MoD work will stay local to Lyneham base

This Is Wiltshire: Construction team, from left, business development manager Stefan Barbaruk, project director Roger Frost and Steve Blower, the MD of MJ Church     						    (pm1314) By paul morris Construction team, from left, business development manager Stefan Barbaruk, project director Roger Frost and Steve Blower, the MD of MJ Church (pm1314) By paul morris

Local companies will get a slice of the profits as building of a new £121 million defence college of technical training continues at the former RAF Lyneham airbase.

The MoD chose construction giants Balfour Beatty and Kier to build the college in December and to do this they have formed a joint venture named the Hercules Project.

Both companies were lobbied by the Wessex Association of Chambers of Commerce to make sure they employed local businesses for the work.

On the back of this they were part of a meet the buyer event in March, which 300 companies attended. They are now talking to 22 of these companies, with more discussions to follow.

Construction work on the main training building where students will go for lectures started late in March, and some companies are already on site as part of this. These include Ferson Constructions, based in Bristol, Bath Demolition and SEQOL Catering, based in Swindon, which is running an on-site canteen.

Stefan Barbaruk, business development manager for Wessex Chambers, said: “We sent the information to them, they said they wanted to see the local companies in March and here we are today.

“I have to say, we do get a lot of companies saying this, but they don’t actually mean it.”

Civil engineering company MJ Church has been given a £10 million contract to provide infrastructure and car parking on the site.

The company, which has an office in Chippenham, is responsible for earthworks, substructures of buildings, drainage and communications.

As part of this it will build the tank recovery area, a mound of earthworks where trainees will learn how to recover tanks if they get stuck.

Roger Frost, project director for the Hercules Project, said: “It’s not just the contractors, it’s the support of the local economy itself. Some construction projects are not welcome, but we’re being made to feel very welcome. A lot of people are supportive of what we’re trying to do.”

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