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The issue

Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC) provided £125.5m of capital investment for The Pirbright Institute’s Development Programme Phase 2 the purpose of which is to deliver world-class science research facilities to tackle livestock animal viral diseases to benefit the UK and overseas. The buildings are technically complex and are delivered at a secure site, within a highly regulated environment, utilising specialist supply chains. The programme of investment required governance and assurance to ensure delivery of benefits as well as cost and time alignment with the Business Case.

Our unique approach

Working closely with the BBSRC Head of Estates, alongside other delivery partners, we delivered an effective programme management support service including robust governance, stakeholder management, programme controls (cost, time, risk, cash flow) incorporating an on-site presence. We have formed and operated Programme Boards and Project Boards to give strategic and focused direction to the activity, we have led specific interventions to address affordability and regulatory challenges, we have written and updated business cases and managed stakeholder relationships between The Pirbright Institute and BBSRC internal departments such as Finance.

Building on our initial service we have extended our support to BBSRC by contributing to Project Health Check Reviews for other programmes in their estate including at Aberystwyth, Cambridge and Norwich. We have also inputted to cross-departmental Government initiatives such as Cabinet Office benchmarking, programme leadership development, UK Science Estate and numerous smaller projects at Pirbright. Using a combination of dedicated and intervention resources, we provide a flexible service to BBSRC which responds to the dynamics of complex programmes, using a collaborative philosophy to maximise team output.

The outcome

We have built a culture and reputation for effective delivery which assures BBSRC that programmes in which we are involved are being managed properly and will deliver the expected benefits.

Essentia’s long term and committed support has significantly enhanced the success of this challenging programme which improves and maintains the UK’s position at the forefront of World Class Livestock Animal Research – this trusted relationship is critical to delivery of the outcomes and the realisation of the benefits of the programme.

Richard Surma, BBSRC Deputy Director, Estates