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8 October 2020

State-of-the-art gym for Royal Navy opens, UK

A new physical development/training facility for the Royal Navy formally opened on the 7 October. The Britannia Royal Navy College (BRNC) is situated on a natural prominence above Dartmouth and covers approximately 46 hectares within the South Devon AONB. The development includes a new sports hall, activity suites, office and changing facilities.

Mott MacDonald worked on the concept design and project management in the construction stage for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

The previous gym was housed in an old engine shed, constructed in the Victorian era and in need modernisation and enlarging. The last major build on BRNC estate took place in the 1950s to provide updated accommodation blocks.

The new facility will support the delivery of the Initial Military Fitness regime which is now the benchmark for all military physical development training. BRNC also provides the delivery of Initial Navy Training for the Royal Navy as well as training international officers as part of the International Defence Training. It trains over 400 UK and foreign naval personnel annually and is considered to be “the alma mater” for the service. It has an average working population of 800 Officers and staff.

Mott MacDonald undertook the concept design with support from Jacobs architects and assisted the DIO in obtaining planning permission and business case approval for the scheme. The consultancy provided project management support to the DIO throughout the construction stage, including the appointment of Kier to undertake the design and build construction phase.

As the site is within an AONB and has Grade II/II* listed buildings, the consultancy provided a landscape visual impact assessment to demonstrate that the new building could not be seen from some key sight points around Dartmouth Harbour. It also ensured external building materials were complimentary to the existing buildings. Environmental assessments also took place to protect species and habitats on site.

Georgina Berry, Mott MacDonald’s project manager, said: “It is fantastic to see this physical development/training facility open. The project was carefully planned to achieve DREAM Excellence and will provide an excellent space for the Royal Navy young officers who pass through BRNC.”

Simon Jones, DIO Senior Project Manager, said: “DIO has been proud to deliver this important facility for the Royal Navy. We used our expertise throughout DIO along with our partners Mott MacDonald & Kier to overcome several pre- and post-construction challenges to see it completed is incredibly rewarding. I am very proud how all parties pulled together to complete their respective tasks for this Defence project especially in these unprecedented times. This modern and fit for purpose gym will ensure that cadets, staff and others will be able to access the training facilities they need for many years to come.”

Mott MacDonald also recently worked for the DIO on Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton.

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