Who are Aspire Defence Capital Works?
Aspire Defence Capital Works (ADCW) is a construction management business that was formed in 2006 as the Building Contractor responsible for delivering new and refurbished living and working accommodation for the Army across Salisbury Plain and Aldershot.
This formed part of the Project Allenby & Connaught (PAC) PFI Contract with the MOD. ADCW is a 50/50 unincorporated Joint Venture between Carillion and KBR. It isn’t an employing entity, so nearly all of its 300 employees are secondees from one of the parent companies.
Together, MOD and Aspire manage and deliver a modern, flexible living and working environment for soldiers in the Aldershot and Salisbury Plain area that will support the military, enhance UK defence infrastructure and provide long-term value for the MOD.
Project Allenby/Connaught – the story so far
Between 2006 and 2015 under the Project Allenby/Connaught (PAC) PFI contract with the MOD, ADCW successfully delivered 375 new buildings, 192 refurbished buildings and demolished 457 other buildings. This was all delivered on time, to budget, safely and to a high quality finish.
The 35-year PAC contract was awarded to Aspire Defence Limited (ADL), a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) joint venture between Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) 45% and institutional funds managed by Innisfree (37.5%) and InfraRed [Capital Partners] (12.5% and 5%). ADL was set up specifically to deliver PAC on behalf of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).
The Operations team within ADL is responsible for overseeing life cycle of all assets under contract and for managing the change process, thus ensuring a responsive service, accurate projection of maintenance costs and long-term value for money for the customer.
ADL subcontracts to Aspire Defence Capital Works (ADCW), which delivers the construction programme, and Aspire Defence Services (ADS), which delivers hard and soft facilities management services on the garrisons. Both ADCW and ADS have engaged a number of specialist delivery partners and sub-contractors through the supply chain to support delivery of the contract.
PAC will continue to 2041, when Aspire Defence will hand back to the MOD all of the assets maintained under contract across the five garrisons.
Rebasing the Army from Germany to Salisbury Plain
Today, ADCW is focused on working with the Army and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) on a £1.1bn variation to the original PAC contract as part of the Army Basing Programme (ABP), which will ultimately enable the troops currently based in Germany to rebase to Salisbury Plain in 2019.
Over the next four years under the ABP contract variation, ADCW is building on a decade of successful delivery under PAC, through provision of new and enhanced single living and working accommodation across four garrisons on Salisbury Plain (Tidworth, Bulford, Perham Down and Larkhill) and at Aldershot.
Assets include officers’ and junior ranks’ single living accommodation, messes, diners, sports facilities, technical stores, armouries, garages, offices and regimental headquarters.
ADCW works flexibly and responds to the needs of the MOD and the Army. In all, around 129 new buildings will be delivered, alongside more than 100 alterations, extensions and refurbishments. Over 150 small and large scale demolitions will be completed, with materials reused and recycled wherever possible.
By 2020, over 2,600 additional bed spaces for single soldiers will be created. At peak construction under ABP, ADCW will see an estimated daily workforce of over 1,200 operatives on site. Outside the garrisons, new medical/dental centres will be built at Larkhill and Bulford and in Tidworth and Bulford, two early years’ facilities will be established.
By the end of 2017, ADCW will have delivered over 560 of the 2,600 single bed spaces across the project footprint. Other completed assets at Larkhill, Bulford, Aldershot and Perham Down garrisons will include vehicle garaging/workshops, regimental headquarters and offices.
PAC is the largest infrastructure Private Finance Initiative (PFI) ever let by the MOD
At contract award, the total through-life value of Project Allenby/Connaught (PAC) was stated as circa £8 billion.
PAC was introduced in line with the strategic aims set out in the Defence Estate Strategy 2006 – namely, to have an estate of the right size to meet the military need. The vision was for an estate of fewer, larger sites in the UK and overseas, appropriately located and making the best use of available resources while remaining fully capable of meeting military needs. Sites identified as having the potential for future development included Aldershot and Salisbury Plain.
More Army units, along with their associated personnel and equipment, needed to be accommodated in the garrisons adjacent to the Salisbury Plain Training Area and within Aldershot Garrison. A re-organisation of force structures also resulted in some unit moves. A project team, Allenby/Connaught, was established to examine the best way of meeting these requirements. The ultimate aim was to improve the living and working environment of all personnel, while achieving long term value for money and being flexible enough to take into account any new initiatives.
The shared aim of PAC and Aspire is to make soldiers’ lives better through delivery of new and enhanced single living and working accommodation at garrisons across Salisbury Plain and at Aldershot.
Provision of modern, purpose-built accommodation gives soldiers the quality of life they deserve, whilst ensuring the Army has the facilities it needs to carry out its vital role both today and in future. Soldiers were previously housed in outdated buildings with communal facilities which were difficult and costly to maintain; increasingly, soldiers’ single living accommodation on PAC garrisons is modern, fit for purpose and offers private, en-suite bathrooms.
The Benefits of a PFI
From the MOD’s perspective, the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) solution offered a number of qualitative benefits, including:
- A single partner providing assured standards over 35 years, underwritten by a taut incentivised payment mechanism (previously there were multiple separate service contracts)
- The original Project Allenby/Connaught (PAC) encompassed a new build programme in excess of £1.5bn over 8 years
- The transfer of key risks, such as planning permission, design maintenance and construction, etc, to the commercial sector
- A faster build programme
- An enhanced residual value and condition of accommodation at end of contract in 2041 Aspire Defence Limited (ADL), Aspire Defence Capital Works (ADCW) and Aspire Defence Services Limited (ADSL); these organisations have a wealth of experience in managing large-scale and long-term PFI projects.
A Safe, Sustainable and Successful History
Since 2006 when PAC began, the project and Aspire have shared many successes and awards including:
- PPF Awards-Best Operational Defence Scheme (Best Government Agency Team award, Best Operational UK Project)
- British Safety Council Sword and Globe of Honour 2011
- Winner of the RoSPA Gold Award in 2014, 2015 and 2016
- In 2015 winner of the Sanctuary Sustainability Project Award and the Sanctuary Sustainable Business Award
- In 2015 received PSS Energy Award Commendation for Best Energy Management
In line with one of Aspire Defence’s core values – Safety First, Always – ADCW has worked a cumulative total of 22million safe man hours since the last reportable accident; 2.6million since September 2012 RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations). Only one RIDDOR accident was reported across the footprint in 2011. The accident frequency rate is currently 0.06 over the whole of the contract since April 2006 – significantly below the industry average (Olympics was 0.17).