UK — Landmark reached in construction of new defence intelligence HQ

A for­mal “Top­ping-Out” cer­e­mo­ny has been held to mark the weath­er­proof­ing of the new Pathfind­er Build­ing at RAF Wyton — a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone in the con­struc­tion of the new Defence Intel­li­gence facil­i­ties.

Mil­i­tary and civil­ian per­son­nel were present at the recep­tion, also attend­ed by local dig­ni­taries includ­ing the Vice Lord Lieu­tenant of Cam­bridgeshire, Mrs Jane Lewin-Smith and the High Sher­iff of Cam­bridgeshire, Dr Nigel Brown OBE

Lady Jess Broom and Mrs Noreen Ben­nett, rep­re­sent­ing the Pathfind­ers Asso­ci­a­tion which retains its links with RAF Wyton as a wartime Pathfind­er sta­tion, were also in attendance. 

The Min­den Band of the Queen’s Divi­sion which is based at Bass­ing­bourn pro­vid­ed music for the for­mal cer­e­mo­ny and a fly­past took place to mark the occasion. 

‘Top­ping-Out’ is a long held tra­di­tion in the con­struc­tion indus­try, orig­i­nat­ing in Scan­di­navia, which marks a sig­nif­i­cant stage in the con­struc­tion of a building. 

Defence Estates (DE) is deliv­er­ing the build­ing with con­struc­tion part­ner Skan­s­ka UK Plc, who also host­ed the event. Work start­ed on the new build­ings in April 2009 and should fin­ish by ear­ly 2014. 

Robin Daw­son, DE Prin­ci­pal Project Man­ag­er for the Wyton Rede­vel­op­ment, said: 

“Defence Estates’ pri­or­i­ty is to sup­port our Armed Forces. This large devel­op­ment of unique facil­i­ties has posed many chal­lenges for the part­ners involved. Our con­trac­tor is work­ing well on a com­plex, demand­ing pro­gramme with DE ensur­ing qual­i­ty and val­ue for mon­ey and Defence Intel­li­gence pro­vid­ing their secu­ri­ty expertise.” 

The com­plex of build­ings will include mod­ern office and liv­ing accom­mo­da­tion for units mov­ing from RAF Bramp­ton, Her­mitage, Feltham, Water­beach and Monchengladbach. 

The new build­ings will be equipped and per­son­nel will com­plete their moves into their new accom­mo­da­tion by sum­mer 2014. The moves will result in the dis­pos­al and sale of the cur­rent RAF Bramp­ton site. 

Neil Jordi­son, PRIDE Pro­gramme Man­ag­er, said; 

“This top­ping out cer­e­mo­ny marks a key mile­stone in the con­struc­tion of the new suite of build­ings which will pro­vide the lat­est state of the art facil­i­ties for Defence Intelligence. 

“Deliv­ery of the build­ings is a key ele­ment of the PRIDE (Wyton) pro­gramme which will enable the col­lo­ca­tion of intel­li­gence capa­bil­i­ties in Cam­bridgeshire and improve the pro­cess­ing and pro­duc­tion of intel­li­gence in sup­port of front line com­man­ders and strate­gic defence goals.” 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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