British Sugar Production Facility

British Sugar’s production facility in Wissington is the largest beet sugar factory in the world, supplying 420,000 tonnes of sugar annually to food and drink manufacturers across the UK and Europe. The site screens and bags a range of sugar products, including dry granulated, granulated, caster and extra fine sugar, as well as liquid sugar products.

Customer Name

M. C. Nurse Builders

Project Location

Wissington, near Norfolk


Three months

The Challenge

M.C. Nurse Builders were constructing a bespoke reinforced concrete platform to house a new cooling tower at this British Sugar facility. It was important that the construction work was completed efficiently and with the minimum of disruption, as the factory needed to replace its existing cooling tower whilst keeping production at full capacity.

The size and loading capacity of the new tower would normally require a straightforward concrete slab for housing, however this project required the base to be elevated 1.71 metres above the ground and on a 400mm slab. The biggest challenge faced was how to construct the elevated slab on three pillars with an underneath slab propping distance of only 1.31 metres. This included the primary and secondary bearers, as well as supporting a heavily reinforced base that needed to incorporate 32 tonnes of rebar.  What’s more, we also had to consider the following stage, as the wall climbed again to create an encasement for the tower to be housed.

The Solution

Our formwork solution was based on a straightforward foundation design layout. The supporting walls were constructed using the versatile and compact EcoAs Panel Formwork System and completed with our Edge Protection System. All of the equipment supplied came from our Leada Acrow Service Centre in Norwich.

We worked closely with a local scaffold erection company to combine our products with theirs to design a solution that tied in our Co-Planar Soffit Support System with traditional scaffolding to form a soffit support, integral external walkway and propping base for the second pour on the walls.

The Results

The design we proposed was perfect for the contractor and our solution surpassed all health and safety requirements for the site. We overcame several unique challenges, including the low propping height of the elevated slab and the requirement of a climbing wall with an integral scaffold system, all of which were not considered at the outset of the project.

I was delighted with the understanding of our requirements and the innovative solutions offered by Leada Acrow to overcome what was quite an unusual design. From start to finish the consultative nature of the Leada Acrow team ensured we were able to complete the works efficiently and within budget.

Mark Nurse, Director of M. C. Nurse Builders
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