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Case study: Swansea University – Mass Spectrometry Centre relocation


Swansea University underwent an extensive refurbishment of their Institute of Life Science building, hiring Pickfords Business Solutions to relocate their Mass Spectrometry Centre into the renovated laboratories.


  • Relocation of high value, fragile and sensitive equipment
  • Provision of move management services: pre-move planning, health and safety planning, risk management, contingency planning
  • Relocation of staff and their effects
  • Removal of heavy freezers
  • Source and project manage specialist contractors to decommission, relocate and recommission specialist equipment


Pickfords thoroughly analysed the requirements, creating a move programme which factored in refurbishment dynamics and external dependencies to meet the schedule set by the University.

Pickfords’ project manager coordinated seven specialist contractors to move high value, sensitive laboratory equipment. These items were tested prior to moving, decommissioned, carefully packed, transported, recommissioned and tested at destination.

The project manager established and efficient communication plan with all key stakeholders and subcontractors. Risk assessments and site surveys were carried out prior to all moves and risk and method statements were sought and obtained from all specialist movers.


  • The project manager and two dedicated site supervisors were assigned to complete the daily tasks
  • Pickfords’ crew worked alongside specialist subcontractors throughout the project
  • 7.5 tonne vehicles and transit vans were utilised
  • Specialist removal equipment was used for delicate items


  • Managing and coordinating all subcontractors in line with the move plan
  • Technical moves involving specialists and building contractors on the same site required detailed planning and robust activity control processes to ensure that highly valuable and fragile machinery was well protected
  • Maintaining the relocation work sequence and ensuring rooms were vacated on time to allow the continuation of building works


Pickfords carried out the relocation in line with the target schedule. Despite last-minute changes affecting the refurbishment works, Pickfords was able to adjust and adapt the relocation programme by establishing effective contingency measures.

The project was completed on time and within budget through diligent project management and regular communication with all stakeholders.

Client feedback

“Pickfords managed the challenging relocation of several laboratories and offices, across multiple buildings, within Swansea University’s Singleton Park Campus in 2017, ahead of construction works for a new Chemistry department. The complex series of relocations required careful coordination with programmed construction works, collaboration with multiple University stakeholders and thorough engagement and planning with lab equipment specialists located within the UK and Germany.  

Pickfords provided a friendly and professional service throughout the planning, management and undertaking of relocations. The experience and skills of their team played an important part in ensuring relocations were delivered safely and on schedule, within the context of a dynamic project and busy campus.”

- Lee Wall, Swansea University

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