Growth in gas and oil sector triggers new-build programme at The Heath

January 21st, 2014

New build for Wood Group PSN at The HeathSOG Ltd has embarked on a multi-million pound new-build project at The Heath Business and Technical Park in Runcorn to provide accommodation for 180 staff of Wood Group PSN, the UK’s leading energy services company, which is expanding its operations in the North West.

Wood Group PSN, a global leader in brownfield production services, has been operating at The Heath for more than a decade since it identified the region as an ideal location to recruit specialist engineering talent.

Over recent years several hundred highly skilled engineers and designers have joined Wood Group PSN’s fast-expanding Runcorn operation. Now the company has agreed a contract for business park operator and owner SOG Ltd to design and build new office accommodation to keep pace with their growth. Wood Group PSN employs around 8,000 personnel across the UK with offices in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Hull and Runcorn.

Graham Jackson, Wood Group PSN’s North England Operations Manager, said: “The North has an abundance of highly qualified engineers and designers and we have been steadily increasing our network of personnel to service our growing number of North Sea contracts. Our recruitment campaigns from Runcorn have been extremely successful which means we require more space for our team here in the North West.”

Recent surveys suggest oil and gas workers earn more than three times the national average with salaries in the UK energy industry averaging over £80,000 per year.

SOG Managing Director John Lewis said: “The building we are now constructing for Wood Group PSN is the second phase of our extensive new-build programme underway at The Heath to keep pace with the demand for additional space from our resident businesses and potential new businesses wishing to relocate to The Heath.”

The first phase of SOG’s new-build programme was officially opened in 2009 with a two storey building providing 8,900 sq. ft. of space. Phase Two involves extending this building by a further 9,350 sq ft – providing Wood Group PSN with a total of 18,250 sq. ft. of space which will accommodate 180 staff.  The company, which employs over 300 people in Runcorn, will retain some of the office space it currently occupies in other buildings at The Heath.

The design has been undertaken by creative specialists RJ Lewis who were responsible for the Phase One project with the construction of the building being carried out by SOG.

John Lewis said: “Once again we are developing a high quality and state-of-the-art extension to fully complement the standards of our Phase One development. Large areas of glazing will provide occupants with countryside views and natural light while being carefully designed to avoid adverse glare from sunlight.  It’s an open plan layout with breakout areas, formal meetings rooms, archive rooms, toilets and well-fare facilities.”

He added: “This project is an important part of our longer-term vision for The Heath and we are currently in negotiations with other businesses that, if successful, will mean further new buildings being constructed. One of the big positives of our new-build policy is the speed with which we can design and construct facilities due to our unique circumstances where SOG is the land owner, developer, designer and principal contractor. This enables fast decisions in a seamless programme and allows construction to commence immediately after planning permission is granted.”

Work commenced in early January with the building scheduled to be completed and ready for occupation by September 2014.

Wood Group PSN is a global provider of pre-operations, hook up & commissioning, operations & maintenance, engineering, construction, project management, training and decommissioning services to the energy industry. Employing over 26,000 people in more than 35 countries, Wood Group PSN offers high integrity, brownfield services that support customers to optimise performance, maintain production, reduce operating costs and provide integrity assurance.

About The Heath

The Heath Business and Technical Park is a phenomenal regeneration success story. Formed in 2000, its owner and operator, SOG Ltd, has transformed an ailing ICI chemicals headquarters site into a thriving independent business park. The Heath now provides office and laboratory accommodation for more than 170 individual organisations, ranging from forensic science and IT specialists to website designers and government agencies. Over 1,800 people are employed at the site – more than in the heyday of ICI. For further information, telephone 01928 515988 or visit

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