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Atkins was the design and engineering consultancy behind Colchester Garrison - one of the UK’s largest ever PFI defence projects.

The MoD wanted to relocate the garrison to release land close to Colchester town centre for redevelopment as an urban village. Under a PFI initiative, RMPA Services (a consortium including Atkins, Sir Robert McAlpine, Sodexho and HSBC Infrastructure) was appointed to design, construct and maintain all buildings and infrastructure within the new garrison, providing modern facilities for 3,500 military personnel and 700 civilian staff.

Our masterplan set out a campus style development to meet the army’s future needs and aspirations while satisfying affordability criteria and local Town Planning requirements. Our design – which unified 137 new facilities spread across a 185 hectare site – also embraced Colchester’s military heritage.

At its peak, this complex project saw a 180-strong Atkins team working with all stakeholders to deliver the garrison to a challenging timescale. Cost savings and reduced construction time were realised through the use of standardised design which allowed high-quality accommodation units to be assembled off-site. We also worked closely with our project partners throughout to develop design solutions that were fully compliant with MoD requirements.

Atkins designed 137 buildings, as well as roads, utilities, landscaping and a road bridge.

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