Construction has begun on new facilities for Army musicians based at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS).
Representatives of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Defence Estate Optimisation (DEO) Army Programme, and Wilmott Dixon at the groundbreaking.
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The Band facilities will comprise rehearsal rooms, an instrument store, music library, offices, storage, changing and toilet facilities, and a crew room (tea/coffee making area). The project, which involves new build and refurbishing works, is due to complete in Autumn/Winter 2024.
The project is being delivered by the Defence Estate Optimisation (DEO) Army Programme, which is investing £3.35 billion over 10 years in delivering 35 projects and aims to improve the lived experience for soldiers by delivering an affordable, effective and sustainable Army Regular estate.
Representatives of Army Infra Delivery, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and RMAS attended a ground breaking event at the build site on Thursday 9 February.
Belinda Lunn, DEO Army Programme Director, said: "This project is an excellent example of the improvements we are making across the Army estate to enhance how soldiers live, work and train. I am delighted to see construction on this purpose-built facility get underway and I look forward to seeing the Band’s infrastructure take shape over coming months."
Aleksia Xhaferraj, DIO DEO Project Manager, said: "The Defence Estate Optimisation Army Programme is delivering significant benefits to the lived experience of Army musicians and improving the Army musicians’ capability by providing them with these practice facilities. This exciting programme includes a 54-person band ensemble room and multiple breakout percussion suites, which will provide the musicians with the purpose-built facilities they need to use to train as a military band."
Adam Worrall, Director from Willmott Dixon, said: "We are extremely proud to be delivering this bespoke facility for serving personnel at Sandhurst in partnership with the Army and DIO.
"This is a brilliant project, aiming to improve the army estate for its soldiers, and we look forward to hearing some of the concerts delivered by the Band following project completion. We are also looking forward to continuing our relationship with the DIO and supporting both the Army and the DIO on delivering their investment programme."
The new build band facility at Sandhurst will provide for British Army Sandhurst Band. The band is comprised of musicians from The Royal Corps of Army Music and is one of 15 Regular Army Bands in the British Army. Based in Surrey, the Sandhurst Band is a 54-piece symphonic wind band which includes a string quartet.
The band’s primary outputs are to support State Ceremonial and Public Duties, commemorative, celebratory and repatriation events, provide Defence contribution to UK influence at home and overseas, and support to the UK through community engagement and events. Although cap-badged The Royal Corps of Army Music, the band is affiliated to The Royal Logistic Corps and The Royal Corps of Signals.