University of the West of England


University of the West of England had plans to open a new engineering building on its Frenchay campus. This new building named, ‘The School of Engineering’, was build in order to attract a diverse, creative and innovative student body to engineering as a profession.

Client Requirements

The University required full project management for the decommissioning, packing (including the provision of crates), transportation, reinstallation and recommissioning of equipment to the new Engineering building.

This would be followed by a second phase relocation of workshop and laboratory equipment planned some months after.

Pickfords were to work with the University Project Team to carry out enabling works prior to the move, carry out detailed surveys of machine and book in and manage specialist contractors required for the decommissioning and recommissioning of various high value machines.

Pic 2


The opening of the new facility had been delayed as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, both with the completion of the new site, and also with the way that teaching was being carried out.

Pickfords flexibility of resource meant that we were able to facilitate the University’s request  to change the move dates to a week at the end of the Autumn term in December, and then for a week at the beginning of January to minimise down time for University staff and students.


Pickfords worked in collaboration with UWE Bristol’s Head of Faculty Strategic Development, Estates Project Manager and other nominated contacts throughout the process and agreed project plans, processes, timeframes and all method statements for the move of equipment.

Following pre-removal planning meetings and full pre-move site walk-rounds, we discussed the move principles, arrangements, and co-ordination with the University, and created a full project management solution to relocate equipment from its current facilities to the new Engineering building. This included sequencing in line with the building delivery programme, identifying all periphery kit and packing up, disconnecting equipment through to the reconnection in the new building. Some pieces of equipment had to be dismantled due to their size and nature.

Pickfords also devised a labelling strategy to organise the order in which the machines would move, to enable a seamless flow.

Pickfords supplied and delivered all resource necessary to provided protection to the equipment being moved, as well as the buildings; specifically walkways, lifts, stairwells, walls, doors, and access routes. 

Along with its heavy machinery moving team, Pickfords also had an additional team to move the crates; packing and unpacking where required, and smaller lab top bench items.

Regular briefing meetings were held with the University to discuss upcoming arrangements for each move, and as the move progressed, each briefing was preceded by a de-briefing from the previous move.

Pickfords relocated items for the following departments:

  • Electronics
  • Manual and mechanical
  • Dynamics
  • Mechatronics
  • Physics
  • Thermo Fluids
  • Engineering Structures
  • Materials
  • Power System
  • Rapid Prototyping

Approach to health and safety in a 'live environment'

The health and safety of the all staff, students, public and our workers are always at the forefront of our mind.

All Pickfords staff allocated to this contract were fully aware of the site rules, and complied with UWE Bristol’s ‘Employers Requirements’ and ‘Contractors Safety Code’ for working onsite (including Health & Safety, and COVID 19 regulations, alarms, fire precautions, entry and exit points from each site).

With this environment we did have students at the end of their study year in the campus when we were working.

To mitigate any risk we stopped working while the classes were out during breaks, lunch or leaving. This did however have an impact on productivity we planned for this during the planning stage so there were no surprises..


  • Pickfords moved all departments set in the programme and all machines were placed as per the plan and connected up by Pickfords electricians, on time and within budget through diligent project management and regular communications with all stakeholders
  • Despite the Covid 19 pandemic, Pickfords helped the University’s vision to expand its engineering programmes, by ensuring its specialist laboratories and workshops, along with the digital engineering facilities were ready for use by its 1700 students, and 100 academic and technical staff.


Need to chat? We'll call you back
We'll Call You Back

* indicates required field