Imperial Tobacco Group’s Chief Executive Alison Cooper tightened the screw on a silver bolt in a rooftop ceremony to mark a significant milestone in the construction of the company’s new global headquarters in Winterstoke Road, Bristol. The bolt was secured in a specially craned-in steel beam as the new structure – being constructed by Bristol-based contractors BAM – approached its highest point of development. The fourth level of the reinforced concrete frame of the 9680 square metre building, which is on the site of a former cigar factory, is currently being constructed. The development is on schedule to be completed in early 2013. Around 550 Imperial Tobacco jobs will be created or secured in Bristol as a result of the investment in the building.

BAM’s work on site involves some 2,500 workers over the project’s life, around 170 on site at peak.  Seventy per cent of the construction workforce lives within 30 miles of the development. Alison Cooper said: ‘We’re very excited about the excellent progress being made with the construction project, and are looking forward to building on our long history in Bristol in a modern new site. ‘Our new global headquarters will create a great work environment at the hub of our international business, further facilitating our collaborative approach to achieving our strategic agenda.’ For BAM, which is also behind M-Shed (formerly Bristol Industrial Museum) and numerous developments around the South West and South Wales, Steve Tapson, it’s Regional Director, said: ‘BAM’s presence here shows we are able to build quality prestige buildings for blue-chip clients in a competitive market environment. At the same time our commitment to local jobs and communities has not been diluted and we are building with our customary consideration for those around us. There is extensive teamwork behind the scenes on any project of this size and it’s great for that to be recognised on occasions like this.’ Other firms involved in the development – which will achieve an environmental BREEAM rating of ‘excellent’ - include Bristol based development advisors Eagle Land, project managers CBRE and property advisors Burston Cook.  Major local subcontractors involved include groundworkers D20 Limited, reinforced concrete frame contractors Thames Valley Construction, steel fabricators Robbin Engineering and services engineers T Clarke (Bristol). Designers of the project are AWW Architects, WA Fairhurst & Partners (structural and civil engineers) and Hoare Lea and Partners (services engineers). Cost consultants are Gardiner and Theobald. The construction team will shortly be commencing internal blockwork, cladding the facade of the curtain wall, and zinc rainscreen cladding. Installing the building services will also commence in the near future.