PRESIDENT’S COLUMN Doncaster high-speed
Contractor selected for Dover leisure centre
Dover District Council has given the go-ahead for the
construction of the new hybrid steel-framed £26M
Dover District Leisure Centre.
Construction will start on the site in Whitfield late
this year with a planned opening early in 2019.
The project to replace the current 40-year old
Dover Leisure Centre has been awarded to BAM
Construction and represents a major investment in the
district’s sport and leisure facilities.
The new Dover District Leisure Centre will feature a
competition standard eight-lane swimming pool with
spectator seating for 250 people, learner pool with
moveable floor, four court sports hall, squash courts,
multi-function room, fitness gym with 120 stations,
fitness studios, clip ‘n’ climb wall, and a café.
The plans also include two outdoor 3G artificial
pitches for five-a-side football and a minimum of 250
BAM Construction Project Manager Daniel
Brenchley said: “Having built in Dover recently, it’s
particularly satisfying to return, especially to create
something that so many people will enjoy using.
“Our work in this beautiful county is extensive, as
is our knowledge of the local supply chain and the
community. We’ll bring our customary skills, expertise
and collaborative attitude to this important and
In my column last month, I referred to Lord Adonis’
dismissal of fears over low industry margins.
Thankfully, he’s now admitted that the industry
should make ‘a good living’, but for this to happen
budgets need to be released. This would be a winwin
for government and industry because, as we all
know, every pound spent on infrastructure delivers a
whopping £2.78 back to the economy.
However, to maximise the benefits of increased
government spending on infrastructure, the supply
chain needs to work more effectively as a whole.
It’s a well-known fact that collaboration and early
involvement are by far the best vehicles to reduce
project risk, protect margins and ensure on time, in
Pinsent Masons’ June 2106 paper ‘Collaborative
Construction – More Myth than Reality’ notes that
there is a lack of strong leadership with few prepared
to commit to real change. I’m now seeing more
advocating real change but we need commitment
and action, rather than ‘We just ran out of time let’s
do it the old way’!
Experience tells us that specifiers and main
contractors that collaborate with their supply
chain have a major competitive advantage, and are
better able to balance the delivery of client needs
against programme and cost. Specifically, involving
subcontractors early enables them to contribute
to buildability, project planning and cost. Early
engagement also ensures that the design team
releases information in a form and sequence that
coordinates with the steelwork package. Design gaps
and clashes will be picked up earlier as well, reducing
the need for change requests and redesign, which
in a commercial environment can cause delays and
Early involvement with subcontractors also
establishes trust and mutual respect – something
that is sometimes in short supply in the construction
supply chain. Moving away from a combative
approach to a collaborative one will also improve
financial flows throughout the whole supply chain,
protecting that economic value I mentioned earlier.
There really isn’t anything not to like about early
engagement and collaboration, but it will require
behavioural change and a whole lot of trust from all
BCSA President & Sales Director Cleveland Bridge
rail campus opens
As part of the government’s efforts to boost rail
construction expertise, the Doncaster campus of the
National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR) has
officially opened its doors.
The college is part of government plans to train
prospective engineers and construction workers to
develop HS2 and other rail projects, as it looks to plug
a potential post-Brexit skills gap.
The steel-framed Doncaster facilities are joined by
a second campus in Birmingham, both of which were
built by Willmott Dixon as part of a £52M contract.
Working with Wilmott Dixon, Hambleton Steel
fabricated, supplied and erected 760t of structural
steelwork for the Doncaster project.
Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening
(pictured) said: “It has been great to attend the official
launch of the NCHSR. It’s part of how we are steadily
transforming technical education in this country,
training up a new generation of skilled young people
and the existing workforce so that British business has
the skills it needs and people have the opportunities
they want – a win-win for everyone.
“We can only do this in partnership with
employers – the NCHSR is just one great example
of this. The impressive new building and training
facilities are at the forefront of our ambitions to
create a world class system of technical education.”
Teesside University plans £300M expansion
Middlesbrough-based Teesside University has
announced plans for a wide-ranging £300M
The work is planned for the next 10 years and will
include a number of steel-framed buildings.
Phase One includes a £10M Student Life Building
to bring all student-facing services together in one
location. It will also include an employability centre
and teaching facilities.
The first phase of creating a new home for the
Teesside University Business School will see £6M
spent to support the establishment’s continuing
growth. Phase Two will follow, with a further £15M
There are also plans for a £22.3M National
Horizons Centre, a biomedical research, education
and teaching facility at the University’s Darlington
campus, which will support the industries set to
transform the UK economy, including biologics,
industrial biotechnology and digital.
The huge programme of investment is said to
reinforce Teesside University’s commitment to
providing an outstanding student and learning
experience, and highlights its ambition to create a
campus which is among the very best in the country.
The Campus Master Plan has been developed
following extensive consultation with students and
staff and will provide the optimum facilities to meet
the needs of the 21st century learner.