DIO awards construction framework to support £1.3bn Clyde programme

Innovative selection process sees three firms picked for 10-year project to support personnel for next-generation Dreadnought Class nuclear submarines


HM Naval Base Clyde, also known as Faslane Credit: PA

By Jim Dunton

21 May 2018

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation has named the three firms awarded places on a construction framework that will deliver state-of-the-art home-base facilities for the UK’s next-generation nuclear submarines as part of the £1.3bn Clyde Programme.

VolkerStevin, Kier Graham Defence and Morgan Sindall will advise the DIO and Royal Navy on cost-effective construction services and other infrastructure solutions for HM Naval Base Clyde’s new role as the Navy’s Single Integrated Operating Base – home to the entire submarine fleet.

DIO said the selection process had put elements of its new commercial strategy into practice by adopting an innovative selection process for the framework that looked above and beyond bidders’ technical competence, following “varying degrees of success” with previous processes.


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The process only evaluated companies capable of meeting the project’s core construction requirements, with selection “focused primarily” on would-be framework members’ potential to be a “good partner” for the DIO and Royal Navy.

The DIO said it had worked with support from a team of procurement specialists including Mott Macdonald and Jacobs to come up with the process, which had been broached with potential bidders at industry days.

It said behavioural experts to set out the criteria for successful companies, who then helped to evaluate the behaviours of each bidder firm as they took part in a series of practical exercises with members of the Clyde project teams.

Exercises included a series of interviews and workshops where bidders worked with the Clyde team to develop objectives, discuss how they would approach the work and how they would go about implementing their plans.

DIO assistant head of commercial services Ian Arbuckle said the new process had justifiably focused on place-winners ability to collaborate with the Armed Forces’ needs and had also received positive feedback from the successful contractors.

“We are incredibly pleased to launch our new framework for the Clyde,” he said.

“We have successfully selected three reputable industry partners who have demonstrated a commitment to delivering better value for defence.”

The Clyde Commercial Framework supports the £1.3 billion Clyde programme to ensure that personnel responsible for delivering the UK’s continuous at sea nuclear deterrent, which will be carried by the new Dreadnought Class submarines due to enter service in the late 2020s.

In 2014 then-defence secretary Michael Fallon announced that the HM Naval Base Clyde as the single base for the UK’s submarine fleet by 2020, with two Trafalgar Class submarines relocating there from HMNB Devonport and two other “T-Boats” being decommissioned over that timescale.

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