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Preparing a Chapel for the 40th Anniversary of The Falklands War

A collaboration between Mitie and several partner organisations has transformed the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel ahead of the 40th anniversary of the conflict.

Opened in 2000 by Her Majesty the Queen as a memorial to those who fought and died in the South Atlantic in 1982, the chapel stands in the 230-acre grounds of Pangbourne College, Reading, Berkshire.

Designed to partly resemble a ship, the building was always well cared for, but naturally experienced external weathering in the course of its 22 years.

In line with Mitie’s commitment to the British Armed Forces and servicemen and women, the organisation offered to undertake a comprehensive overhaul, preparing the chapel for the 40th anniversary service of the Falklands War on Sunday, 12 June.

As a partner of the UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Mitie has a long and proud association with the Falkland Islands via a Permanent Joint Operating Bases Infrastructure Service Provider (PJOB ISP) contract.

The project was overseen by Mitie Central Government and Defence Project Manager, Daniel Kent, with the revamp taking three weeks to complete and replacing lighting and hoggin surfaces around the chapel – in addition to installing new slabs.

Kent comments: “The works were undertaken throughout February, which coincided with Storm Eunice. That made for an interesting experience with winds strong enough to topple a large tree in the grounds of Pangbourne College. Of course the team pulled together and took extra precautions where necessary. In the end the job was completed on time and the chapel looks fantastic ahead of the important commemoration.

“Mitie’s supply chain partners were amazing. We really couldn’t have pulled off the chapel clean-up without them. From Storm Eunice to slight changes in scope, they showed flexibility and a can-do attitude to improving this important memorial. The 40th anniversary promises to be particularly poignant as so many of the veterans are getting older. It was a privilege for Mitie to play a part in readying the chapel for such an important day.”

Collaboration partners on the project included Mitie Technical Services (and, particularly, Operations Manager, Martyn Richardson, who led on the electrical side of the job), Rock Power Connections which conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of the area around the chapel, Parcar Ltd which provided replacement lighting at cost, and Concept Building Services (and, particularly, employee Nick Hunter who led on the ground works).

The Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel Trust, which cares for the building, was delighted with the outcome and has extended an invitation to the 40th anniversary memorial service to Mitie CEO, Phil Bentley.

Trustee, Sukey Cameron, says: “I wish to express our gratitude for the contribution that Mitie PLC has made to ensuring that the chapel is well-presented for the 40th commemorations of the 1982 Falklands War this June.

“The ground works undertaken by Mitie, and your sub-contractors, have led to very significant improvements in the external lighting, the paving at the front of the chapel and the adjacent hoggin.”

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Staff Reporter covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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