BAE Systems
Construction maintenance and site reconfigurations


BAE Systems has manufactured and tested some of the most advanced combat aircraft in the world for decades. As BAE’s strategic estates partner for almost 20 years, Sewell has worked as part of the Brough site team project managing a wide variety of facilities management and construction projects.

Ranging from a lick of paint, to major site reconfigurations, Sewell has worked alongside BAE’s estates professionals to ensure the highly technical, high security site has remained suited to the direction of the defence product manufacturer. More recently the teams have worked together to deliver a complex consolidation of the site as a result of the business’ restructure.

The site, which previously accommodated over 2000 employees, was consolidated as a result of a business restructure.  An ‘Enterprise Zone’ for new tenants was also required.

The complex programme saw the intertwining of various projects including:

  • Decommissioning
  • Infrastructure works
  • Refurbishment and remodelling
  • Manufacturing relocations

As principal contractor Sewell was required to manage the safe, secure and timely delivery of the various projects, all the while ensuring operational parts of the site were not affected.


The BAE and Sewell teams worked collaboratively, engaging various departments to develop a programme that was primarily engineered around access to available buildings.

Sewell developed a proposal, utilising both open book and traditional procurement, with design and risk transfer, to ensure value for money for the client. A series of around thirty contracts, with Sewell as overarching principal contractor were issued, breaking the programme down into deliverable phases.


Sewell deployed a highly experienced project management team to Brough, with 14 managers at the schemes peak, along with a full time Health and Safety Manager to effectively oversee the projects and manage up to 350 operatives working on the various programmes. Wherever possible Sewell utilised local, preapproved contractors, with trusted track records to execute the programmes of work; as a result 96% of operatives where local to the site.

As part of the rigorous induction process, all operatives sat a BAE induction in addition to a bespoke, project specific induction delivered by Sewell; this ‘people focused’ approach reinforced BAE and Sewell’s high expectations. Spot checks, tool box talks and best practice sharing sessions were also utilised as part of a robust quality assurance programme.

The complex project delivery was heavily reliant on communication and collaboration. Daily briefings and weekly project manager meetings were held, involving the BAE team, to discuss challenges and best practice across site operations.


The Brough site was rationalised and the Enterprise Zone was created six months ahead of programme. The works were completed:

  • Under budget
  • Safely
  • With no ICT or security downtime
  • With no interruptions to power
  • Using 48 local contractors

Sewell continues to deliver maintenance and building modifications on the site to this day.


The disruption has been absolutely minimal and that’s a credit to the team. Potentially, business continuity could have been a major issue but the whole process has been managed really well.

Andy Woodward Head of Engineering Management and Governance, BAE Systems