New Defence Infrastructure Organisation HQ colocates with armed forces
The Chief of Defence Staff has visited DMS Whittington, in Staffordshire, to officially open the new head office of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which will now be co-located with its Armed Forces customers.
DIO is the estate expert for defence, supporting the armed forces to enable military capability by planning, building, maintaining, and servicing infrastructure.
Charged with providing the armed forces with a significantly smaller, more efficient, better quality estate, DIO's responsibilities include planning and delivering major capital projects and lifecycle refurbishment, provide utility services, manage cleaning and catering, provide a central register of asset information and act as steward of the defence estate
St George’s House, the new DIO HQ, has been purpose-built to accommodate more than 550 Ministry of Defence (MOD) staff who have relocated to the site following the closure of DIO’s former home in Sutton Coldfield.
This brings together DIO with the Defence Medical Academy, the Headquarters Defence Medical Services Group, the Army Recruitment Assessment Centre, the Staffordshire Museum and the Mercian Regiment Headquarters.
The Sutton Coldfield site was closed under the Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio, which aims to modernise the defence estate over the next 25 years and will invest £4.3 billion in new facilities over the next decade.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter [pictured] and DIO’s Chief Executive Graham Dalton addressed staff before Peter Homa, Director General DMS Whittington, welcomed DIO personnel to the DMS Whittington community.
"DIO’s new head office is a great example of smarter ways of working and of effective teamwork," said General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff. "I look forward to it becoming a recognised exemplar of a modern and inclusive working environment and a home to infrastructure specialists."
All of the building’s energy requirements come from renewable energy sources, with half provided by rooftop solar panels. Overall, these and other measures are predicted to reduce building running costs by £18 million over the next 25 years.
The building was designed around an oak to avoid needing to fell the tree, which was planted by the Cheshire Regiment as a sapling in about 1969. The sapling is believed to originate from a tree grown from an oak sprig given to the 22nd Regiment of Foot. They were predecessors to the Cheshire Regiment and were given the oak sprig by King George II in gratitude for saving him from capture at the Battle of Dettingham in 1743.
The construction contract was awarded to Kier, with work commencing in January 2020 and completing in August 2021. The £12 million project covered the demolition of an existing building, construction of the new head office as well as a new secure car park with 230 additional spaces.