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BRNC’s new gym hits the roof

2 January 2020
Work on the new state-of-the-art Physical Training centre and gymnasium for Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) has officially topped out.

The onsite construction team from Kier have reached the highest point and to mark the significance of this milestone a ‘Topping out’ ceremony was held, in traditional style, on the roof.

Captain Roger Readwin, the Commanding Officer of BRNC, was joined by PT instructors and the Kier team to mark the occasion. Leading Physical Trainer Catherine Forrest was invited to secure a ‘golden rivet’ in place. 

The event included a tour of the building and was the first time the cadets had been able to get a glimpse of their new gym facility taking shape.

Capt Readwin said:  “This project, costing approximately £9 million, is a major investment in BRNC.”

The PT centre will also include a multi-purpose main hall where Cadets will undergo the bulk of their military fitness training and will be kitted out for a wide range of other sports. 

Simon Jones, Senior Project Manager for the Defence Instructor Organisation (DIO), said:  “To overcome the number of pre-construction challenges that this prestigious project was required to address and now see it progressed to this important milestone with our contractor Kier is particularly rewarding.  It is set to be available for use in early 2020”.

The centre will be equipped for up to 800 people, including Cadets and BRNC staff, and will allow us to deliver 21st century physical training to modern Navy standards.

Captain Roger Readwin

The design of the building was carried out with input from Navy to outline their requirements, for which the consultants developed the design into this great final product.

The agreed location and design required extensive consultation with numerous interested stakeholders including the Local Planning Authority, Historic England and Natural England over a number of years.

Close attention was made to material choices to seamlessly blend the structure into its agreed location while maintaining consideration for both the historic significance of BRNC and the wider community in Dartmouth. 

Of particular importance was ensuring that the building did not impact any of the local indigenous wildlife while still meeting all Royal Navy training requirements.  The design also considered minimising future maintenance costs, emissions and BRNC’s carbon footprint whilst improving the building’s resilience to future climate change. 

Doug Lloyd, Kier Operations Director, said:  “Reaching the Topping out milestone is a significant point, and it’s a real pleasure to show the Captain and BRNC staff around the building. The new facilities will be an integral part of the college and will hugely benefit the future cadets, continuing the legacy this prestigious College holds in training world class Naval officers”

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