Logistic Services Bicester
History of Bicester Depot
Graven Hill Depot, an ordnance depot used during World War II consists of a complex of sites clustered around two hills - Graven Hill and Arncott Hill – to the south-east of Bicester. On completion in 1943, the depot covered an area of over 12 square miles, with nearly 50 miles of railway track. It was planned as the main supply base for the British Army’s operations during the Second World War. At its peak in 1944, more than 20,000 people were employed on site. The site has since continued to function as a supply depot. It is the outstanding example in the UK of a bulk storage depot, built during the Second World War and designed to be fully integrated into rail and road transport networks. It is the ‘grandfather’ of many of the modern commercial distribution depots that one sees spread across the UK’s transportation network.
Logistic Commodities and Services (Transformation) (LCS(T))
In Spring 2015 the Defence Logistic Transformation programme awarded a £9bn contract to Team Leidos who will deliver UK Defence’s Base Depot storage, freight and distribution Services for the next 13 years, together with the commodity procurement. Team Leidos, who are ‘headquartered’ at Emerson Green in Bristol, lead a consortium with the primary partners being Kuehne+Nagel (K&N) and TVS Supply Chain Solutions. This is a powerful organisation offering exciting prospects to Defence and this critical part of the Strategic Base.
The contract was vested on 01 August 2015. To date, there have been few conspicuous changes to the Bicester Depot footprint. The majority of MOD employees tranferred across (under TUPE Regulations) and now work for the Team Leidos consortium. Under current plans, Bicester will continue to play a vital part in the delivery of logistic support to UK Defence. In due course, and linked to the Graven Hill Development, there will be some rationalisation of the depot infrastructure which will see sites on the south east edge of Bicester town decommissioned and handed over to Cherwell District Council.
There are some 300 personnel working across Bicester Depot. Within that workforce there remains a team of military and civil service operations personnel who report to the Defence Support Chain Operations and Movements (DSCOM) organisation at Abbeywood, but who are fully integrated alongside the Team Leidos Operations Support organisation. This collaboration is intended to help optimise the support provided by the Team Leidos Delivery Partner to the military customer (the Front Line Commands and Joint Force Commander). This integrated organisation is titled the Depot Operations Support Cell (or DOSC) and, on current planning (despite a small footprint already in Donnington where the new Defence Fulfilment Centre will open later this year), it will remain at Bicester for the foreseeable future.