Purcell was appointed as Architect and Project Manager for a 29-bedroom facility for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and their families in Colchester. The ground-breaking project was a joint venture between the MOD, who provided the land and staff, Help for Heroes, who provided the capital funding and the Royal British Legion, who will fund the project’s running costs for the first 10 years. The project was procured as design and build, with Purcell remaining as employers’ agents during the construction phase.
The project required Purcell to liaise with the three stakeholders to meet their requirements, within a 12-month programme. Before the project went out to tender, planning permission also needed to be established on a six-week fast-track basis. Design specifications and materials had to reach BREEAM excellent standard and MOD specific security requirements needed to be complied with.
The detailed scheme is vitally important for wounded, sick and injured service personnel and veterans who cannot recover effectively either at home or in their units. The centre comprises 27 single en-suite bedrooms and two family suites. The facility has revolutionised the way Britain’s injured soldiers are cared for and includes a creative kitchen, presentation room, two lounges, and an adaptive gym with specialist equipment. There are currently four other recovery centres across England and Wales.