Midlands Air Ambulance has new airbase and HQ
The construction of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s new combined airbase and headquarters facility was recently completed following a four-year project period, that included feasibility research, ground works and overall development of the new building.
The new facility, constructed by Morris Property, and based in Shropshire near the borders of Staffordshire and the West Midlands, will help future-proof the advanced pre-hospital emergency service operated by Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. It houses the charity’s head office function, airbase and clinical operations and community education zone. The building is equivalent to the size of two football pitches, with the whole site sitting on 22 acres.
The combined headquarters and airbase also houses a state-of-the-art training simulation suite which is part of its centre for clinical excellence. The suite, kindly supported by the Worcester-based Kildare Trust, enables the charity’s critical care clinicians to practice their specialist skills in an immersive environment. The fully interactive room uses virtual reality and real-world content to create a diverse range of situations that can be used to simulate accidents or incidents specific to the pre-hospital environment.
As part of the charity’s commitment to sustainability, the new facility will see the organisation offset part of its carbon footprint, as the construction has energy efficient features including solar panels across parts of the roof and air source heat pumps. The charity has also committed to planting 10,000 trees in the local area to further offset its footprint.
Hanna Sebright, chief executive officer for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: "Our new airbase and headquarters is a significant milestone in our charity’s 32-year history and is critical to us achieving our mission to continue to provide patients of the Midlands with outstanding pre-hospital care and lifesaving intervention. As well as making our organisation more resilient to the changing economic landscape, our new facility will also allow us to realise our ambition to become a pre-hospital centre of clinical excellence.
“We are delighted that our clinicians and non-clinical staff are now able to work out of the same building, as one team, in this wonderful new facility.”
Glyn O’Hara, senior contracts manager for Morris Property, which oversaw the build added: “It’s been a privilege to work on this pioneering new airbase and headquarters. Projects like this are incredibly rare and our team is very proud of the part it has played in its construction.”
Initial funding for the new development was secured through major grants from organisations like the County Air Ambulance Trust HELP Appeal, the Denise Coates Foundation and The Kildare Trust. In addition, the charity undertook specific fundraising campaigns to secure funding for specific areas of the new airbase, with support from Aico, Baylis & Harding, Ibstock Brick, and M6toll.
The building has been constructed from 90,000 bricks, one third of which were donated by Ibstock Brick. It has taken 2,000 litres of paint to decorate the internal areas of the new building. More than 1,000 people have been directly involved in the construction of this new facility.