Morgan Sindall Construction completes £20.7m National Highway scheme

Morgan Sindall Construction completes £20.7m National Highway scheme - Doxey depot.

Work has now completed on the £20.7m redevelopment of four National Highways roadside depots located throughout the Midlands. 

The mixture of new-build and refurbished buildings will now bring together National Highways’ staff with traffic officers, contractors and partners, such as Colas and the Central Motorway Police Group, in a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly workplace. 

The scheme saw the construction of new two-storey office buildings at Bescot (Walsall) and Doxey (Stafford), plus the refurbishment of its Warndon and Strensham depots in Worcestershire. A new garage and salt barn was also added to Strensham following the removal of an existing salt barn. 

Through procurement specialist SCAPE, Morgan Sindall was tasked with achieving numerous key performance targets to help ensure the local area benefitted from the works. In total, 96.7% of the project spend was driven towards SMEs, with 72% of the project budget spent locally. The project also achieved a social value return of 39% with more than £8.1m being reinvested into the local community. 

Accelerated through SCAPE Construction, a direct award framework designed to drive collaboration, efficiency, time and cost savings on construction projects, the depots were completed in under a year.  

National Highways chief executive, Nick Harris, said: “The work we do at National Highways - operating, maintaining, and improving our roads - is carried out at our depots, control rooms and outstations, not in city centre offices. So, it’s paramount that we give people working in those buildings a great place to work, near the road network, where they can plan and carry out their roles. 

“These new depots, which are making the best use of modern techniques and technology to support our staff and the environment, are bringing together people who used to work in different places so they can work as one team. 

“We are also very considerate of our neighbours and the communities around our offices and our roads, so we tried hard to source as many contractors and suppliers that built the depots from the local area. Three out of every four pounds spent on a depot went to businesses within a 30-mile radius.” 

Richard Fielding, Morgan Sindall's area director in the Midlands, said: "The work that the National Highways team carries out is absolutely pivotal to the functional operation of the country and so it's been a great privilege to work alongside them to provide these state-of-the-art, sustainable depots. 

"What stands out from this project is the alignment in values between ourselves and National Highways. We were given the impetus to utilise our Intelligent Solutions approach to really home in on creating environmentally-friendly facilities and generate carbon savings. Similarly, we're pleased to have used three-quarters of our spend locally.” 

The depots were designed to have a safer, more modern feel, while also offering a smaller carbon footprint. With sustainability at the heart of National Highways’ planning process, Morgan Sindall incorporated a number of carbon-reducing technologies into the buildings. These included air source heat pumps, PV panels and LED efficient lighting, which all contribute towards a lower carbon footprint. 

The tier one contractor also promoted sustainable practices throughout each phase of the project. For example, aggregate produced at Bescot during the demolition of the original building was crushed and recycled, rather than being sent to landfill. Another example included excess materials and offcuts being donated to Walsall College. 

With Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) in mind, Morgan Sindall worked with bulk storage buildings supplier, Eurodome, to facilitate a salt barn at Strensham that was constructed off-site, using modular technologies. The alternative modular lightweight structure not only offered large carbon saving through a reduction in materials and rationalised design, but also in transportation. 

Through Morgan Sindall’s commitment to providing social value, they were able to offer 173 volunteer hours, alongside donations totalling £6.7k to several local community initiatives. The team also facilitated 229 apprenticeship weeks. 

Mark Robinson, SCAPE Group chief executive, added: “This project is a fantastic example of creating operational efficiency and improving the working environment for National Highways’ staff, while maximising the green credentials of a building. Using low carbon technologies has reduced the embodied carbon of the building itself and will ensure the emissions from its operation remain low throughout its lifetime. Through careful reuse of materials on site and community engagement activities, Morgan Sindall has created a truly sustainable legacy that will be felt far beyond the bricks and mortar of the new depots.” 

If you would like to contact Sarah Walker about this, or any other story, please email