Foundations of new RNLI Wells boathouse continue to take shape

Works to lay the foundations of a new RNLI lifeboat house at Wells-next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk coast are nearing completion.

Lifeboat crews at Wells have been saving lives at sea since 1830 and the first RNLI lifeboat station was built in 1869. The current boathouse is located on a sand and shingle spit just over a mile north of the town.

Construction of the new boathouse got underway in September 2020. The building will house a Shannon class all-weather lifeboat which was part funded by a successful local campaign in 2014-2015. It will also house a D class inshore lifeboat.

The new boathouse will contain upgraded facilities for the crew and other volunteers, as well as providing extra space for visitor and community engagement. It is expected that the boathouse will be completed in 2022 – and the new Shannon class lifeboat will arrive shortly afterwards.

The works are split into two phases, the first phase of which (September 2020 to May 2021) is being carried out by Mackley, who are constructing the foundations for the boathouse and ramps.

This involves pile driving and building up the soil and sand levels with material supplied by the Port of Wells and constructing the concrete floor slab – plus the surrounding slabs, beams and timber works.

Phase two (May 2021 to 2022) will see the project handed over to Reside – the building contractor – to complete the construction of the boathouse and ramps.

Mackley are currently six months into the first phase, with the piling works completed in late November 2020 – followed by preparation and fill works up until the Christmas shutdown.

Since the New Year, the logistics have been extremely difficult – but the Mackley team has been busy constructing the substructure of the building, including the installation of various services and tanks, the construction of the perimeter capping beam and works to the ALB Ramp.

All of these elements will continue through to the handover to the building contractor in May.

Construction of the apron slabs to the North and East of the station – as well as the timber breast works around the perimeter of the capping beam – will commence early March.

08 March 2021

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