiff.

All this has been undertaken in a safe and sustainable way. The build phase across the project has seen nearly 21 million man hours worked and is the safest major construction programme ever recorded in the UK. Sustainable features include solar panels, air and ground source heat pumps (reducing the requirement for fossil fuels and gas), and the pond features in St Omer Barracks are of particular significance as they sit adjacent to the Basingstoke Canal, an important Site of Special Scientific Interest. These ponds serve to collect and screen run-off water before its outfall into the Canal, which was an important development consideration. Moreover, not all the beneficiaries wear uniforms. Across all Project sites, protected species such as nesting birds, bats and reptiles are being specifically considered and the Project has a particular focus on minimising the long-term impacts to habitats within its footprint.

For more information please contact Paul Munro, the Allenby/Connaught Communications Officer, on 01252 348245 or e mail: paul.munro443@mod.uk.

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