CDM-C Avro Heritage Centre

What the project involves

Aegis played an instrumental role in the development of a state-of-the-art heritage centre and museum at the former BAE Systems Woodford Aerodrome site, south of Manchester.

We were appointed in 2014 to deliver CDM co-ordination and Clerk of Works services to the project, which has seen the transformation of the aerodrome’s former fire station into a leading-edge visitor attraction.

During its long and illustrious history, Woodford was one of the most important sites in British aviation. More than 20,000 aircraft were built there, and the site was the birthplace of renowned aircraft including the Second World War Lancaster bomber and and Cold War Vulcan ‘V-bomber’.

Following the closure of the aerodrome in 2011, BAE Systems agreed to fund the development of a heritage centre on the site. Working jointly with the Avro Heritage Trust, BAE Systems Real Estate Solutions division managed the project to convert the fire station into a modern, spacious heritage centre.

The remaining buildings on the site are being demolished and will be replaced with 900 new homes, to be built over the next six years.

How the client is benefiting

Aegis’ provision of CDM solutions and Clerk of Works services involved co-ordinating a broad range of activities to ensure all processes and procedures were implemented smoothly and efficiently.

Construction work is now complete and the new museum and heritage site is ready to house a historical collection of over 30,000 artefacts and pieces of memorabilia commemorating Avro’s achievements.

Nearly 80 per cent of the collection will be on display at any one time, with the remainder rotated throughout the year so there will always be something fresh for visitors to see.

The star of the show will be an iconic Vulcan bomber, which is be located in front of the centre. Built at Woodford, the former RAF aircraft weighs 30 tonnes and has a wingspan of more than 110 feet.

Another main attraction will be a complete nose and cockpit section of a Vulcan. Housed in a specially designed glass frontage of the building. This will enable visitors to gain first-hand experience of what it was like to sit inside one of these enormous aircraft.

The museum and heritage centre is expected to attract aircraft enthusiasts from around the world and has already been featured in numerous global aircraft publications.

Why it is crucial to understand the client and their needs

Aegis has worked closely and productively with BAE Systems on a number of major projects over many years.

As a result of this longstanding relationship, we were awarded the contract to provide CDM co-ordination and clerk of works services to the Woodford project from the end of 2014 to mid-2015.

Our track record of collaborating with main contractors and onsite suppliers across a wide spectrum of building and construction activities meant Aegis had a solid understanding of the heritage centre’s needs.

This enabled us to work alongside the main contractor, Conlon Construction and architectural consultancy Cassidy + Ashton, which had chosen materials to complement the proposed residential housing environment, while echoing the aero industry heritage.