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National Satellite Test Facility

Project Value: £10.3m

Sector: Local Authority

Social value generated: £1,048,609

Visits to local schools/colleges: 20

Local labour within 40 miles: 83%

Local spend within 40 miles: 75%

It was fantastic to work once again with the Science and Technology Facilities Council on this cutting-edge research centre."

Peter Owen

Managing Director | Willmott Dixon - Midlands

The new facility forms an integral part of the RAL National Satellite Test building, which was also built by Willmott Dixon and procured through the previous SCAPE framework. It is a prestigious research centre, in use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and utilised by customers such as Airbus for testing and experimentation.


The building required a number of developments to increase the capacity of the facility. These included:

  • The creation of offices and meeting rooms on the first floor, cleanrooms and lavatories on the second floor, and extensive infrastructure and plant installed on the roof to service the cleanrooms and labs.
  • Installation of an ultra sonic cleaning system, a spray booth and curing oven.
  • The design and installation of two steel mezzanine floors within the occupied areas for additional storage and to support new plant.
  • Installation of two lifts within the building, a clean passenger lift and a service lift.

It is always a challenge working in occupied buildings, the R100 building bought a new level of potential problems.

  • High security building with very expensive equipment stored.
  • Supply chain partner access to the building and maintaining security – external door entry pods setup at access point within the site compound.
  • Sensitive experiments and testing on-going throughout the entire project
  • Close and constant dialog with STFC and the building management team with weekly ‘catch up’ meetings.

RAL 100 (1B) National Satellite Test Facility has exceeded its social return on investment target. This demonstrates the focus placed on really making a difference to the people in the local community and surrounding areas.

  • A charity golf day was organised as well as a Christmas lunch with all the funds being raised going to the Warwickshire Wooden Spoon. These were donated to two projects in Warwickshire - a Trim Trail at a special educational need school in Baginton and a sensory garden at a school in Coventry.
  • Willmott Dixon employees attended Worktree events, career days and a talk on BIM at the local collage UTC totalling 5472 hours.
  • The timber from the temporary dust screens onsite was donated to our customer’s client. Materials were also donated to assist with facilitating some of the experiments onsite, timber and vinyl.
  • Two health check-up days were run for both our contractors and the client.
  • An employee was trained in Mental First Aid and delivered toolbox talks to our operatives.
  • Two work experience students come to work alongside us for a week each.
  • Four apprentices joined us onsite for a total of 201 week’s onsite experience.

It was fantastic to work once again with the Science and Technology Facilities Council on this cutting-edge research centre - the new facility will form an integral part of the RAL National Satellite Test building. We believe we have a purpose beyond profit and throughout the project we were able to support the local community through a range of activities, careers events and work experience placements as well as using local companies and people wherever possible."

Peter Owen

Managing Director | Willmott Dixon - Midlands


Local labour within 40 miles


Social value generated


Visits to local schools and colleges

In collaboration with:

Willmott Dixon Jan 19 Colour
SCAPE Construction Primary Logo

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