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Northwood MOD, Eastbury, Hertfordshire, England.

Northwood MoD HQ – Eastbury Park

Vercity delivers SPV management services for Eastbury Park Limited and has overseen the successful completion of many subsequent authority changes at the Northwood MoD site since its original completion in 2011.

Sector

Defence

Client

Ministry of Defence

Project value

£153m (original construction cost)

The project

Northwood is the UK’s principal military headquarters and has a rich history. The PFI contract began in 2006 and runs until 2031, taking responsibility for the design, construction, operation and finance of the Northwood Project and Estate. In 1938, the Royal Air Force took over the site for the use of RAF Coastal Command. In 1971, the Royal Navy became responsible for the whole site and in 1982, it was used as the controlling headquarters during the Falklands War. In 2006, major construction works commenced on the site to improve its functionality. The works, which involved the refurbishment and replacement of many of the key buildings, were carried out under a PFI contract by Carillion. In 2011, £153m construction works were completed, covering 37 demolished buildings; 18 retained buildings; 14-part refurbished buildings; 7 buildings removed from site and 18 new buildings constructed.

Approach

Vercity was awarded the MSA for the project in 2017 and oversaw the introduction of a new FM Provider, Skanska, following the liquidation of Carillion plc in 2019. Vercity provides a strong focus on contract compliance to ensure the facilities management (FM) provider delivers its contractual obligations. Our award-winning collaborative working creates a positive impact for the public sector while maintaining investor returns. In leveraging expertise across our portfolio, the MoD benefits from the insights of our established consultancy services. In providing support to internal project teams, Vercity delivers a high-quality service that helps optimise contract performance.

Northwood
Northwood

Process

In setting the priorities and objectives of the project, we help guide operations, ensuring the FM provider achieves contractual compliance and that investor cashflows are protected. By focusing on the quality and consistency of the services the FM provider delivers, we ensure that operations run smoothly and are fully compliant with all contractual obligations and client expectations. Through our centralised reporting system, we’re able to capture live data and identify any technical issues early. We then use horizon scanning to mitigate risk and reduce its impact on the projects.

The result

Since taking over the MSA in 2017, Vercity has overseen the expenditure of £12m for lifecycle works and is currently managing a project to build new temporary accommodation for NATO. Eastbury Park Limited has also ensured the safety of the buildings and personnel on site by implementing a full survey and remediation for fire stopping measures in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire disaster. Eastbury Park Limited is currently working with the authority and the facilities provider to bring the gas network on site up to the latest MoD standards.

Project impact

Vercity has overseen the successful completion of many authority changes, including works to upgrade medical facilities on site that were crucial to the health and wellbeing of personnel. In conjunction with the facilities provider and the authority, Vercity has helped maintain the operations of the busy site throughout the pandemic.

Environmental Social Governance

In upholding our ESG principles, Vercity helped deliver new landscaping around the Northwood site to help ease the stress levels of personnel. The project demonstrates EPL’s commitment to the site and to the wellbeing of Northwood staff. Another project has seen Northwood being nominated for the MoD Sustainability Award for its efforts in clearing the site’s pond of weed. Over 30 tonnes of weeds were removed and, as a result, a moorhen has nested on the banks and reared five chicks. There has also been an increase in dragonflies at the site and 200 small fish are in the pond.

‘‘Northwood HQ is the largest military base in North London and a major local employer, so effective outreach into the community is critical. Vercity is a crucial partner in achieving this and we’re proud to be working so closely with them: The team is a pleasure to work with and always gives 100%.’’

Commanding Officer, Northwood Headquarters.

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