Once built, the facility will allow the charity to build all-weather lifeboats in-house for the first time, saving millions of pounds each year, and will create 90 new jobs in Poole.
BAM Nuttall has been appointed as the RNLI’s marine contractor and will carry out the demolition along with the work to strengthen the quay wall adjacent to the RNLI’s site prior to the construction of the new building.
The demolition will last around15 weeks and some aspects of the work are unavoidably noisy, as Howard Richings, who leads on major RNLI building projects, explains, ‘We’ll be breaking up a fair few concrete slabs and bringing various buildings down so obviously some of this will be noisy and dusty. We appreciate our close neighbours may find this work disturbing so we will restrict heavy plant operations to between 8:30am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 8:30am to 1pm on Saturdays. Screening will be used where practical to reduce the noise, and water sprinklers will dampen dust from the concrete as it’s broken down and stockpiled.
‘Environmental considerations are a key part of this project and we aim to keep costs down, so we’ll be recycling and reusing materials from the old buildings wherever possible. This is why we’re breaking down the concrete on site. It means we don’t have to transport waste material away to landfill sites, or have HGVs on local roads delivering new materials to the site at extra cost.’
Work will start by mid-April to raise and strengthen the quay wall in preparation for the whole site being raised by over a metre. This will ensure that flood defences in this part of Poole comply with the latest Environment Agency requirements and prevent flooding during storm tides, which is a current risk to the site and the town. This work will take 14 week to complete.
Howard continues, ‘We’d like to apologise in advance for any disturbance our neighbours suffer as a result of this necessary work. We are aware we have private residents, businesses and a supermarket near to our site and sincerely hope the measures we’ve put in place will minimise any inconvenience they may experience.’
The project is estimated to cost £11.2 million but, once up and running will save the charity £3.7 million every year. Over half the cost of the project has been found through the RNLI’s ongoing efficiency drive, and a fundraising appeal is currently underway to raise £5 million towards the cost of the project. Along with building new lifeboats, the RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat maintenance and refit work will take place in the new facility.
Notes to editors
• The All-weather Lifeboat Centre will see its first phase of operations, including all-weather lifeboat refit and overhaul, beginning by Summer 2014; and all-weather lifeboat hull and deck moulding moving across from RNLI SAR Composites (Lymington) around 2019.
• The RNLI produces inshore lifeboats at the charity’s Inshore Lifeboat Centre on the Isle of Wight; this operation will continue. Additionally, the RNLI already designs its own all-weather lifeboats; produces the hulls in-house; and operates an all-weather lifeboat maintenance function.
Artist’s impression of the new RNLI All-weather Lifeboat Centre in situ.
Howard Richings, Head of Estates Management for the RNLI
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