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First theatre training centre in the north of England is completed – and using recycled building modules

Foremans Relocatable Building Systems, the UK’s largest supplier of refurbished and recycled modular buildings, has completed a new theatre training centre at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne – the first clinical training facility of its kind in the North of England.

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust appointed Foremans to provide the new single-storey building to enable staff from across the North to participate in the latest interactive simulated training in clinical procedures. 

The scheme comprises 10 pre-owned steel-framed modules which were recycled and refurbished for this project, enabling it to be delivered in just 11 weeks from receipt of order to handover.  This short programme allowed the Trust to bring the facility into use as fast as possible to meet demand, and facilitated access to national funding.  The centre is now running at full capacity.

The building features clinical education rooms with a control room for each, seminar rooms, offices, toilets, storage facility and a category 6 containment laboratory. 

Foremans also supplied an audio door control system, security alarms and fire detection system, and implemented a traffic management plan to minimise disruption during the building delivery and installation phase.

Commenting on the three recycled modular buildings that Foremans has now supplied at Freeman Hospital, Steven Bannister, the Trust’s Director of Estates and Facilities, said, “Foremans has been able to provide exactly what we needed for each project, and to challenging deadlines. Timing is critical to the Trust, in order to bring the buildings into use in the shortest possible time, and new manufacture or site-based construction would have taken much longer.”

“The environmental performance of our buildings is also very important to the Trust.  The pre-owned modular approach enabled us to offer a higher degree of sustainability with the use of recycled modules.  We are very pleased with Foremans’ performance on these three schemes and would have no hesitation in recommending their approach or in using it again.”               

Foremans has also constructed a new medical electronics building at Freeman Hospital, which enabled the department to be relocated for the consolidation of clinical services on this constrained hospital site.  The new building, which comprises 14 recycled modules, provides more storage space and a more appropriate working environment for the medical electronics team.  It was delivered in a challenging timescale of just 10 weeks from receipt of order, to fit in with the Trust’s wider development programme.

When the Trust needed to relocate the estates and stores building to accommodate a new data centre, Foremans supplied a purpose-designed two-storey stores facility using pre-owned building modules.  This solution ensured continuity of service and the centralisation and more efficient management of the hospital’s stores.

Foremans specialises in the supply of quality refurbished and recycled modular buildings, designed to individual project requirements. In addition to its sustainability benefits, the approach offers a range of other advantages:

  • A cost-effective alternative to new build
  • Programme times for high quality temporary or permanent accommodation are reduced by up to 70 per cent
  • Off-site working is maximised for safer, quieter and cleaner sites and reduced disruption
  • The buildings can be easily expanded, reconfigured or removed if space requirements change
  • High quality steel-framed modular buildings are built to last and require fewer groundworks than traditional site-based construction – further reducing cost, disruption and programme times.

For more details on this project and to learn more about the advantages of choosing a second hand modular building, please visit


Editor’s Notes

  1. The use of recycled modular buildings is one of the most environmentally sound methods of construction:
    • It generates less than 10 per cent of the carbon emissions and uses less than 3 per cent of the energy during construction, compared to a newly manufactured building of equivalent size (source: MPBA/Arup). 
    • It is highly thermally efficient.  In England, tests for air permeability on pre-owned modular buildings are not compulsory.  However, in independent tests, Foremans recycled modular buildings have performed up to 80 per cent better than Building Regulations requirements.  This means reduced energy consumption, and lower running costs and carbon emissions.
  1. Foremans offers the UK’s largest selection of refurbished Portakabin buildings available from stock.  It provides a nationwide service from its 30,000 sqm production centre in East Yorkshire, and its southern regional office in Dunstable. 

The company offers a full range of construction services, including planning, finance, design, space planning, project management, groundworks, fitting out, delivery, site installation, testing and commissioning.  

Tel: 01964 544344.

Postal address
Catfoss Lane, Brandesburton, East Yorkshire YO25 8EJ 

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