UK: Chalcroft builds new MM Flowers facility

Chalcroft Construction is the Principal Contractor for the design and build of a new 24,000m² operations facility for MM Flowers and MMUK (Grape). Work is well underway on the 46 week project at the old airfield at Alconbury Weald, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

MMUK is part of the global AMC Group, which has centres across the USA, Canada, South Africa, Spain and Chile, and works with growers across 20 countries worldwide to provide year round integrated tree to table products for fruit, juice and ice creams. MM Flowers is the UK’s leading, vertically integrated cut flowers specialist, supplying major UK and European retailers.

Currently based in two separate buildings in Chatteris, the relocation to Alconbury Weald will enable the businesses to bring together Flowers and Grape teams into a modern, purpose built facility, creating one of the largest fresh produce facilities in the UK.

The contemporary design includes a three storey office, storage and processing areas, loading docks and associated external works and landscaping. The vast supporting structure uses approximately 1,680 tonnes of British steel from Scunthorpe. The 15m high building is then clad in the latest insulated panels, delivering the industry’s highest thermal performance, superior fire protection and enhanced environmental credentials. Three state-of-the-art chillers will be installed, that will deliver an efficiency that is 71% higher than the European Eco-Design Directive requirement. The building also features energy efficient air handling and LED lighting throughout.

Paul Morley, Chalcroft Managing Director, said “We are delighted to be working with MM Flowers and MMUK on the new development at Alconbury Weald and proud to be a part of their future expansion. A construction project of this magnitude requires specialist expertise in order to ensure the building meets the specific needs of the client. Drawing on our 37 years of experience in temperature controlled processing environments, we were able to clearly map out a design that meets the required operational demands and provides opportunities for further growth.”

Richard Brannam, Operations Director at MM Flowers, added “At the early stages, Chalcroft listened to our objectives and specific requirements for the building, and were able to offer suitable advice. It was important to use a contractor who has experience in bespoke commercial construction projects. We are looking forward to utilising the new facility early next year and are pleased to be working with Chalcroft on this project.”

Integrated Food Projects are managing the project on behalf of the client, along with architects, Campus Park and engineers, Peter Brett Associates.

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